A Lesson on Bus Stop Ettiquette

I was running late yesterday morning (really, is anyone surprised?).  It was worse then usual though because I was 30 seconds later than the norm, and so instead of pulling out of my court in front of the school bus, I got stuck behind it.  It's not a huge deal (or shouldn't be) because our neighborhood is pretty small, and we don't live too far off the "main road" where there aren't bus stops.

The first stop was about two houses beyond our court intersection.  The flashing lights go on, the little stop sign pops out (all they need now is a bullhorn that yells out, "Stop the car!  Children potentially crossing the street!), and I wait.  Curiously, as the doors open, I don't see any children in sight.  And we weren't at an intersection.  We were at someone's driveway.

It wasn't a hugely long wait for the kid to come sauntering out of the garage, but it was long enough that I got a little irritated.  Why was he in the garage?  Why was he walking from the garage to the bus?  Put a little hop into it kid, some of us are late to work.  It's not like it's super cold or precipitating in any way today.  He was just chillin' inside his house.

We got to the next stop, no more than four houses down the road.  I calmed down a bit because it was actually at an intersection and there was a little girl there waiting, who, after the bus stopped jogged across the road to get on.  But why weren't the doors closing?  About 30 seconds later, a little boy walks out of a house and saunters down the driveway to get on the bus.  What is the deal with that?

This is where the road splits in two, only to meet up again on the other end of the neighborhood.  In essence, I raced the bus to the other side of the neighborhood (but it wasn't really a race, I didn't speed). 

Is this annoying to anyone but me?  Here's where I turn into a grandmother again, but I used to have to walk several blocks to the nearest bus stop.  If you weren't there when the bus stopped, it stunk to be you.  The driver didn't drive to your house and wait patiently for you at your driveway as you dawdled down to the bus.  I've actually seen kids who were just "on the way" to the bus stop get left behind.  Those drivers had a schedule to keep, not to mention so do the rest of us.  (While I didn't have to walk uphill both ways with newspaper for shoes in the snow, I do vividly remember waiting for the bus in winter with wet hair that froze into icy tendrils.  That was probably really good for my health.)

I know I'm one of those people who thinks about what other people think way, *way*, WAY too much, but even as a child when I got on or off the bus, I did it quickly because I didn't want to hold anyone up. 

So is it laziness or selfishness on the part of the kids?  How about the parents?  I probably get on Ben & Abby's cases too much about hurrying up.  I've said before and I'll say it again, their nicknames are "Christmas" and "Molasses" because...well, they are as slow as those things.  I don't want them to be the reason we're late.  I don't want them to be the reason someone else is late.  (This is clearly not successful, but at least I am TRYING not to be late all the time.) 

If Ben rode the bus, you can rest assured that I would do everything in my power to have him be waiting AT the bus stop before the bus got there, and if I were anywhere within shouting distance, I would be "kindly encouraging" him to move quickly.  I might even suggest that he walk to the next closest bus stop a whopping three houses down the road to save the bus one stop.

Am I crazy?  How lazy can we be?  Or is it a disregard for others?  Either way, this is not the model I want for my children.  And if this is your child, PSA for you:  Please tell your kid to put a little bounce in their step, if for no other reason than to help keep my blood pressure in the healthy range.  Thanks. 


Brenda said...

Yup, you're crazy.

Jennie said...

That part was rhetorical.

Anonymous said...

Your kids don't ride the bus? Then I don't really see how you can lecture anyone about it...

You can say all these things you WOULD do, but until you put it into practice, you'll never really know.

You're mad because YOU'RE late to work. If you were on time, this wouldn't even be an issue.

Jennie said...

I appreciate your perspective (whomever you may be), and I admit the irony is thick (the fact that I am late being the crux of the problem). That is something I acknowledge as a fault and am actively working to correct.

The point of the blog is less about me being late and more about the fact that: 1. The bus stops at virtually every other driveway and 2. The kids mosey out of their houses like they're on a leisurely Sunday stroll. No, I don't have a child on the bus. I drop him off at the school on my way to work. So I can speak from experience on carpool line etiquette and tell you that my child unbuckles in the driveway of the school, puts his jacket & bookbag on in his seat, and moves towards the door before I pull up to the dropoff location. We do this so that the people behind us won't have to wait any extra time on us.

By transference, I would extend the same courtesy if my child were to ride the bus to both the bus driver and the people waiting in cars behind him/her.

I am not a perfect parent and never claimed to be. One of the things I do hope is that my children understand that there are other people to consider besides ourselves. This includes simple courtesies such as considering the value of other people's time.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to clarify my point even further.

Debbie said...

I'm rarely if ever late, yet I still have the same lamentation when caught behind a school bus.

Jennie said...

Thanks, Mrs. Debbie! (And let me congratulate you on your brevity. Less is totally more. wink, wink)

Cindy said...

I feel you Jennie. I have one child that rides the bus and the only time he waits on the porch instead of at the edge of the street is when it's raining. Even then, he sprints to the bus once we see it coming.

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