Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Buses and Trains

When I was starting 8th grade, my family moved from Macon, Georgia to West Green, Georgia. Not too long after we moved to West Green, my sister turned 16 and started driving so my parents gave her a little Toyota truck with a stick shift. I want to say that truck was yellow, but one of my family members can correct me if I'm wrong in the comments. So for a year or so we rode the bus from West Green into Douglas every morning to go to school. I'd never ridden the bus before and it was fun for about a day before it was really not that fun at all, but I could read the whole time on the bus so it evened out. But eventually, we were rescued from the bus by the little Toyota truck (how my father taught my sister how to drive that stick shift is ABPA [another blog post altogether] and perhaps she can guest blog about the experience one day -- but let's just say I remember screaming and lots of tears, mostly on my father's part). But I digress.

Many many many many mornings and only on the many many many many mornings when we were running late (not ever my fault at all, by the way), we were late to school because of trains. I hated to be late for anything (I've gotten over that -- there are lots of things I just plain don't mind being late for nowadays, but again, that's ABPA) and especially for school because I needed that 10 or 15 minutes before the bell rang to take my oboe to the band room. I had to take the oboe home every night so that Mr. O'Brien would think I actually practiced it, so that meant I had to remember to bring it back every day for 6th period band practice. I still have nightmares that involve me being on a band bus heading for a high school football game and I've forgotten my oboe -- even though I didn't play the oboe during marching season. In my dream, I'm panicking because I've just realized I don't have it and am trying to come up with a way to not get kicked out of band. In real life, I never forgot my oboe and I got to sit next to Chanc Logue sometimes on the bus, so band trips on the bus were way more fun than bus rides to school. But again, I digress.

This morning, I relived my teenage angst waiting for this train to get the heck out of the way so I could get Casey to school (and yes, we were already running late):

It really was an eventful morning, actually. A few minutes before we got to the train tracks, I had turned the corner at Benjamin and Sligh and Mace's car seat fell over. I heard him saying, "Mooooooooommmmyyyyy" in a strained kind of voice and when I looked in the review mirror all I saw were his feet turned sideways where I usually see his head and chest sitting upright, safe and secure in the car seat. Apparently, his car seat had not been buckled back into the seat belt when Joe had moved the car seat from Grandma's car into my car over the weekend or (more likely) the seat belt had been accidently unbuckled when Casey was climbing from the middle seat into the back seat this morning. I choose to believe that it was the latter and that I have not been driving around for two or three days under the false belief that my 2 year old was actually safe in my car. Regardless, when I made the turn at Benjamin and Sligh, his car seat flipped over on its side and I had to have Casey pull him upright again. So when we stopped for the train I had to just take the seatbelt all the way across his lap so that at least he was halfway secure:

He's in his pajamas because he stayed home from school again today because he's still feeling a mite poorly. He was in those pajamas until he changed into a different pair of pajamas tonight. And please do not show this photo to a fireman or policeman or our insurance agent because there are so many things wrong with the way he's buckled into that car seat. Someone will probably pull this photo off my blog and use it in a child safety training seminar as an example of really poor parenting.

In the end, Casey got to school right as the bell rang. And then on the way back home, we got stopped by that exact same train going the other direction. Seriously, I started singing Material Girl and I'm Still Standing -- I was that thrown back to my high school days.

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