Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Freedom... or at least a break

Another momentous milestone in the life of L - he took the schoolbus for the first time yesterday. And the 2nd time today. So far so good. Whoo hoo for L - double whoo hoo for Mommy! What a journey it has been to get him to this moment, and after all the drama, it was over in 2 seconds.

He "faced his fears" and overcame them. Who knew he'd have handy-dandy-Andy - his new school bus buddy -- already on board? And fears they were, no matter how trivial or insurmountable they may seem to the average eye.
It's been a subject of great debate since the beginning of the school year. Here are the facts:

1. Mom has driven L to and fro, with G in tow, since Senior Kindergarten. 2. Through hail, snow, sleet, wind, heatwave, rain - every major weather system that hits the hurricane hazel snowbelt a.k.a. school playing field/ playground, Mom and Giselle have never missed a day of accompanying Liam.
3. This ritual occurred twice daily, with the morning session preceded by a stress-ridden period of dressing then feeding a hungry 6 year old, picky toddler, pack a fresh lunch, and during the cold season bundle up both children, snowsuits, boots and all, and lock and load them into the mom-van for a 3 minute drive before parking and embarking, stroller and all, on the bumpy trip across the unforgiving (obviously unplowed) terrain. Then it starts over again 7 hours later, usually requiring Mom to rudely awaken little G from her peaceful mid-afternoon slumber to participate.
4. The roads around the school are a nightmare at pickup and dropoff time. Congested with cars (nobody walks to school anymore) and discourteous drivers. And dangerous with all these school children milling about in and out of cars.
5. The three of us attended a "ride the bus" orientation session in the summer to prepare for the new procedures. We all passed (including G) with flying colours.
6. Schoolbus is available to pick him up to and from school. Bus stop is right at the base of our drive way. Bus drops him off right at the door of the school.
7. Drive to school is less than 5 minutes.
8. Mom is sick of being so bitchy and stressed every morning. L is usually an angel (with the requisite prompting) at getting himself ready and is rarely the reason we cut it so close to being late. The problem is it's not only him to consider anymore.

The first night before he was to board the bus, he stressed so much, he almost couldn't go to sleep. But then we woke up to bus cancellations and he breathed a huge sigh of relief. So the next night, I made no mention of the bus.

So yesterday as he was getting on his coat, I told him we had to hurry because the bus would be here soon. That's when the tears, crying, and all the big drama started. G then got in on the act - told L not to cry, patting him on shoulder. But I still had to get her dressed, and myself, to stand at the corner with Liam. To his credit, he managed to get everything on, and stopped the crying as soon as we saw other kids at the corner. I introduced myself and the kids to the two boys there. Bus drove up, driver opened the door, I told her it was Liam's first ride as he got in. She said "Hi L", he moved a couple steps in and I could hear an excited "HI L" from a young boy. And there he was - our saviour - ANDY!!

This morning because G slept in (still fighting her cold in the middle of the night) I told L I would watch him from the door. He was fine - gave me a quick wave just before the bus drove up. Then he was gone. I checked the clock. Precisely 8:35 AM - wow, that's a whole 25 minutes saved!! I actually had time to drink my coffee and read some of the newspaper before little G woke up. Paradise!!!

Tomorrow I'm volunteering with L's class, so I told Liam he didn't have to take the bus. He still wants to - would like me to come a few minutes later on my own. He likes the little adventure he has every morning on the bus. What a difference a couple of days makes!


Dina said...

yah for Liam!! That is great news that he has overcome his fear AND BONUS that you get to enjoy a little "me time" in the morning!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Karen,
Sue here! I'm enjoying your blog! Good for Liam for being such a brave boy (((((((((( to you, Liam )))))))).
If it's ok with you, I'll pass a link to ____ here _____ to Jolene; she misses everyone.

More later,

Karen MEG said...

Thanks for stopping by Sue - I've been blogging for a bit and some of my mommy friends have linked this so I thought I should finally include some family LOL!
I already sent Jolene the link - having prob's with my e:mail so can't confirm whether she's got it.


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