By BERN MORLEY
My mother never had to navigate the politics of the School Drop Off system. This is probably because she didn’t drive. As a kid, I walked to and from school. That’s right; I walked through blustering rain, freezing cold snow storms, relentless hail, all without shoes on my feet… errr wait, no, I grew up on the Gold Coast; my only real threat was being struck down with sunstroke. Essentially though, even if my Mum had driven a car and my dad hadn’t been conspicuously absent, I’m pretty sure there wouldn’t have been the school drop off quagmire in the 80s that there is today.
Nowadays, it’s almost a full scale military operation to load and unload your child in and out of an almost moving vehicle with both timing and precision.
Each and every school has its own procedures, some have a rolling blockade/loud speaker situation, others a 2 minute drop off situation and some, like my current school, have an “every man for himself” type of operation. It’s a hotbed of drama, intrigue and frustration. It’s basically more exciting than The Bold and the Beautiful.
However your child’s school deals with it though, here a few handy tips to keep the ball rolling and avoid World War 3:
1. Don’t park in the 2 minute drop off zone unless you have every intention of being there for less than two minutes. Sounds simple enough right? Try telling that to the parent that leaves their car to accompany their child into the school. For 45 minutes.
2. The Drop and Go Zone is not the time to play catch up. There is absolutely no reason to get out of your car and have a chat to Beryl through her window about Gerald’s latest Piano recital. HEY, some of us have to get to work. Drop and go people, Drop and go.
3. If an area is marked as a “Loading Zone”, then here’s a thought, unless you are a delivery van, don’t effing well park there. The sign is not there for shits and giggles. It’s most likely a zone that is also utilised by emergency services. Which is what you will require if you cut me off to park there in your tank car.
4. Double parking is incomprehensibly stupid. Letting your child zigzag through a maze of moving vehicles is just about the dumbest thing you can ever do. I can’t even believe I have to point that out.
5.Do not attempt the trifecta of talking on the phone, applying lipstick and negotiating the speed hump at 80kph upon approach of the pickup zone. Because when you hit the back of my car it won’t be because I stopped suddenly, it will be because you were distracted by the “amazing full body plumping abilities” of your new lipstick. Concentrate.
These are of course, but a few handy tips to help you negotiate the intricacies of school drop off and pickups. I’m sure these only scratch the surface though, the more tips the better, share with me your stories.
What dramas have you had whilst dropping your kids off at school? Has it been a chaotic nightmare or has it been a stress-free experience?
Bern is a Gen X, child of the 80′s. Kept busy being a working mother of 3 children, one with Aspergers, renovating the original money pit and drinking too many coffees in the space of 24 hours.