Last year I opted out of Aden and Alex riding the bus because I didn’t want them on a bus for 45 minutes when it takes me 7 minutes to drive to school. In reality, no matter how much time it took, I wasn’t ready to put my 3 year-olds on a bus.
Summer school we tried again. I read them stories about riding the bus, we sang songs, “the wheels on the bus…”, and I created a social story that would help prepare them. Then the bus didn’t show up. Ugh! I was so stressed out the first day; I decided I would take them for the next 5 weeks. It wasn’t bad and it was good practice walking and holding hands from the car to school.
Fast-forward to the most wonderful time of the year. The boys were heading back to school, ready to start preschool 4’s! Basically our schedules remained the same except now the boys attend CARD in the morning and public school in the afternoon. Both receive additional speech and Aden has 30 minutes of OT on Friday mornings before class. I’m hoping this will help with sensory issues as well as developing his fine motor skills. The only big difference this year is that Aden and Alex are riding the bus. I decided not to tell them about the bus and if it did happen to show up, the surprise factor would kick in. At least, I hoped it would. I waited until 12:50pm and then decided to drive them. Alex knew something was up and even asked about the bus coming. He is a smart cookie. We actually passed their bus on the drive to school. Turns out their pick-up time is scheduled for 12:59p…pretty late considering school starts at 1pm. Well…school doesn’t technically begin until 1:15pm and since Aden and Alex would be the last stop, I was thrilled about a late pick-up!
The next day they rode the bus to school. Unfortunately my picture perfect moment was shattered by unexpected events. Aden had to use the bathroom (#2 of course!) at 12:45p (impeccable timing!) then while wiping in a hurry I got poop on his shirt so I had to get him a new shirt. During this escapade Alex decided to strip down and was running around naked in search of his toga. To make matters worse, the bus showed up at 12:50…9 minutes early! I frantically put on clothes, shoes and book bags as the bus waited outside. Oh…so that’s why the bus is sometimes late…Being frazzled I forgot all about taking pictures. Well, there’s always next year.
Now the boys are ready to go by 12:45pm. It’s one thing to be late when it’s on my time but now the bus depends on me being on time. And being on time is not one of our strong suits. Because let’s face it, shit happens at the worst possible time. Aden and Alex did take the bus home from school the first day. My in-laws (Mama K & Padre) joined me to witness this HUGE first! Seeing the bus pull-up and seeing Aden’s face through the window smiling made my day. See for yourself! Ms. Katie emailed me and told me both were excited about riding the bus home and did a great job! Sigh of relief…I love the bus drivers (am- Ms. Theresa with Ms. Emily, the aide and pm- Ms. Darla). Ms. Theresa gave me her cell number so I can text her if the boys are sick or running late and don’t need to be picked up. Yesterday Ms. Darla was laughing and said, “Boy, Alex likes to talk.” I couldn’t help but laugh with her. To think there was a time when we didn’t know if he would ever talk. Apparently he is telling her when to stop at red lights, when to go on green, and which direction to go. Good grief, my son is a back-seat driver! She assured me she doesn’t mind. Although I have a feeling by the end of the school year Alex might have a seat farther in the back. He has always been my little GPS, always noticing if we take a different route, very conscious of direction and landmarks. Since the bus driver has other stops along the way home, it might be hard for him to go different way. But it might also be a good thing.
After hearing so many horror stories about the bus, I am beyond thankful that Aden and Alex enjoy riding the bus and have taken yet another step towards independence.