Car Line Courtesy: Sadly, Not So Common Anymore

As a mom of three children, ages 7, 4, and almost 2, I sit in a lot of car lines waiting for my kids. I wait to drop them off, I wait to pick them up, I wait. And wait. I attempt to appease those unlucky kids who are in the back seat also waiting because they would burn the house down if left alone (and I’m pretty sure that’s illegal). I wait some more.

I have noticed a few things lately, as we end the school year, that still annoy me about my fellow car line waiters. We all fiddle with the radio, check our phones, reassure backseat denizens (every 4 seconds) that it won’t be much longer, remove Cheerios from our hair (oh wait, that’s just me). But waiting in a carpool line is common courtesy, people. Not so difficult. And yet, for some people…it apparently IS difficult.

1. It’s a DROP OFF LINE. This line is intended for people whose children just unbuckle their seat belts, open the door, and walk in to school. If you feel the overwhelming urge to walk your child into school, have a parent-teacher conference at 8:05, hold a tearful goodbye, and chat to everyone on the way in and out of school, please refrain from parking your car at the front of the line for 10 minutes, doing all the things, and holding up the rest of us whose kids jump out of the car, and we’re off to the next thing. That. Is. Rude. There are parking spaces. Use them. Do the things, but just don’t make the rest of us who want to get to Jazzercise wait on you. When my kids get out of the car, it looks like David Spade saying “Buh-bye” to people exiting the SNL Total Bastard Airlines airplane. With kisses, of course. And then it’s “buh-bye.”

2. No, I Don’t Want to Let You in Front of Me. Even if you wave, shrug apologetically, and flip your ponytail, I’m not impressed, and I’m still not letting you in. Try that with the man in his truck six cars back. I have at least two kids grousing in the back seat, and we have been waiting here for 15 minutes. Wait…what’s that you have? A fresh Starbucks? It will cost you that latte and one for each person in line behind me if you feel like passing today. While we’re at it, please remind me why you’re more important than all the rest of us you want to pass…?

3. Put Your Kids on the Side by the School’s Door. This is another one that baffles me. I see (read: wait on) people every day who either have their kids crawling across three other car seats OR walking around the car on the dangerous side while simultaneously flipping up the very slow automatic hatch, inserting backpack, and slowly lowering it again. We do this Put your kid by the door. Aren’t you tired of listening to them gripe at each other/cry/etc. because someone’s foot was stepped on or “He kicked me” blah, blah, blah? It doesn’t have to be this hard.

4. Hey There, Dale, Jr.! This complaint is not usually for those who are sitting in the car line waiting for school to end. This complaint is reserved for those peeps who are just too important to slow down and actually do the speed limit in a school zone. Yes, that was a kindergartener you almost mowed down while doing 40MPH in the school zone and tapping on your cell phone. A middle schooler with headphones just dove between two parked cars to avoid your careening SUV. Vehicular homicide is the new orange. And you get extra points for moms with strollers or dogs on a leash. Geez…

5. Nope, You Still Can’t Pass Me. Sorry.

6. Yep, the Dirty Look Won’t Work Either. Not ashamed.

Are there extenuating circumstances where getting in front of the entire school’s car line is a matter of life and death? Sure. Will I let you in if you screech up beside me, pant that you must absolutely get in front of me or Abe and Ursula will not be able to see their dying cat ever again because Foofy is fading quickly?!?! Um, sure.

But, fellow car liners, we’re all on the same team. Our kids want to arrive on time to school without explaining the minivan hatchback thing to their teachers. Our kids want to get home from school and play outside. We want to cook dinner, hang out with our families, and put these little people to bed. You can only use Foofy on me once. Then, your drama/passing me card is all played out, my friend.

Let’s all use a little common courtesy…’cause, well, you know.




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