We have decided to have both of our kids take the bus to school. Our decision is based on a number of factors including what is best for the kids, what works best in our daily schedule, safety and what is best for the environment. As well thought out as our reasons may be, I am still feeling mommy guilt and recent situations with the bus have only increased my anxieties.
When Josiah started taking the bus to school we had problems with the bus not showing up because he was new to the route and they forgot about him. This winter the bus was extremely late a number of times due to substitute drivers who did not know the route very well. So, we knew there might be some glitches, but were hopeful that things might go well. This was not be.
Elijah started preschool last week and we've been waiting for the bus company to call and tell us when they would begin providing bus service for Elijah. We had not received any calls so I left for work yesterday thinking that Elijah's grandma would drive him to and from school again (I'm stuck in meetings for work most of this week and can't be home as much as usual). So, when the school called at 2:40 and told me that Elijah was stuck on the bus because there was no one home for the bus driver to drop him off, I freaked out a little. Okay, a lot. ("What?! I didn't even know he was on the bus today! Why didn't anyone call?!")
After a frantic phone call I learned that Elijah was already at home at that his grandma had driven him both to and from school. Apparently, the driver was new to the route and did not know the kids by sight and had misunderstood which kid was actually on the bus. Eek! When I told Al about my conversation with his mom, he laughed and said she probably thought I was crazy. ("Mom? Where are you?! Elijah's still on the bus and they said you're not home!...No, not Josiah, Elijah! He's stuck on the bus!")
Later the bus company left a message saying that they would begin Elijah on the bus on Wednesday. I called back that evening to remind them that Elijah needs a safety vest and to make sure I knew as much information as possible about what to expect.
Today I received another phone call, this time from Elijah's grandma. The bus arrived on time, but they did not have a safety vest for Elijah. Thankfully, Grandma said she would not allow Elijah on the bus without a safety vest. Unfortunately, I did not think to leave my car keys at home which meant that she had to transfer the car seat from my car to her own, which is not an easy task. She seemed very flustered and kept mentioning that she does not trust the bus company. This, of course, simply adds to both my anxiety and my sense of guilt. sigh.
I called the school to explain that Elijah would be late and to complain about the bus. They are working to remedy the situation.
On the bright side, Elijah's principal called to tell me how well Elijah is doing in class. She had just visited his class briefly and mentioned that he sat for most of the circle time. She also mentioned that one of the teacher's aide's said that Elijah is "really smart." Yay, Elijah! I really like our school. I just wish the bus company was a little more reliable.