Thursday, January 13, 2005

For once, I didn't follow the rules!

Lillianna's school is on a college campus. As I pull onto the street where the school is located, I first pass the commuter parking lot for the college students. The next entrance leads to the semi-circle drop off/pick up spot for the elementary students. In the morning, I drive into the semi-circle and wait in line until I reach the walk way. While I am in line,Lillianna unbuckles her seat belt but remains in her seat. I unlock the doors as I reach the walk way. Lillianna leans over to kiss me and out the door she goes. Once I get to the walk way this takes about 3 seconds.

Picking her up is a different situation for me and for some of the other mothers. The semi-circle in the afternoon is a congested mess of crazed parents trying to flag down their children while remaining in their car. The children scan the mass of cars and try to spot their parent. Meanwhile, cars are no longer in a single file around the semi-circle like they are in the morning. Some cars are double or triple parked. Children are forced to dart in between the cars to find their own car.

I have never attempted to pick Lillianna up in this way. I park in the commuter lot,walk across the cross walk that leads to the school and then wait at the end of the school entrance walk way. Lillianna waves to me the moment she sees me. If for some reason I am running late and she doesn't see me, she goes straight to one of the two other moms I wait with. If one of those moms are late and I am there first, their child comes and waits with me. We never leave until their mom is there. Sometimes it is a matter of being one minute late and our children know they are safe with these moms. The three of us live in the same apartment complex and we help each other out.

This past Monday we got a note home from school from the principal. Since the college students will be back from break next week, we are no longer able to park in the commuter lot and walk across to get our child. We must drive up in the semi-circle. I was outraged! She thinks I am going to be a part of that chaotic car catastrophe every day? Never gonna happen. When I read the note to Lillianna she said, "I'm not comfortable with that Mom. I can't recognize your car from the side. I only know it because of it's license plate from the front. How will I ever find you?" I told her that wouldn't be a problem since I was never going to do it!

I sent a note to the principal today explaining why I wouldn't agree to her request and I said since the safety of the children is always her number one priority, I was sure she would understand why I would continue to park in the commuter lot and walk to get my child. How would I feel if I just went along with her order and Lillianna got hit by a car trying to weave through the other cars to get to me? I can't have that! Lillianna's safety is my responsibility. I take that seriously.

This morning at drop off, the teacher on duty, waved for me to pull up beyond the walk way, all the way to the end of the circle. That would mean that 3 cars would be behind me and that 3rd car would be at the walk way. Lillianna would have had to get of the car and walk on the street,past 3 other cars who were letting their kids out before she got to the walk way. I pulled up a smidge and let her out. She was still right near the walk way. I didn't check to see if I got a dirty look from the teacher because I don't care. I'm the mom! Generally I am a rule follower but not when it compromises my child's safety.

What would you have done in this situation?

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