12 April 2011

Kindy Pickup

Yesterday's kindy pickup was completely shambolic.  It had rained quite heavily a few times during the day and the world was very wet.  I sighed as I unclicked Buzz and Woody and led them in through the two (Two?? Two!!) child-proof gates and into Jessie's kindy.  I knew that Woody would be very difficult to detach from the joys and wonders of kindy once we were finished collecting Jessie and all her stuff.

Once we'd collected Jessie, I got busy signing her out and locating her two lost hats while holding her one unlost but dripping wet hat and her sandy shoes apart from the rest of her stuff, all while trying to insert three plastic boxes and one drink bottle into her lunch bag and zipping some newsletters into her backpack.

While I was doing this, another Mum alerted me to the fact that Woody was jumping in ankle-deep puddles and was soaked to the bone from the waist down.  Sigh.  Noted.  Cheers.

Once I'd put Jessie's backpack on her back and her lunch bag in her hand and urged her and Buzz to walk towards the first of the two child-proof gates, I grabbed Woody and held his squirming body as tightly as I could without getting too wet myself.  He threw a massive tantrum, and slipped out of my grasp.

An Unhelpful Dad tried to come to my aid.  He held the second of the two gates open for us, and to make him feel like he was helping, I opened the first gate and asked Buzz to hold it open for us.  I scooped screaming Woody up again and got through both gates, along with Jessie and all her stuff.

By this stage, Buzz was unsure if the Unhelpful Dad was COMING or GOING, so he continued to hold the first gate open for him in case the man was COMING.  The man, who was in fact GOING, only much slower than he'd planned, tried to ask Buzz to shut the first gate and walk through the second gate so the Unhelpful Dad could shut the second gate and actually GO.  Unfortunately, being both Unhelpful and a Man, the Unhelpful Dad didn't exactly use the medium of oral language to communicate this, instead grabbing poor Buzz's shirt and pulling him through the gates.

By this stage, Woody had wriggled from my grasp and had slipped back inside.

Once again he was in the ankle-deep puddle, only this time he was in Tantrum Position.  I tried to get him from Tantrum Position to Standing Position by pulling one arm upwards.  I don't like pulling or picking up kids by one or even both arms because I don't think their little shoulder joints or muscles can properly support their weight, however the Unhelpful Dad had no such qualms.  He grabbed Woody's other arm and lifted him high over the puddles.  Woody dangled like that for a few metres until I decided I could do without the Unhelpful Dad's unique style of 'help' and swooped forward to grab Woody like a barrel under my free arm.  The Unhelpful Dad let go of poor Woody's arm.

Once we reached the car, I stripped Woody down to his nappy which smelled too bad to be removed meaning stinky wetness seeped into his carseat on the trip home, lost one of his brand new socks on its first wearing, and started clicking three wet and muddy children into their carseats.

During this whole fiasco, the Unhelpful Dad (who didn't know my name) had called me "Mum."  He referred to me as "Mum" to my kids, he called me "Mum" to my face, and by the end I had one extremely confused four year old.

"Is that man your ...?" she struggled for the right relationship word, then tried a different approach.  "Are you that man's MUM?" she asked, amazed.

I knew he was listening, so I mumbled something about how the man knew I was Buzz, Jessie and Woody's Mum, so that's what he called me.

I wonder what would have happened if I'd answered, "No, I am that man's casualty."

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Over to you: Please detail your opinion on the law that precludes me from leaving Buzz and Woody safely in their carseats while I do a three-minute dash into the immediately-adjacent kindy to grab Jessie and her stuff, unencumbered.

18 comments:

Crazy Sister said...

I believe parents should be allowed to leave children safely secured in a suitably temperatured car for 10 minutes or less.

Keys should be removed from the car, which should be locked so that no one car-jacks your kids.

10 minutes. That's all you need.

(Although I used to obsess that I could be randomly shot while away from the car, and no one would know to release my kids... but sometimes you've gotta take the risk.)

Emily Sue said...

You have my complete sympathy, but my thought on the law is... here's what COULD happen:

You might, one day, leave children in the car, go in to get Jessie and somehow slip and knock yourself unconscious. Jessie will scream, the kindy staff will helpfully look after you and call an ambulance, which will arrive in 20 minutes. You'll be too dazed to remember or tell anyone you have left the other two kids in the car, and they'll whisk you off to hospital in your concussed state and NO ONE will realise you have two children left alone in the car for what was meant to be two minutes.

I know I'm going to an extreme scenario here, but it or something similar could happen. That would make me more inclined to follow the law than following it for the sake of not being a law-breaker...

Givinya De Elba said...

Well, I love your thinking, but everyone at kindy knows my car and my children, the car is close enough to the kindy for there to be no confusion and Buzz who is six would simply unclick himself and his brother and they'd come in search of me, but of course there is the slight possibility that they could also be unconscious and unable to release themselves, and there is also the slight possibility that the kindy staff could suffer concurrent strokes and therefore be unable to remember about my car or my boys, so your point is of course entirely valid, which is the entire basis on which I inconvenience myself constantly in the manner described in the post above by taking the boys in for the kindy pickup.

So in short, you are correct and that is why I love days like yesterday.

Caitlin said...

Oh, to go back to the 70's and even the 80's. I would also be in favour of breastfeeding while driving, (I mean as a passenger, I wouldn't go so far as breastfeed and try to control the vehicle), getting out of your seatbelt to reach back and get dummies, bottles, toys, etc to stop children screaming. I can remember my Mum setting up a portacot in the back of our Nissan Urvan during a road trip, I'd be totally for that too. Except it would mean we would need to buy an enormous van, and there's no way my hubby with his aversion to vans would do that. But anyway, yes, I reckon a bit of flexibility for parents some days would be nice. Your kindy run sounds awful. Totally understand, my one year old loves the kindy toilets when we go there. Damn toilets with no doors.

Hippomanic Jen said...

Yeah, the "what-ifs" would make me do precisely as you do, whilst wanting to send the author of the particular legislation to a hell made up of precisely the type of scenario you described.

Givinya De Elba said...

Yeah, you're right like Emily Sue - the what-ifs are so unlikely but still ... just still ...

Emily Sue was quite restrained in her scenario though, my own what-if scenarios often end in orphaned and untended children starving away. Crazy stuff, but what if.

Emily Sue said...

Have you ever read "Homecoming" by Cynthia Voigt? Excellent young adult book written a number of years ago. Anyway, the basic premise is that a single mum is moving all her kids interstate (in America) to stay with her aunt. She stops at a mall and tells the kids she's going in to buy something. She never comes back so, after staying in the car all night, the kids decide to walk to their destination. Takes them about two months, in the end. I'm not describing it well; it's a great book. But this is what pops into my head every time people talk about leaving kids in the car...

tinsenpup said...

I'm more concerned with the ridiculous laws making it undesirable to stab unhelpful dad with the pointy end of an umbrella the next time he lays so much as a finger on one of my children. :(

Anonymous said...

As long as the boys dont decide to knock the car out of gear I think you will be good :) I leave my darling in her seat while I pay for fuel and grab a drink :)

Dawn said...

Wow--that would make me want to find another mom to pick up the kids for me! What a crazy adventure....

veiledturnip said...

Maybe the car law isn't the problem. It's the Kindy. Why not have a drive through pick up system. You drive to the door, an iris scanner scans your eye and then a friendly robot collects the child/ren assoc to scanned eye plus all their luggage, lost clothes, artwork etc. (which have all been barcoded) and brings them to your arms as you stand outside your car with doors open ready to load it all in! The whole process takes a minute or two and there are a few stations so no-one has to wait too long.
Solved!

my3lovelies said...

Ah the joys of kindy pick ups! What fun indeed. What I did at times was to organise with another mum or dad that they stayed outside with the cars and you went inside to collect yours and their child and then swap over other days. Works quite well and might be an idea??

Jodie said...

I am completely in favour of the drive-through approach. I know of schools that do this. You drive through, flash your ID card at the first check point, which gives the teachers time to grab your child from the line and place them in position at the next check-point (complete with shoes, plastic containers, hats and sundry craft), ready for when you pull over and pop them in the car. While all the while your other children remain securely, and safely, fastened in their seats. Wouldn't that be perfect?

Givinya De Elba said...

That would be perfect! All my efforts to take children in for pick-ups and dropoffs are as unfounded in reality as the nearly-impossible nightmare scenarios that cause me to attempt it, 14 times a week.

Anonymous said...

Blimey I'm glad I'm not a young mum now.
I think your Kindy need to sort something out.
Otherwise whether he likes it or not....Woody in a buggy ( bribe him)...even if he screams blue murder. and Buzz is old enough to hang on to the buggy...................
Well it sounds all right in theory.... bring back the days when the car park was safe and you could leave the kids in the car (especially if one was half asleep. sighhhh so caleed 'Health and Safety' has a lot to answer for (or whoever it is)

Givinya De Elba said...

It is actually safe, the car park. What I didn't mention in my post was that the kindy is up the back behind the school - seriously nothing could go wrong. I don't know why I torture myself. I like the idea of the buggy/stroller/pram, but did I mention the two childproof gates? Two. And lack of maneuvering space up the ramp and on the verandah. Sigh.

Swift Jan said...

Ok So apparently I am a really bad mum.
You would remember how Jac St kindy was.. I would drive down to the area behind the hall next to the fence, although not that close to the fence that I was "parked along the fenceline". I would often dash in and leave small mischievious critter strapped in her carseat. I was gone a mere 3 minutes. She was safe.
But someone will likely want to arrest me or shoot me down with lots of bad mother statements now.
I simply DO NOT have the patience to do as you did yesterday in the wet.
I also leave mine in the car while I pay for gas!!!! Shock horror!!!
I wish I could do the same with prep drop off and pick up. Unfortunately it is not possible.

B said...

There is a need for kind old ladies who could be available to help here. On the way to school, pick up one old lady, she sits in the car while you drop kids at school (or buy fuel or buy one bottle of garlic etc), she could be lovely and sweet singing songs and teaching algebra. Then you simply drop her home again (where she is more than free to give you 35 freshly cooked biscuits or similar). No tantrums, no seat belts, adult supervision.... Sounds dreamy doesn't it?

NOTE - NOT an old MAN - they would get out of the car, pop the hood and release the oil valve resulting in needing to call the RACQ and then you will have to be towed home and be without a vehicle... etc etc etc...