Thursday, August 28, 2008

Stupid Parking Lot Etiquette

Yesterday I had one of those experiences that sends you over the deep end! It's funny how when all the little circumstances combine in just the right way, one insignificant incident can turn into a complete breakdown, and for no good reason. That was my yesterday!
My kids' school is a "commuter" school - most of us are not within walking distance, so there are LOTS of moms and minivans and SUV's everywhere at the end of the day. To help ease the traffic, we can pick kids up in two different lots. We have always gone to Lot A because that is where the kindergartners need to be picked up. Well, this year, we don't have anyone in Kindergarten (yes, I'm still sad about that one, too). The second Lot (known as Lot B) is closer to where Thing 1 and Thing 2 go to class, so I decided that this year I would pick up the kids in Lot B! What I didn't know is that there is a book written about etiquette and procedure for those using Lot B - I don't know why they didn't offer that for sale at registration - I definitely would have picked up a copy!

Apparently, everyday for the past week, I have been making all the moms going to Lot B pretty mad - I'm not doing it right. I am basically "butting" in line, I just had no idea that I was doing that. I have to admit, I'd be pretty mad at me, too! Yesterday, just like the other days, I pulled into the lot where I could sit and wait for the kids to come out. It had been a rough day, The King just isn't sleeping well and he was now fast asleep, having been lulled by the car ride. I was so excited to just hurry home and sneak in a nap (as The Boy had also passed out). As I am waiting I notice a mom approach my window. I open the window and she explains how the line works in Lot B and that I have been cutting in line. I am sad to admit, but it probably was pretty obvious what I was supposed to do, but the 3-4 hours of sleep I am getting a day do not seem to help me to embrace the obvious. And although this mom was being quite diplomatic with me, she did have a loud voice and sure enough, The King was awakened. He started crying, the girls were still not out and the mom went back to her car (which was parked quite a ways away from ours - she must have been motivated - boy howdy!). So, in that moment of extreme exhaustion, frustration from just finding out that I have been making a lot of moms mad, and the realization that I was probably not going to get a nap after school - I BROKE DOWN!

It's hard to hide from the kids, but I think I did. Usually we get a brief rundown of the day when the kids get in the car. This time, however, I just said a quick "Hey there" and tried to hide up front while I cried all the way home. Through the tears, I just kept mulling over a few different thoughts all the way home, "Why am I breaking down over this?" "Why do I feel mad at the mom who actually saved me from making a lot of enemies this year?" "I am never going to try to pick up kids in this lot AGAIN, EVER!!!!" "I'm so tired!"

Now that I am a few hours removed from the situtation, I kind of have to laugh at myself. I am VERY grateful for the mom getting out of her car to point things out to me. Once I got home I realized that last year they put a lot of information about how to pick up in Lot B in the newsletters, but I didn't pay any attention since I was in the other lot. Hmmmm - might be good information to repeat each year - maybe I can pass that on to the principal. So, to that mom that talked to me, I am thankful and not one bit mad. Maybe people saw me at Back to School night last night carting around my giant baby and they will have a little compassion on me and there won't be any permanant damage.

One can only hope!


Tia Langston said...

I totally hear ya. The worst is when I break down because things have been piling up and then some sweet person comes and puts their arms around me to ask how I'm doing....that's usually when I break. And I'm sure that person was just being nice and not really wanting me to cry (and snot)all over their nice clothes. Hang in there...and we're free today or tomorrow for a playdate.

Tia Langston said...

Oh yeah....did you really stop in the middle of your break down to take a pic?!?!

Julie W said...

Absolutely hilarious. At least some one told you how dense you were before the entire school disliked you and your girls... so silly!