So, Noah rode the bus for the first time on Tuesday. Those who know me well know how hard this must have been. For me. It has taken me the entire school year to get enough courage to send him on the bus, and honestly I planned on him never taking it until maybe next school year.
But, our van has been giving us troubles and the average temp lately is -1 degrees. I just can't be driving right now. And lugging three little ones out in this cold can take its toll. So, the bus it is.
I met with the school on Monday and we planned it all out. Spoke with his teachers and the school secretary. Even talked with the bus driver on the phone and everything. He is picked up and dropped off in front of our house.
My stomach was a ball of nerves the minutes before he was to leave for the first time. He was excited. I held back tears. I videotaped him getting on and riding away and down the street.
Surprisingly I did not call the school to be sure he made it ok. I stepped out in faith... plus they told me they would call me if he didn't make it anyway, so I knew all was well.
When he was dropped off- different story. He wasn't happy. His friends had been let off the next street over and he thought the bus driver forgot about him and left him. After a few tears and hugs, all seemed ok. But he was not going to ride the bus again tomorrow, he told us.
Daddy talked to him and we assured him that when his friends get off at the street before our house, he can remember that he'll be dropped off next. Before bed he scrunched up his little nose and said "Mommy, tomorrow I will ride the bus and won't cry."
The next day he is eager to ride again to school and all goes smoothly. I could get used to this- staying in the house all day!
Then comes time for the bus to drop him off. I hurry to slip on my shoes and coat and by the time I get to the door the bus drives by. THE BUS DRIVES BY. And keeps going. And Noah has not been dropped off. I run out to try to chase it, but it has gone.
I think my heart stopped. Uh oh. What to do?! I immediately start praying and grab the phone and the bus barn's number that I had on the fridge. They took the information and I guess would call the driver. Then I called hubby and he drove to the school. He had the principal call someone, too.
I should have been out there in time, and could have waved at the bus and reminded her that she has a new kid to drop off. It was only the 2nd day. I can understand how easy it would be to forget. But, after how upset he was yesterday... for sure he'd never want to ride the bus again.
It seemed like forever, but was really about 10 minutes and I see the bus coming back around. I run outside and the bus driver is shaking her head, so sorry, and she yells back to Noah- you're home! She apologizes and explains how she just wasn't used to the extra stop.
I am mostly concerned about Noah and can't tell from his face how he is. No tears- he actually had a bit of a spring in his step. That was fun, he says.
That was fun!? For some reason he thought it was funny that the driver passed his house and forgot him! The same child that yesterday came off the bus crying because he thought he had been forgotten, but really he was dropped off as he should. And when the bus driver really does forget about him, he thinks it's funny! Am I missing something!?
Well, I still feel bad for not being out there in time, and can understand it happening since it was only the 2nd time riding the bus. If it had happened two weeks or a couple months after riding the bus or if the bus driver had been cranky about it, or if Noah had been traumatized, I'd probably be more upset. Hubby is quite unhappy about the whole situation and plans to talk to someone in charge. Apparently this happens more than parents are aware of.
I don't really know what we should do next. In the meantime, Noah has been laughing about it since. How fun it was that the bus driver forgot to drop him off! And he can't wait to ride the bus tomorrow!
I think my heart just started beating again...