Commentary by Danielle Wilson
As the school year draws to a close, let us re-visit one last parenting skill that some of you still have yet to master even though you’ve had 10 long months of practice. I’m speaking, obviously, of the carpool line. Please take note. My already-fragile sanity can’t withstand any more parking-lot shenanigans.
Recognize that there is a carpool line. Every time, for every event. If you don’t see it immediately upon arrival, that’s because you are the first, and as such, will be despised by everyone else. (Nobody likes a show-off!) Find the pick-up zone, pull through and turn off the engine! Your gas-guzzling Suburban poisons my kid’s air when you idle for 20 minutes. Show-off.
For the normal parent who arrives within a reasonable window of time, simply go to the end of the line. Avoid blocking parked cars, entrances and exits, and oncoming traffic. (I’ve actually seen this happen. Idiot.) Occasionally you’ll be required to execute a U-turn to join in; please do so with competence. If it takes you 43 moves, you waive your spot. It’s a tough break, my friend, but efficiency is of utmost importance in “The Line.”
Pay attention! These things can move like lightening once kids emerge. You need to be ready to pull forward at a moment’s notice. If you’re texting your bestie about brunch and miss your cue, I will honk at you.
Have your doors unlocked and preferably open so as to expedite loading. Instruct your passengers to dive in as soon as you slow down. Speed is important at this juncture; there’s no time for stowing backpacks or stopping. Rock and roll, people!
Don’t start a conversation with another adult out your window! I sat behind someone the other day for two minutes while she yakked it up (and her offspring struggled to get the trunk open [see #4]). My well-trained daughter was standing by at the ready, but Social Butterfly was blocking our exit.
Carpool lines are a necessary evil, but they don’t have to be a nightmare. Just follow the rules! Peace out.