car line

My kids only go to school three days a week, but that means that three days a week I endure the dreaded car line.

boys playing

5 years ago when I received the 2 pages of instructions on how to negotiate the dreaded car line, I studied them faithfully until they were committed to memory.   The first few weeks were nerve-wracking…

Did I hold up the sign at the right time?

Am I pulling up to the proper cone?

Are those my children?

Time and experience has taught me not to FEAR the car line, but to minimize my exposure to it.   For example, if you show up early, you will need to be at least 12 minutes early to get a good position and then you have to wait…well, 12 minutes.

Or let’s pretend you decide to be on time.   Guess what?   100 other cars are on time too.   You will end up waiting…well, 8 minutes.

The way to prevent the automatic minimum of a 8 minute wait is to be “delayed”.   Not really late…just 6 minutes later.

6 minute delay is golden.   The line has cleared to the point where everyone in front of you has already waited 8 minutes.   And you can drive straight up to the proper cone where your waiting children stand.

Your waiting children who are MAD that you are nearly last in line.


Have they no respect for a system that took years to perfect?

Mom, WHY can’t you be first?

Because I don’t want to be first. I planned this carefully.   I was exactly where I wanted to be.

Mom, I bet you CAN’T be first!

Nice try on the reverse psychology.   I COULD be first, but I choose not to be.

I think you should PAY us every time you are late.

I don’t charge you for the trip.

You really should pay us $20 each every time you are late.

Let’s just get this straight.   I am not LATE.   I am later.   You have always been picked up.   In fact, you have never been the LAST ones picked up.   You should treat me nicer or find another mom that would pick you up closer to the front of the line!

OK, I will be nicer.   Although Lukas’ mom is usually first in line maybe I will ask her...



  1. they sent you PLANS???

    I love my smallsh town.. I love my smallish town oxoxoxo 😉

    our whole pickup MIGHT take 15 minutes… even so, we still have parents parked to be FIRST in line 30 minutes before school gets out.

  2. I get in line early because I know the little kids will be strapped in and I can sit and read a book or play Angry Birds with no interruptions. But maybe that is weird. What I do not understand is the people who get in the pickup line at our school, but then park their car and get out and wait for their kid. If they are going to get out why don’t they just park their car in the lot next to the school? Instead a bunch of us who are in our cars wait for them to get back to their car and move since the five cars in front of them left a long time ago. Dumb.

  3. “Are those my children?”

    That question alone is why my parents made us take the bus.

  4. LOL! I LOVE your blog! You always give me a laugh. Your boys are SO cute by the way! 🙂 And your animated drawings are the BEST!


  5. Hehe I tried that ONCE. Now I park a block away and walk. My children complain about walking a block. Every. Day.

  6. I make my Midget go to school early and wait half an hour for me after school so I don’t have to wait in the car line, otherwise it’s a good half hour wait. That way I drive in either before or after everyone else gets there and I don’t have to wait at all.

  7. Amanda Starr says:

    I’d say you’re super lucky if at the most it’s 12 mins If I don’t want to sit waiting with the car running for 45 mins inching my way through the line, which drives me insane, than I have to be there an hour (yep from 2:20-3:20) so I can be first, get the kid and be home by 3:25 instead of 4pm. So yeah I’m the crazy lady you see sitting there sewing, needle felting, reading etc. haha.

  8. Only three days a week?!? That is GOLDEN!
    How awesome that you have something down to perfection yet it is not recognized as such by everyone else?!? hehehe….
    Thanks for the twitter follow – I love new blogs to read 🙂

  9. I love your kids. They are so witty and funny.:-) I had a laugh where your son tried reverse psychology on you. It really is funny. I bet they really want you to be the first in line.:-)

  10. We have about 5 parents at Ryan’s school who line up at 11:00. School gets out at 2:00. The principal walked out there once and asked them to park their cars, come in and volunteer since they’re in dire need of help, but they all declined. One has a “bad back.” Now I’m not a doctor, but it’s probably from sitting on her butt in a minivan for three hours every day…

  11. As a teacher who has been in charge of car rider duty, this post made me laugh! There are always parents/guardians who will start the line 45 minutes before school gets out and then there are those, like you, that have figured out the perfect timing to eliminate waiting! Let your kiddos know that, at least at my school, your ride isn’t late until we take you to the office to wait for them. 😉

  12. Love, love, love the parent that parks a block and a half away and makes her kids walk to the car. I don’t understand why so few kids (esp older ones) walk anymore. At age 5 and up, I navigated my way two miles to school in San Francisco. I crossed busy streets, walked up steep hills, and oddly enough, I’m still alive. My older son, 11, now bikes to junior high, 2 miles away (there’s a wide bike path the whole way). He is the only one of his friends in the neighborhood whose parent doesn’t drive him back and forth every single day. Seriously, why? Free range parent, all the way.

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