Schooling The Kids On How Buses Work

, , , , | Related | May 25, 2020

I’m a school bus driver in the mornings, so I have to get to work early, around 5:30 — too early for public transportation where I live, and walking or biking the ten miles to the bus barn on state highways with no shoulder isn’t happening, either. I drive to work. 

When I’m at work, my husband usually walks our kids the half-mile to school — bus service is only provided for a mile or more for physically able students, and I drive for a different district so they can’t tag along with me — but will drive them if it’s really rainy or they’re running late. But when one of our cars is out of commission, that’s no longer an option until it’s fixed. My eight-year-old complains.

Eight-Year-Old: “Is it going to rain again tomorrow?”

Me: “It’s supposed to, so probably.”

Eight-Year-Old: “We have to walk in the rain again?”

Me: “Yes, so wear a coat and bring your umbrella. But I’ll pick you up after school in the car.”

Eight-Year-Old: “I want to drive to school, too. Why can’t you take the bus to work like Dad?”

Me: “Because I drive the bus.”

Finding Pawsitivity

, , , , , | Related | May 24, 2020

My mom has two dogs who are both spoiled absolutely rotten and too smart for their own good sometimes. They both particularly love Frosty Paws, a dog ice cream which seems to alternate between being very easy to find at local supermarkets and notoriously exclusive to certain big box stores, instead.

Usually, my mother is willing to try different shops to find the elusive treats, but with the current outbreak and family health concerns, it’s been near impossible. We can’t even mention the name in front of the dogs unless we want to deal with several minutes of dramatic doggie whining and begging.

Being a grocer and thus essential, it becomes my mission to find said ice cream. I am lucky enough to discover one box at a store near my work. The delivery, however, goes down like a covert operation as I place the treats in a lunch box so the dogs don’t see the packaging.

Stepdad: “What are you doing here?”

I hold up the lunch box while trying to keep it as far as possible from the dogs, who are very excited to see me.

Me: “I got them.”

Sister: “Them?”

I look between the dogs and the bag.

Me: “THEM.”

Stepdad: *Lightbulb moment* “You got FPs?”

Me: “It took three stores, but I got one box.”

Stepdad: “Oh, you are a f****** hero.”

We make our way into the kitchen where my mother joins in asking why I’ve shown up. The dogs, meanwhile, have mostly calmed down but are circling.

Stepdad: “She found FPs.”

Mom: “Seriously?! Oh, we’re gonna have happy puppies.”

She takes the lunchbox and attempts to stealthily unload the contents into the freezer as it took me some time to get to the house and they must refreeze.

Sister: “Wait, did you get the PB flavor?”

Me: “Beggars can’t be choosers, but yeah.”

Sister: “Oh, very happy puppies.”

Of course, then the dogs started losing their minds all over again because they caught sight of what Mom was unloading, and they proceeded to park their butts in front of the freezer and start up their Frosty Paws crying.

Happy ending: they were over the moon when they finally received their icy treats.

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A Chip Off The Old Potato

, , , , , , , | Related | May 23, 2020

My four-year-old grandson is lying on the couch, popcorn at hand, eyes glued to his favorite Disney movie.

I walk in, see him, and say, “You’re the original couch potato.”

He replies, “Nuh-uh.”

“You’re not the original couch potato?”

“No.”

“Then who is?”

He points to his grandfather on the other couch and says, “Papa is.”

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Mary, Mary, Contrary AF

, , , , , | Related | May 22, 2020

A few years ago, my mother, younger brother, and I lived with my great-grandmother while we were between houses. We would sit with her in the living room and read or watch television so that she wasn’t lonely. Her son who had lived with her had died, and she needed someone to “take care of.” We would cook her meals and clean the house.

Her daughter, Mary, lived next door. This woman was the passive-aggressive mother from sitcoms. She would come over and make snippy comments about lint on the floor or crumbs on the tablecloths.

One day, she started cursing me out because the blanket on the back of the couch was crooked. She would vacuum and sweep every time she came over and loudly boast about all the polishing, waxing, laundry, and mopping she had done at her house that day.

My brother and I are half-siblings — same mother, different fathers — so she would tell stories about meeting someone at church like, “She’s one of those kinds of women, you know? Where her kids have different last names than her.”

Once, her three-year-old grandson called me the N-word, only to be shushed by his father, and she would complain about “Messicans” that lived up the road. I put up with it because I loved my Granny and knew that she wasn’t going to be around much longer, as she was in her mid-nineties at the time.

My grandfather, one of Granny’s sons and Mary’s brother, handled her money. He left on a trip and went grocery shopping before he left. Four or five days after he left, Mary came over at nine in the morning and started b****ing and banging things around. “This table looks like there’s been a kindergarten class here!” Then, she opened the fridge. “You don’t have no milk at all? [My Grandfather] had a hunnerd dollars of grocery money but he didn’t get you no d*** groceries!”

Remember: my grandfather had gone shopping almost a week before this, and, with four people in the house, the jug was understandably near-empty.

Fed up, I stormed into the kitchen. “It’s. Just. Milk. You don’t have to scream at the top of your lungs! I’m done putting up with you!” I left the room with her telling me, “Your a** can go to h***!”

My mother called my grandfather and basically told him that his sister had lost her d*** mind and that he needed to come home. While we were packing, she found Mary in the kitchen and told her that we were taking care of her mother, when she lived thirty steps away, and that she had no right to insult me the way she had for the past year.

Mary started banging a broom handle on the kitchen table, beginning to brag about times she had bought Granny apple juice or chicken dinners, “at my expense! at my expense!” in an effort to change the subject.

Mary, if you or anyone in your family ever reads this, f*** you. F*** your racist, homophobic, xenophobic, bigoted child and grandchildren. I am so much more than any of you will ever be.

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Passing The Dog’s Kiss Test

, , , , | Friendly | May 21, 2020

My great-grandparents lived in a rural area and my great-grandfather worked mostly night shifts in the port, so they had a large guard dog to protect home and family. When the dog heard a disturbance at night, he would lay his massive head on the bed to alert my great-grandmother. She would listen and if it was her husband, she would indicate that all was okay.

During the day, however, the dog would put his paws on the shoulders of whoever tried to enter the home, and people were only allowed in if my great-grandmother kissed them.

My great-grandmother helped start up the local chapter of the equivalent to the WI or farmers’ wives or something similar. That meant she had to deal a whole lot with the local pastor… who also had to get his kiss each time he visited.

The story doesn’t tell whether he liked it.

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