There was a time when I was dropping off and picking up three out of four kids at three different schools on three corners of our city totaling almost three hours of drive and wait time each day.
That was my Vietnam.
Often when in the car I was either zombie-like and needing a nap, or I was completely hyper in my head because there was so much more I’d rather be doing.
Add additional driving to sports practices and school events and I got really squirrelly.
You know kids want parents to act invisible in the school parking lot for fear of embarrassment, so I’ve naturally found ways to entertain myself just to spite them.
I work my magic on embarrassing my kids as often as possible. It’s my right. It’s my gift. It’s where I get the will to go on another day.
For instance, I like to keep up appearances when dropping the kids off at school, so I only wear my best bathrobe.
So far there’s no need to torture my youngest in the parking lot. I suppose he’ll know his day is coming after witnessing the best of the worst, but right now he likes me in my bathrobe.
Here are a few fun things I did when driving those crazy hours one school year:
When I pulled up to my then 12-year-old’s middle school, he was always surrounded by his best girl friends and some other random females. Often they would swarm the car if my 15-year-old was inside (because he’s so cute, they say).
So I dubbed them the “gaggle of twats”.
I also like to roll down the window and say, “Hey little boy, would you like some candy?”
When he returned from several days away for Outdoor Education, we swung around the drop-off circle with the Momster van, windows open, blasting and screaming Taylor Swift’s, “WE ARE NEVER EVER EVER…GETTING BACK TOGETHER…”
He said it was by far the best return from Outdoor Education he ever could have had.
One of the best tricks of parenting teens is asking them for a kiss in front of friends. Best yet? Putting them in a headlock to get a kiss. The boys are just lucky that in public I’m usually restrained by a seatbelt and the confines of my driver’s side.
I loved picking up my then 15-year-old at high school so I can blast Mylie Cyrus’ Wrecking Ball while the other teens clap and cheer for my poor kid. I also might call out the window, “MOMMY’S HERE TO PICK YOU UP!” just for best effect.
My oldest was almost always the most embarrassed by my presence at drop-off, and he’d turn the music down before opening the door as if it were blasting or humiliating. He’d jump out and slam the door fast before I could say a word.
So I began rolling the window down to yell out through the parking lot, “DO I EMBARRASS YOU?”
Once he was so over-the-top about it that I drove around the block and back through the lot just to have the last word with a smile. I won that one.
God, I so love messing with my kids; it’s what they were born for me to do.
Don’t you dare pity them though, my kids mess with me as much as I mess with them, but theirs is only temporary until I have enough energy to hide their bodies.
Me: Love you! Don’t wank it too much.
15yo: Love you too! Don’t fondle too many little children.
Isn’t it just like a mama to have to rearrange things at inopportune times? Like licking your thumb to rub something off your 15-year-old’s face right in front of his high school.
The school broke their anti-bullying clause for a day just because of that lick.
I also did a drive-by a time or four over his high school career to yell “I hope your balls drop today! No kissing girls! LOVE YOU!”
But who’s counting?
He obviously kept good humor about most of it though as one time I pulled up and asked, “Hey handsome, do you want a ride?” and he answered, “My pimp says these are my prices.”
My kids really are cool.
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Thank you! They’re super adorable.