The Parking Letter

After spending the year dealing with multiple school parking lots, I have a few things that I have left unsaid all year.

Dear Preschool Parents,
The rules for drop off here are simple.  Park in a parking space and walk your child in to class to sign them in.  If you have other children with you in the car, they have to come along too.  I know it is a pain, but it does create some order and a measure of safety.

Don’t park in a place that is not a parking space.  It really doesn’t save you any more than a few seconds to walk past 3 or 4 parking spaces and it really annoys everyone else when you act like you are a special snowflake who doesn’t have to follow the same rules everyone else does.  Go ahead, time yourself. 

Don’t leave your kids in the car.  It really isn’t any safer than leaving them sitting in the middle of a parking lot outside of a car.

Do always have your children in appropriate safety seats.  This one drives me even more crazy than the parents who think they don’t have to park in a space with the rest of us.  I know you probably live close and think it is not that big a deal to make a quick trip to the preschool without a car seat or booster.  But it is.  Since this is a preschool there is not a child here (or younger sibling for that matter) who should not be in some form of car seat.  The legal minimum weight in our state is 50 pounds, but there are seats that keep kids safer at much higher weights than that.  For more information on keeping your kids safe visit


Dear Grade School Parents,
There are only a couple things I would add to the above.  First, when you are dropping off in the morning and using the drop off lane, this is not the time to go through your child’s backpack. Sure, we have all gotten to school and realized that there is some leftover business to deal with.  But if there is go and park and take care of it, don’t hold up the entire line of cars.  Second, at pick up, if someone is not directing traffic, be nice and let people in.  Where two lanes come together try to go every other car.  That lets everyone out faster.


Dear High School Parents,
The only thing I would add to the above two letters is: Please don’t double park on the pick up lane.  I know you just saw your kid, but she’s still deep in conversation with her friend and mine is all loaded up and I was about to leave.  But now you have blocked me in until your child figures out you are there.


And to all of the other parents in cars at schools,
I know we all annoy each other at times.  I mess up on these things too.  But if we all remember that we are trying to be considerate and keep things moving smoothly then even unexpected delays will not be as frequent or annoying.

What Bird?

Yesterday as I was sitting at the computer doing bills and balancing the checkbook I heard a commotion in the bathroom.  Max was at school and Lily and Molly were asleep, so it could only be the cat, Oscar. It wouldn’t be that unusual for him to knock something over trying to get a drink in the sink, but the noise continued.  Several things had been knocked over by the time I went to investigate.

When I went into the bathroom, I saw a small bird on the floor and the cat, who had apparently been trying to get the bird out of hiding, about to pounce.  In this rare moment of quiet in the house, I really didn’t have time to chase down a bird. I needed to get some work done.  So I grabbed the cat and closed the bird safely in the bathroom.  And promptly forgot about it.

Later in the day, when the kids and Jay were all home, Ben went to use the bathroom and was surprised to find the bird, calmly sitting on the floor.  Jay came to the rescue and carefully moved the bird to a safe spot outside, and our little wildlife excitement was over.

But today brought a funny little sample of how our family communicates, sometimes poorly, but we always seem to know what we mean.  While Paisley was preening in the bathroom she came upon a little something left by the bird… poop.  She puzzled over how or why or even if it was in fact bird poop on the bathroom counter, because she had not been around during the excitement of the previous day, and finally asked Ben, “Why is there bird poop in the bathroom?” To which he replied, “The bird pooped in the bathroom?”

We don’t have a bird, so this response didn’t make much sense to Paisley.  So she asked Jay, “Why is there bird poop in the bathroom?” And he said…

Wait for it…

“The bird pooped in the bathroom?”

“WHAT BIRD?” Paisley wanted to know.  So we let her in on the whole situation, which really wasn’t a big deal.  But we all had a good laugh over the somewhat nonsensical answer that two family members gave her when she was trying to find out what happened.