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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Uh-oh, I think that sign is meant for me

Before I tell you about THE SIGN at Bear's preschool, let me tell you about the set-up.

In front of Bear's preschool, there are 3 parking spots, separated from the door by a narrow sidewalk. The door and actually the whole front of the school is made of glass. It's one of the few places that I can trust Bear to get out of the truck and go in, without having to keep a death grip on his hand. I follow behind, walk in the door about 3 feet, sign my name beside his on the class list, then turn around and leave. Bear is off and playing happily with his teacher very quickly. The whole process from getting him out of the car until the time that I get back in less than 30 seconds, probably even under 20 seconds.

So, what's with the sign? Why do I think it's for me?

Well, when I drop him off, I still have Monkey and Cub out in the truck. Monkey's preschool starts a half hour later than Bear's and of course Cub is always with me.

(Prepare to suck in your breath in horror)

I don't get them out of their car seats and bring them in with me to do drop off.

My 20 second drop off would turn into a 10 minute ordeal, unbuckling everyone, keeping them with me while I signed their brother in, and then getting them buckled back in.

I did mention that the entire front of the school is made of glass, right? And that I park directly in front of the school, the front bumper of the truck being less than 3 feet from the door and then I walk in 3 feet into the school. At all times, I can see them, even though it means that I do this odd walking/standing sideways thing.

At pick-up time, Monkey is still at his preschool and Cub is usually taking his morning nap in his car seat. Bear's darling teacher does not turn the sign to "Go"(indicating that parents may pick up their kids) until she has all the kids in their jackets with packed bookbags on their backs. She stands at the door with the kids and lets the kids out as she sees the parent get out of the car.

I don't see anything wrong with what I do. I know that bad things can happen in just an instant, but my kids are never out of my sight. There isn't even an issue with what happens if there is a line to drop-off/pick-up because it's a very small class and I can see if there is anyone else in there doing sign-ins and can wait until they are done.

So, on to the sign today(finally, my point, right?). There was a sign on the door of the preschool that talked about not leaving your car running or the keys in the ignition...but then, the last little bit of it said, in big, bold letters: NO CHILD SHOULD BE LEFT UNATTENDED IN VEHICLES.

I guess I look at it as they aren't unattended, since I can see them. It's not like I left them in the car and then went into the grocery store for a minute.

One of my friends who has just one child is completely appalled that I would leave my kids in the car during this preschool drop-off/pick-up scenario. But, I think that she just doesn't get it. Same with the sign. It's probably intended for me, but I doubt that I'll start dragging the other two boys in with me for drop-off or that I will wake up Cub to handle pick-up.

Any moms out there with multiple small kiddos who agrees? Tell me what you think.


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