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One Mom’s Rules for After-School Pickup

It has come to my attention that not all parents are on the same page as me when it comes to how to behave during the after-school pickup thing. So I’m laying it all out here for review.

1) When a busy working parent like me actually makes it to the car pickup line with a few minutes to spare, this is not an invitation to get out of your car and come to talk to me. Even if I have the window rolled down. It’s not that I don’t like you. It’s just that this is precious alone time for me. It’s where I can either a) answer the text from my sister I’ve been ignoring all day because work is insane, b) listen to loud music that’s way too inappropriate for my kid’s ears, c) read five paragraphs of an article that I’ve been meaning to read now for three months, d) eat a large amount of dark chocolate Whole Foods truffles without having to share with anyone, or e) close my eyes, relax, and rest my brain for a blissful five minutes before that hideous, loud bell rings. (Seriously, does it have to be that loud?) If you do choose to engage me in conversation, do so at your own risk, and see #2.

2) On the days I pick up my son from school, I’ve typically been working since 7 a.m. from my home office. It’s a hit-the-ground running kind of thing, with me stuck on my laptop and phone from the minute I wake up to the minute I have to leave to pick up said son. This means that I do not put on makeup, so you’re gonna encounter some neon-pink zits on my chin. I do not fix my hair or really even look in the mirror before I leave the house. I will most certainly not be wearing a bra. And I potentially will still be wearing my pajamas. Not yoga pants, people. We’re talking saggy cotton things with holes in them since they were purchased in 2002. So, I’m just saying: Brace yourself for all of that. It’s not a pretty sight. And please for the love of little Baby Jesus, don’t ask me to step out of the car to retrieve my son’s toy car he left at your house. No toy is worth that which will be scarred in your mind forever. And then we can’t be friends anymore. Because, well, floppy nipples.

3) Back to the actual kid retrieval practice. If you know for a fact that your child is as slow-moving as a snail smoking pot, please do not aspire to be the first in the car pickup line. Because, and you may have noticed this, WE CANNOT MOVE until you do. And you don’t move until your snail gets to the car. Please plan accordingly to be one of the last cars in line, even if it means ditching your Type A personality and smoking something of your own prior.

4) If you need to park your vehicle to go into the school or meet your kiddo by their classroom, that’s totally cool. But please be advised that you should also be prepared to wait until the pickup line, which moves right near the back end of your car, has dissipated before you try to leave. Because watching you attempt to back your car out into the middle of all that mess, and coming within centimeters of smashing my left front fender is no fun for anyone, is it?

5) Finally, as you move forward in the pickup line, try to be aware of your surroundings and well, the REASON you’re in the pickup line to begin with. Remember? You’re here to pick up your kid? Put down the iPhone or Samsung Galaxy Whatever, unlock the car doors, and greet your child. Otherwise, we all have to uncomfortably witness he or she standing at your backseat car door, knocking and knocking, waiting for you to give her access so she can get up in that booster seat. Meanwhile, you’re in deep conversation with your child’s therapist (understandably) via mobile device.

That’s it. Just five brief rules. Thank you for your consideration.

What about you? What would you add to the list?

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