So I go and pick up our boys from school today and my youngest (11 year old) gets in the car and says in a cheerful voice, "hey Dad, I nearly got run over by a car!"
That's not something you like to hear as a parent when you're hovering in a school pick-up zone so the first thing I said was, "what did YOU do! Why were you crossing the road anyway?"
Then my eldest son (coming to his brother's defence) explained that Luke did the right thing by looking both ways and utilising the pedestrian crossing (to get to the pickup spot) only to be caught cold in the middle as a vehicle parked adjacent decided to move off and drop a fast (and unexpectedly illegal) U-turn to beat a school bus coming out of the ring road.
Luke, who was probably "thumb-in-bum", crossing the road was quickly alerted to the turning maniac and promptly ran for his life! Luckily he has his father's genes (those fast twitch fibres come in handy sometimes) so Luke made it to safety much to the obvious relief of his brother… and himself.
I asked the boys what the driver of the car looked like and they said he was young with his own kids in the car… Hmmm I thought… Bloody millennial.
I said (alarmed and angry), "well, did he even see you! Luke said, "yes Dad he saw me alright because he gave me the finger and drove off laughing."
Oh if only I would have witnessed this event for myself – one can only fantasise what I could do (picture me Swartzenegger style holding him up off the ground by the neck with one hand).
But, unfortunately, I've seen this too often. Parents (mostly the young ones) driving dangerously around school pick-up zones in a frustrated three o'clock rush stupor as they battle their pathetically time poor lives.
A few years ago a woman (in an expensive SUV with her child) actually ran over a guide post and then over the gutter in order to get in front of me whilst we were coming out of a school car park – she literally broke the law and endangered lives just to get ONE car ahead!
Every day at school pickup I see something that leaves my head shaking – it's a wonder it hasn't fallen off or my neck arthritic.
What's interesting is how times have changed, I mean, my mother never had to drop or pick me up from school. Right from kindy up I walked or rode my bike but these days due to a combination of things such as the degradation of our society, fewer schools per population so people have to travel further, and a sheer mistrust in public transport, more and more parents are there waiting, sitting in our vehicles listening to boring public radio in the school pickup zone.
At least I can do it I guess… unlike others… Grandparents doing the deed is becoming a common sight – hunched over the steering wheel squinting in the afternoon sun as they wait for little grandchild Johnny coming out of the school gate. These oldies should be enjoying their golden years in retirement, instead, they're pseudo parents.
I can understand why people are frustrated, but I don't understand reckless driving in a school pickup area. That BS has got to stop.
This short article/story is the first in a new series of posts called Frustrations of a Home Dad be sure to come back to see more…