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Monday Minute: James and The Short Bus

For the first time in his entire life James took the bus to school by himself today – “by himself” meaning with a bus matron and driver instead of a mom or dad. In the past I’ve expressed some concern about James taking the bus and even last month was still having doubts. But after hauling 3 kids, a stroller and my giant, pregnant body up and down multiple flights of subway stairs or dragging said children and equipment onto standing-room-only buses for the mind-blowing 3-hour round trip (apparently hopstop didn’t account for school traffic) several times last week, I lost most of my previous nervousness and just felt a sense of (freakishly giddy) relief that the bus was coming, right to the front of our house this morning.

After school I couldn’t get James to answer anything without first being asked a dozen times – this new schedule is taking an enormous amount of focus on his part and by the time he gets home he’s a zombie. But over the course of the afternoon/evening, here’s what I was told about “the short bus.” It probably adds up to a minute if you string it all together.

James’s comments are in italics, my responses are in bold.

1) How was the ride home?

Good. The bus driver knew my road so he knew where I lived.


2) The lady on the bus was speaking a foreign language.

A foreign language?

Yeah, I think it was Spanish.

To you?

To the bus driver.


(While cooking dinner)

3) So mom, you should check and make sure the bus is coming again tomorrow.


(During dinner)

4) So how are your new teachers?

Good. Before we get on the bus Mrs. O has to lead the entire class through the whole school. Then she lined us up and we had to wait for our name to be called to get on the bus.

That’s probably a good idea.

Yeah, to make sure we get the right seat on the bus.

Is anyone from your class on your bus?

Yeah, the whole class is on my bus. 

The whole class? Do you sit with someone you know?

We all sit with someone because it’s a short bus and everyone has to fit.


(clearing the table)

5) So after dinner you should probably go check what time my bus will be here tomorrow.


(being tucked in)

6) Good night.

After you put us all to bed you should go on the computer and look up the schedule to see what time the bus is coming tomorrow.

Did you really like the bus today?

It was fine. So am I taking the subway or the bus to school tomorrow?

  1. annerejack
    September 18, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    I love reading about James! It makes me feel like I am there, almost.

  2. Brandi Rocchio
    September 12, 2012 at 11:00 pm

    I just read this to Collin and he got a good laugh from it! We hope James keeps having successful days at school and in his bus!! Miss you guys!

    • September 12, 2012 at 11:17 pm

      Today the bus pulled up and stopped traffic with its yellow blinking lights. I watched as the bus matron tried to rouse James from his seat – it took a minute. By the time James was done shaking the hand of every kid on the bus I think everyone outside was waiting (impatiently) for the mayor to exit or something.

      It was so reassuring to see that the bus is working out and that our choice of placing him in a contained class seems so much more pleasant socially so far as well. This is by far the best school situation we’ve ever had him in – hooray! Now, if I could just figure out a way to make him more pleasant after school we’d be all set (this kid is spacey and grumpy getting home)!

  3. Brandi Rocchio
    September 11, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    Come on mom…hop to it and check on that bus for him!!! 😉

    • September 11, 2012 at 4:31 pm

      Another day down with no issue – I think we might be on to something here.

  4. Maureen O'Connor
    September 11, 2012 at 10:01 am

    You must be so relieved Michaela! I am happy for both you and James!

    • September 11, 2012 at 10:22 am

      Not counting my chickens, but so far so good!

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