You know the drill ...
The alarm goes off.
You dash from your beds.
Pull on your clothes.
Race down the hall.
Checking this way and that to see if you have everyone.
... the big yellow school bus that haunts you in your dreams passes your house just as you and the kids are tripping down the steps in untied shoes.
That's the kind of drill we had this morning as the family was lollygaging over breakfast or tossing pieces of crumpled up paper toward the cat.
I'd noticed the time and realized had it been a "school day" we would have 15 minutes to pull our stuff together and make the trek to the end of the driveway to meet the bus.
The drill sargeant in me was awakened.
*clap, clap* LET'S! GO!
Get your bag. Find your shoes. We've got five minutes.
LET'S GO - LET'S GO - LET'S GO!
It was almost exciting. Almost.
Ittybit smiled at me with an uncertain look that noted she might be having fun, or she might just be sizing her old mother up for a canvas jacket with arms that tie in the back.
The test was also for me. I grabbed her new backpack and her new lunch box (both entirely empty but with their pricetags attatched) and streched them around her shoulders. Looking her over and grabbing The Champ, who was now chanting "LESS GO! LESS GO! LESS GO!" with more enthusiam than a Bear's fan at a stadium game.
It's exactly 8:17 a.m. when we open the door and step out onto the porch ... a mere 500 feet from the bus stop. Two minutes late.
I can almost see the yellow blur and smell the fumes blow past us.
Sadly, The Champ couldn't understand why we were turning around and shutting the door. Having no idea that this was merely a drill, all he knew was that he never even saw the bright, yellow bus.
So he did the only thing a toddler could do in such a situation: He burst into tears. Body shaking, inconsolable tears.
And for the next 12 or 13 years, I imagine, this scene is going to play out over and over again.