Pour Your Heart Out: It’s Different

Pick up is a pain at school? Well, I’d just make mine ride the bus.

It’s a typical kid/parent problem with an easy solution, right? Last fall, my oldest totally tried to scam me when it came to whether he’d be a car rider or a bus rider, and his little butt ended up taking the bus.

But, it doesn’t work that way for every child.

Not even for every child in my family.

Sometimes, it’s different.

Even though the school is only about a mile from our house, the whole process of being a bus rider is too much for my kindergartener.

It means waiting in the cafeteria with all the other bus riders for about 20-30 minutes.

It gets really loud in there.

The kids sit in tables by buses, not by grades: so there’s lots of big kids mixed in with the littles.

And the teachers who aren’t out at the car line circulate or stand together at the front of the room.

The waiting, the noise, the mixed ages, the not-so-close supervision: it could spell trouble for any child.

But if you have a child like my kindergartener, who has PDD-NOS and ADHD and sensory issues, it’s different.

And then there’s the ride home: the bus that circles around before stopping at our house, making a five minute drive(if you get stuck at the light at the school) become more like 20.

Again: the kids, the noise, not as much supervision.

Could cause issues for any child, but for mine it’s different.

Riding the bus after the long wait- he might shut down… or have the opposite reaction and lash out.

Maybe he would refuse to move out of his seat or maybe he’d try to get off at the wrong stop because he wanted off the bus.

Even with his big brother there to help him.

All that so that I don’t have to take 10-15 minutes out of my day to make the trip to school and back?

Not worth it.

So the Well, I’d just make mine ride the bus comment from the peanut gallery doesn’t work because sometimes, it’s different.

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  1. says

    That’s one misconception about parenting that drives me crazy…that we all have to do it the same way. And that what works for one, works for all. You do what you have to do for your sweet boy. If it means driving an extra 15-20 minutes, then so be it. Because that’s what’s best for HIM.
    Courtney Kirkland recently posted..Ordinary EverydayMy Profile

  2. says

    You keep doing what’s best for your family.

    All kids are different. What works for one doesn’t necessarily mean that it will work for another.

    Unfortunately, some people don’t get that (ie your peanut gallery).

    Keep doing what’s best for your boy.

    Stasha recently posted..Acknowledge and Let GoMy Profile

    • Shell says

      It’s easy to think we have the solution when we aren’t in a situation and are only on the outside looking in!

  3. says

    Most of the time, it’s different. There is no solution that works for every kid (or that works for one kid all the time). Glad you are finding the things that work for you and your boys.
    Tricia recently posted..She loves meMy Profile

  4. Cynedra says

    On another blog I used to read (and still would if she were posting), the author wrote “what works best for each child this year). She was talking about schooling. She had one child in private school, a couple in public schools at different age levels, and some she was homeschooling. You know what is best for your child and act accordingly. My boys love the bus – thank goodness. If it set off issues for them though, I would do my best to drive them. On an unrelated note, our school district no longer picks up kids on the bus that live with 2 miles of school (even though there are no sidewalks etc).

    • Shell says

      Oh wow- I’m hearing that a lot about buses. The road that right by the school is not one I’d ever want my kids walking on. I’d never even want to walk on it.

  5. says

    That’s one of the main reasons I don’t interact with the peanut gallery too often. Sometimes it’s unavoidable. I have found that it is how people compartmentalize things they don’t want to think about or imagine having to deal with. ” Well, if he were mine he would ride the bus” and then if he wouldn’t get of the bus or lashed out at someone they would be like ‘I don’t know why he is acting like this’ Great, great parenting, and the sad fate of a misunderstood child. The peanut gallery needs a visit from an angry elephant from time to time.
    Cindy Bryl recently posted..Different than expectedMy Profile

  6. says

    We all have to make the best choices for our families and kids. After all, you and your husband know him best and know what works for him. As he grows older and gains more understanding about his diagnosis and grows into learning strategies that might help him cope when he has a challenging time, maybe things will change. And may won’t. But either way he’s got you as his Mama who cares so deeply for him.
    NJ @ A Cookie Before Dinner recently posted..You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.My Profile

  7. says

    Why in the world do the kids have to sit and wait 20 to 30 minutes in the cafeteria?  Does it seriously take the buses that long to get there AFTER school gets out?  That’s just insane.  The buses are at school when Buddy’s bell rings.  They line up *maybe* five minutes beforehand.

    I get what you’re saying about it being different.  I’m sorry it just can’t be easier.
    Kmama recently posted..20 WeeksMy Profile

    • Shell says

      The elementary school uses the same buses as the middle school- and they have to wait for them to finish their routes. No clue why they haven’t somehow fixed this. Either change the bus times or change school times- b/c it seems like a lot of wasted time to me. 

      • Cynedra says

        That seems insane. They changed a lot of the school times in our district so that this type of stuff wouldn’t happen. The bus does get to school fairly early but that is so the children have time to get breakfast if they want it or need it, but the other children can go to class.

  8. Cindi says

    Sometimes us peanuts (those who don’t walk in your shoes, LoL) get some really good ideas … talk to the school district. With diagnosis of PDD-NOS and ADHD, the district should have some additional services in place available for your child.

    • Shell says

      They do and could make different accommodations for him for transportation if we pushed it- but to be honest, it’s takes at most 15-20 minutes out of my day to go get him- usually even less. It doesn’t seem worth the hassle. I can just get him. 

  9. says

    I hate the peanut gallery. It’s all part of the “mompetition”. I hear it all the time on facebook with every mom listing reasons she’s better then the next. I truly believe every family has to do what is best for them.
    Diana recently posted..PYHO – Whiny ButtMy Profile

    • Shell says

      So true. There’s not even one answer that works for all kids in my family, so why anyone would think that what works for theirs is the universal solution is beyond me.

  10. says

    Truthfully I’d pick my kids up if I could. I remember being the bus rider. I was just an average kid and I hated it, so I think you’re every bit right in picking him up/dropping him off, especially since you can!

  11. says

    As my girls are grow, I am truly learning how each child is different. Very different. What works for one does not work for another.
    Your posts about your son are a wonderful reminder to have patience and understanding. And to realize one solution does not work for all.
    Carolyn recently posted..The New Soccer MomMy Profile

  12. says

    Ahhh, yes. The ever knowledgeable peanut gallery. I get the comments too. I drive one of my kids to school in the morning because they cannot handle the morning bus. I’d love to just make them ride the bus and be done with it but sometimes that just isn’t an option. I wish people would mind their own business….or at least came with a mute button. Ha!
    Delilah recently posted..How We Saved Over $100 on CableMy Profile

  13. says

    Shell – you are such an amazing mother and thank you for a great reminder…expecting my second, now, I keep reminding myself that this will be a different experience than it is with Gemma. It’s hard to visualize, now, but as mothers we need to be flexible and adapt to the needs of our kids.

  14. says

    I rode the bus from the 2nd half of first grade till I was old enough to have friends that drove in high school. Riding the bus shaped so many of my insecurities… It’s the ultimate in clique behavior, with all the grades mingling in one small area with such little supervision. I’ll probably have my kids ride the bus, at least to start. But that doesn’t mean I’ll say definitively one way or the other that they must always ride the bus or must always get a ride! Every child is different. (So is every mom.)
    Caitlin MidAtlantic recently posted..Princess LauraMy Profile

    • Shell says

      My oldest rode the bus to start in kindergarten and then I started picking him up because there were a few instances of bullying due to lack of supervision. I decided it wasn’t worth it.

  15. says

    My son has never been able to ride the bus. He gets motion sickness like you would not believe – especially with all the stop and go. Everyone thought I was crazy, but I didn’t want him to be known as “the puke-meister” or some such nickname for the rest of his life. We live in a small town so that kind of thing would follow him all through his school years. Sometimes I wished he could have ridden the bus – but in the end, I know I did the right thing.
    Kris C recently posted..My Favorite ThingsMy Profile

    • Shell says

      Such a good mama!

      I used to get crazy car sick when I was younger. I had to sit in the front of the bus and start straight ahead or I’d get sick. Not the cool place to sit!

  16. says

    That’s right, it’s different. Mamas with kids who are different make tough choices every day. It can be especially hard when your little one doesn’t look so different and people don’t understand but always remember that there are lots of us who do. You’re doing a great job, mama!

    • Shell says

      YES! There’s nothing obvious for people to cut him a break, so sometimes people judge, thinking he’s just a brat. It drives me nuts. 

  17. says

    Amen, my friend. As the mother of twins, boys who to all the world should be “the same” I see this every day, that everything is different, the way they see the world, the way they live, socialize, learn etc..and what is good for one is not GOOD for the other.

    I find myself, taking a deep breath and reminding myself of these things, getitng in touch with that thought..
    that it is OK for them to be different.

    AMEN, Shell, AMEN.
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    • Shell says

      Isn’t it so funny how even siblings(or in your case twins!) can be SO different? And if they are so different, then how people think their solutions for their kids would work on every child is just beyond me.

  18. says

    People always have something to say, don’t they? I think it makes perfect sense that the bus isn’t the best choice for him. Each child needs something different; some of the differences are bigger than others, but that doesn’t mean people should judge the choices you make for your family.
    angela recently posted..What She LeftMy Profile

  19. says

    Even though I consider carpool one of the inner circles of Hell I remember the bus and many situations and people involved with being a bus-rider as a child , so my eldest didn’t ride the bus until high school, and my younger son didn’t ride until middle school (and then only because he insisted).  It’s just not worth the stress on the kids.

    • Shell says

      I was cussing people out at carpool today. No clue what the extra insanity was about- but it’s still better than my kids riding the bus!

  20. says

    How easy for those who don’t know to judge.  We, the parents, know or at least hope to know what’s best for our kids, and do what we can to make things that may be troubling less. 
    For anyone who doesn’t get that, well, screw ’em! 
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  21. says

    Amen, Sister! This is just proof again that what works for one family doesn’t work for another. My oldest took the bus for years. He’s a freshman and we drive him now. He needs more time in the morning to do his treatment so I don’t care if people think we baby him. They have NO idea what goes on in this family. G00d for you for knowing what your child needs and giving it to him!
    AnnMarie recently posted..The Anti-Social Bug Bit MeMy Profile

    • Shell says

      Doesn’t it just make you crazy- the way that people throw in their two cents when 1. they don’t know the situation and 2. it doesn’t even affect them anyway.

  22. says

    We don’t even have the bus option here- and I while I am sitting in the long line of cars I like to complain about it– but if we did have buses in the end I really don’t know if I would use them or not, especially with my oldest.   Every child is different
    Emmy recently posted..When Life Get’s Busy….My Profile

  23. says

    Like Emmy, no bus option here…unless you live a certain mileage over(can’t remember how far) and you PAY for it.  Yep…that’s CA for you.  I won’t get into it.  My son has never been diagnosed with Sensory issues, however he is extremely high strung and def easily distracted–again never been diagnosed for ADD/ADHD but I totally get what you are saying.  When we lived in VA and buses were an option, my girls rode the bus.  It was wonderful.  Now…it’s not an option because of money and well my son just couldn’t do it anyway.
    Lourie recently posted..What I Miss, What I Don’t Miss…My Profile

    • Shell says

      Totally crazy about the buses!

      Sometimes I really wish it were possible to just send mine on the bus, to be honest. It just isn’t what works.

  24. says

    You are so right, it’s different for every child, every parents and every situation! Hats off to you for doing what you know is right and not caring what the peanuts gallery says, because they just don’t get it!
    Queen Bee recently posted..Fall is comingMy Profile

  25. says

    Sounds like some very excellent reasons for opting out on the bus!

    Pierce’s favorite part of the day has been his bus ride, but he had a really special connection with the bus driver. Last week was her last day, though, and now there’s a new driver and she’s young and not as caring. I’m hoping it’ll work out fine but Pierce sure is missing his Miss Judy.
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    • Shell says

      Usually, I can leave my house, do pick up, and be back in about 15 minutes. It just doesn’t seem worth it for me to push for special accommodations for him when my schedule allows me to go get him, you know?

  26. says

    I can totally see your point of view on that. I have to take my kids to and from school as there is no bus and it’s almost an hour round trip but I’m not complaining… they love their school. At the old school we had to walk – no bus within a 2 mile radius from school!!! I miss that sometimes though… our walks or bike rides in the morning and afternoon! 
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  27. says

    did people really give you shit? Ugh, this is why I don’t like anybody…ha!
    My school is a five minute drive and I totally do drop off and pick up….
    we’d have to leave earlier in the morning just to make it to the bus, and honestly, I don’t know if I want the kids getting used to the bus because once Brooke starts school, I don’t think I want her on the bus….I’m top scared kids will make fun of her
    Not a Perfect Mom recently posted..Vaginas Rule and Balls DroolMy Profile

    • Shell says

      It seems like the worst of bullying tends to take place on the bus- not as much supervision. 

      People seem to like to give advice that works for their kids, whether it’s the bus or with something like food – like saying “well, I just make my child eat what I serve!” Um yeah, I do that with my oldest and youngest, but Dear Lord, it just does NOT work with my middle. A bunch of little things like that where it’s just different with him and so we make exceptions sometimes. 

  28. says

    My girls ride the bus, don’t have sensory issues and on 3 out of 5 days say that it is too loud or have a story to share about someone’s behavior. I think you are doing the best thing for your son…especially as a kindergarten. It may be a pain to make the trek to/from school twice a day but you are saving him and yourself from a lot more pain if the rides go badly.
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  29. says

    My son has Aspergers and sensory issues and was able to ride the bus. BUT he was always up front in case trouble arose. If he went in the back, I’d worry. You did the right thing for your son. We moved and now we’re able to walk to school so that’s not an issue. But I’m still there waiting in the cafeteria for my five year old, since she’s still too little to walk alone.
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