If you have school-aged children, chances are, you’ve dealt with the hell that is the car drop-off and pickup line at school. Frankly, I’m a mom who avoids dropping her kids off at school at all costs because our car line is like the fourth ring of hell. I love waving from my street corner as the bus driver safely carts my kids off to school because I know that I don’t have to sit in line with other harried mothers who are ready to throw down with a mom who’s been doing it wrong since September.
On the mornings that I do drive my kids to school, I have to admit that I’m sometimes (read: always) the mom who is wearing an annoyed expression as an accessory to my pajamas while I’m snaking slowly toward the doors of the school. I have seen moms ready to have it out with the parent who cuts in line because they are running late or the parent who gets out of their car to chat with another parent.
Just like the in the movie Mr. Mom, I want to yell “You’re doing it wrong!” on the daily. North to drop-off, south to pickup is not a hard concept, okay?
Seriously, people, the school car line is not rocket science.
It’s not hard to follow the rules. And there should be commandments that we all live by to make the car line more tolerable.
1. Do Unto Others as You’d Have Done to You.
Be friendly. Be kind. Follow the Golden Rule, whatever. Waving and being polite will get you further than ramming your bumper into the minivan in front of you. You catch more flies with honey than vinegar in the car line, people.
2. Thou Shall Realize That Safety Is No Accident.
It’s not hard to follow the school’s pickup and drop-off rules. The rules are there for the safety of the staff and students, and if you have to, report unsafe activity to the school office. Because safety is everyone’s responsibility.
3. Thou Shall Wait Your Goddamned Turn.
Just like you learned in kindergarten, everyone gets a turn and there’s no butting in line. Be a grown-up and wait your turn. You will have plenty of time for your kid to get out of the car. Everyone just simmer down.
4. Thou Shall Not Act a Fool When Someone Fucks Up in the Car Line.
That mom who is doing it wrong may have just moved here, or she might be having a shitty-ass day. You don’t know her life. You don’t know her caffeine status. So stop waving your arms like a maniacal gorilla. You look ridiculous.
5. Thou Shall Not Get Out of the Car to Chat. Or to Yell At Another Parent.
If everyone would just stay in their assigned seats, the car line would move so much faster. Save your gossip for later and don’t be the douchebag yelling at an unsuspecting parent. Just sit tight and moooooove, people.
6. Thou Shall Not Honk Your Horn — Ever.
Don’t honk your horn to make a kid get out of the car faster. That’s just shitty. Kids are little, and they take extra time to get out of the car. You’d be pissed if someone did that to your kid, right?
7. Thou Shall Be Patient.
Car line is stressful for everyone. Simmer the fuck down, okay?
8. Thou Shall Not Park Your Car in the Line and Walk Your Kid to the Door.
If your kid is having anxiety about their school day, park in the lot and help them to the door. Don’t make the other parents wait. Because rude.
9. Thou Shall Not Vaguebook on Social Media About the Mom Always Doing It Wrong.
If you complain on social media about the car line, knock it off. Seriously. We all know the car line sucks. And we all know who you are bitching about because we see her being a jerk in the car line too. Don’t be a car line bully. Keep your tweets to yourself.
10. Thou Shall Use the Bus as Much as Possible.
One solution to car line bottlenecking is if more of us just stayed the fuck away and put our kids on the bus in the morning. There is no reason that your kid needs a ride to school every day. Did your parents drive you to school daily? No? I thought so.
11. Thou Shall Not Get to the Car Line 45 Minutes Early to Be First.
12. Thou Shall Not Be the Parent Who Sails in 20 Minutes Late Every Day.
The staff would like to get home, too, and now they have to deal with your panicking kid.
13. Thou Shall Ask Questions If Thou Is Confused About the Car Line Process.
If you don’t understand the car line process, speak up and ask for help. Michael Keaton got the hang of it in Mr. Mom. You will, too, but only if you ask.
14. Thou Shall Not Scream Obscenities.
Don’t use a potty mouth. Don’t flip the bird. Don’t wave your fists. Just don’t.
15. Thou Shall Realize We Are All in This Together.
We are all in car line drop-off hell together, and there is strength in numbers. We will only survive the car line if we all work to make it less hellish.
The school car line doesn’t have to be the stress fest that it has become in school parking lots across the country. If we all pitched in, followed the rules, and showed a little patience, the world would be a happier place. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go pick up my kids. Pray for me.