Monday, September 12, 2005

Those Crazy Smiths! Episode "Circle of Enemies"

Do you ever feel like your life is some real-life sitcom? I know, it's so cliche, but seriously, at some moments I feel like someone up there, maybe a departed loved one (or enemy) has popped some popcorn, taken the phone off the hook, and is all settled in to watch my "episode." Episode is a great word, because it so perfectly sums up the fifteen minutes of trauma I endured this morning while trying to take Mila to school.

Everything was lovely this morning at about 9 am. The sun was shining, we were both neatly groomed as we got into the car to leave for school. Mila was going to be spotlighted at school, so she looked very nice and I was holding her picture poster/collage we'd worked on for three hours last night. We drove the two-minute drive to school and turned into the kindergarten drop-off circle, five minutes before school was supposed to start.

Before I go any further, I need to mention that I hate people. Well, just people who don't follow instructions. OK, so I hate people who don't follow instructions whose kids go to Westfield Elementary in Highland. For those of you who aren't familiar with drop-off circles, they are simply that. You pull in one end of the circle, drop off your kid, then pull out the other end. Nice and smooth. Sounds easy, right? Well, some parents at Mila's school seemed to have gotten together to figure out exactly the best way to turn the sweet, efficient drop-off circle into Dante's seventh circle of hell, because that's what it is. Instead of following the above procedure, these people commit heinous acts such as parking in the circle and disappearing into the school for mysterious amounts of time. Then some try to expedite the whole process by passing you up in some inner circle they've created, just so their kid can be, like, ten seconds earlier than my kid.
So, we were waiting our turn in the circle and I noticed lightning off in the distance. I was not worried as I was only four cars back and it was almost time for the line-up whistle. It took me a few minutes to realize that this line was not moving, but darned if I was going to be the "inner-circler," so I continued to wait patiently. "They're probably just waiting for the whistle because their kids are afraid of lightning," I told myself. It began to rain. The circle still was not moving. I noticed, to my dismay, that there was a "circle-parker" at the very front, blocking the whole dang line. Inner-circlers were beginning to form ranks alongside of me. Mila's teacher came out and skipped the whistle, because of the rain I suppose, and brought the kids inside. I decided, because I wasn't going anywhere anyway and because it was Mila's special day, that I would escort her through the rain to her class and carry her project so it wouldn't get wet. I didn't want her to be late, but I figured all of these other cars surely had kindergartners in them as well, so at least she wasn't the only one. As I got out of the car, it began to hail. I ran around to Mila's side, carrying her project in front of me as I went, only to find that the door was locked on that side. I ran back around, opened the door, mumbled something like "Silly me, the door was locked," and unlocked the door. I ran back around to find the door locked again and Mila mouthing the words, "I unlocked it!" By this time, I was soaked to the skin. I ran back around to the driver's side, but of course, she had locked both doors, so back to her side I went, dropping a picture in the rain-filled gutter on my way. "Unlock the door!" I yelled as she looked at me like I was speaking another language. This is the part where I said some words I never learned in kindergarten as I retrieved her picture and banged on the window. Finally, after what seemed like a wet, freezing eternity later, she unlocked the door and I began to pull her out of the car. However, her foot caught on my purse strap and down into the puddle she went. On her special day. I snatched her up, we ran to the classroom and burst in on a serene, dry group of kindergartners listening to the morning announcements. I handed the soaked poster to the teacher and apologized for Mila's tardiness, (as well as for the puddle I just made on the floor) I turned to my drenched daughter, pushed her wet hair out of her eyes, said "Have a great special day," and ran back outside to the now completely sunny weather. The circle was empty except for my car and I thought it was strange that no other kindergartners had entered the class in that whole time. Mila was the only one. That's when it hit me. There is a third group of circlers who are committing perhaps the most heinous of all circle crimes. They are using the kindergarten drop-off circle to drop off non-kindergartners. I blame this entire episode on them because if they hadn't held up the dang circle I would have been able to drop my daughter off before the five-minute hailstorm began. This is the part where the sitcom probably ends because the part where I went home in tears, blubbering to Ben about "stupid circle people," probably ends up on the cutting room floor. It's just not funny. But then maybe the part where Ethan hands me a box of pregnancy tests to comfort me is in the closing credits or something.

So anyway, tune in for next week's episode, when Hailey takes a plane trip across the country with two children under four. While trying to turn off the overhead light over her seat, she actually touches the light and burns the crap out of her finger. She proceeds to wave the afflicted finger in the air while blowing on it, inadvertently flipping off the entire plane.


Kristen said...

Poor Hailey. Next time I would leave a nasty note on the offending parked cars in the circle. Or maybe you should tell the office that a teacher needs to be there to warn people to park in the parking lot if leaving their cars. That's how my elementary school was.

Jenni said...

Oh man-what a day. Don't you hate it when it rains on you??? And nice people in the kinder circle who aren't even kindergardners...fakers!

Anonymous said...

What is it with 5 minute hail storms? You must be living in the wrong part of the country----we don't get those out here in Boston... :) And we have busses that pick up those wee kindergarteners---that stop right in front of the not have to drive the child to school every day...its heaven.
Ok, ok, at least I've tried to get you to move out here----so don't blame your soap opera on me!! :)

Betina said...

what a morning! Not funny for you, but definetly a funny read for me :) I hope you have dried off by now. Did Mila have a nice "special day" after all?

bionictrout said...

Yeah, but it's clean here.


Unknown said...

I HATE THOSE CIRCLES. Nothing is more frustrating than those idiot parents who make the rule-followers' lives a living hell each morning and afternoon. Of course, I'm home schooling this year so no circles for me--that alone has brought a certain measure of peace to my life.

I love our little sit-com episodes and I certainly hope someone on the other side is enjoying them--it is too much for us to go through without an audience of some kind. We are, after all actors, you know.

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