We’ve all parked in front of the school in a moment of desperation. But repeat dropoff-line offenders need to consider the gravity of their crimes.
Hold me up once, and I’ll grant you grace. Hold the flow of the carpool line-up regularly, and you have incurred my wrath, fellow parent.
I therefore propose appropriate punishments for parents who regularly commit these offenses in the the drop-off and pick-up lines:
“But the REAL carpool line doesn’t start for 10 more minutes; I’ll just run inside.”
Carpool is a static concept that is forever in motion.
If that sentence confuses you, you need to park and walk. The carpool line is no place for you.
This is the sacred drop-off and pick-up zone wherein no car shall ever be turned off for any reason.
Believe it or not, while you are inside the building, a myriad of parents are dropping off early for all kinds of reasons! Unless you texted every parent at school, use the parking lot.
Punishment: Offenders shall be assigned the task of directing traffic for one week in January directly following winter break.
“I need to get some work done while I wait for sports practice to finish.”
Thou shall not work in the carpool line! Thou shall not answer emails or calls, or sit in park if arriving before a practice ends. I know this will come as a shock, but not everyone behind you is waiting for the same practice. Consider your eyes opened, my friend. The carpool line is not your office. It’s a moving miracle of families trying to get home for dinner.
Punishment: Offenders shall be assigned the task of selling concessions during basketball season. I’m not cruel, so you may have assistants: I give unto you the middle-school boys wrestling team.
“But my child is too small to walk himself into early morning care!”
Which is why the great Gods of Mount Olympus invented a magical place called the parking lot!
Park that car and walk your tiny cherub anywhere you wish! I have placed lovely reminders on your car window. I have approached you and asked nicely. Now I have no choice —
Punishment: Assign you to the Cake Walk for the entirety of the school carnival. No tears; you knew this was coming.
“I’m a huge donor to this school, and the carpool rules do not apply to me.”
Did you notice that you cannot buy an “Owner of the Carpool Line” certificate at the school auction, but you CAN buy a parking spot?
This year I’m making you a special bid paddle which reads, “I’m here to buy a parking spot.” You’re welcome.
Punishment: You are assigned to clean up the cafeteria after lower school lunch on Taco Tuesday. Once is enough, I promise.
“I’m running late.”
As am I, as are the 20 cars behind you, as we were yesterday and will be tomorrow. My kids are just as hard to get out to bed, my kid forgot the exact same flute as yours, I also have a breakfast meeting and my husband is also traveling for work.
Punishment: You are assigned to recess duty the week before summer break and ice cream will be served directly before the kids are handed over to your care.
And finally, “Trunk Poppers.”
If your child cannot get through an entire day of school without a suitcase, two water bottles, a cooler, a trombone and a diorama the size of my minivan, you should PARK. Daily trunk popping in a line where most parents are yelling, “Eject! Eject! Eject!” is simply poor form. If you bought the sports car before they left for college, that’s on you, Cowboy.
Punishment: Trunk poppers are in charge of directing traffic on Grandparent’s Day, aka: The Buick Hurricane.