Some of you may remember when I blogged about the aggravating experience of picking kids up from day care. Yeah, well. Day care has got NOTHING on elementary school pickup. Seriously, I'm willing to bet it's easier to get backstage at a Hannah Montana concert than it is to get in and out of school pickup in a reasonable amount of time. Allow me to explain.
About 700 kids go to Abby's school. By my best estimate, 200 of those are picked up by their parents every day. There is a covered entrance to the school, and at 3:00 every afternoon the "car riders" fill the covered area and wait. The PE teacher stands next to the drive with a bullhorn and calls each kid's name as his or her parent approaches the loading zone. About 8 cars can fit in the loading zone at once.
There are also about 15-20 parents who park instead of getting in the line. They get out of their cars and wait on the other side of the loading line, and once every couple of minutes, the kids are allowed to cross to their parents. This is what Matt did when he picked her up the first couple of weeks, and what I did yesterday. But today it was raining and I had Ethan with me, so I decided to get in the pick up line.
I got Ethan from his school and we arrived at Abby's around 2:40. The line of cars already went the length of the school and into the road. There is a dedicated school lane for just this purpose, and I was about the 8th car in it. Remember, this is 20 minutes BEFORE school is out. So until 3:00, E listened to Veggie Tales and I did a Sudoku puzzle. Then 3:00 came...and went. It was a good 10 minutes before we moved. At that point it went fairly quickly, and I was in the pickup zone in a couple of minutes. But I was there 20 minutes before school was out. What happens to parents who actually arrive WHEN school gets out? It's probably dark before they get home.
I guess for now I'll go back to parking--it's kind of a hassle, but there's no way I'm spending 2 hours a week sitting in a line of cars listening to Veggie Tales. Now if Hannah Montana were waiting at the other end, it might be a different story.