I jammed up the elementary school’s traffic circle this morning. And I’m not sure, but I think the traffic circle parent police and the vice-principal may have taken down my license number. So I expect a call sometime later today, if not an actual visit from the crossing guard and a real state policeman, possibly banning me from the circle forever. They can do that you know.
But it’s not my fault. Not really. I mean, normally I walk Snags to school each morning. The cold front that the weatherman was calling for was supposed to move through over night and dump all its marble size raindrops then. And it did, at least some of it. I mean, I heard the thunder and the rain last night. It started right when I started watching The Office, and at the exact moment when Snags got out of bed crying that he’d hurt himself, scratched his eye.
That turned out to be his eye lid, but one look at his claw like fingernails convinced me he’d be a bloody mess by morning if I didn’t do something right then. So I trimmed his nails, cleaned off his eyelid scratch, and sent him back to bed amid the rain and thunder and my trying to catch all of the funniness that is The Office.
This morning was supposed to dawn clear and bright and chilly, but I take it the weather Gods didn’t get that notice from the weather man at our local television station. Because instead, the sky was that odd blue color, the one somewhere between an enthusiastic cobalt and a depressing gray, the one that means it might be getting ready to rain, hard. Or it might simply be the old rain burning away from the sun behind it. And only a little more time will reveal what is to be…
I kept looking out the window, and as luck would have it, everything was fine until the very. last. second. And then the sky split open.
But I’m flexible, so I said to Snags, “Get in the car. I’m driving you to school.” And Snags complained. He wanted to walk. I would have walked, really, I would have. But I promised a neighbor friend who is out of town on a cruise vacation, that I would walk her son to school each morning, leaving her mother-in-law babysitter to tend to my friend’s young twins in the morning without having to cart them up to school and back like my friend usually does.
I figured two small boys with backpacks, lunch bags, and umbrellas might not be the thing to mix with a downpour and a deadline. School has a definite starting time, and puddles are the devils snare to that.
So I picked my neighbor’s son up and in less than 2 minutes we had pulled into the school’s traffic circle. I followed the rules, I followed the cars and stopped where I was supposed to. But then I had to get out of my car to help the boys out. The doors have to be opened by hand, they don’t glide away like those on all the minivans that were surrounding me. One door has a child lock on it so Snags couldn’t open it even if he wanted to. The other, well, that door would have opened into the traffic. So I got out and opened Snags’ door to let the boys out onto the sidewalk.
Only they are five, in Kindergarten, and not fast. Not fast like the 3rd and 4th graders hopping out of the cars in front of us. So by the time I got them out of the car and back into their backpacks and put their umbrellas up and gave Snags a kiss, and hopped back into my car, I was the ONLY car left in the circle. All the cars that had been in front of me had vanished. But all the world was behind me waiting, waiting, waiting to pull in.
That’s when I noticed the looks. The disdain. The shaking of heads. You’d have thought I was sitting there reading a map for 20 minutes, or talking on my cell phone and had missed the green light. But honestly, when I got home and looked at the clock, I had been gone for a grand total of 6 minutes. So I couldn’t have jammed up the traffic circle for too long. But apparently, jamming it up at all is a CRIME.
So I am off to dig out the TRAFFIC CIRCLE RULES paper. The one I didn’t fully read when it came home because I didn’t expect to be driving Snags to school. It’s not MY fault it started raining this morning. And I can tell you one thing… If I end up going to jail for this, the weather man, he’s going down with me.