Finding Ninee » Sharing our parenting and special needs stories with heart and humor.

Someday, I hope to be just like you. But not exactly.

To the mom at kiss-n-ride drop off today,

I understand that you’re in a hurry and that you have a routine for dropping off your kid in the right spot in the long line of cars we both wait in each morning.  I understand that we’re at an elementary school and that you’re proud of your third-grader for being able to grab her backpack and make her way to class all by herself.  I’m proud of her, too.  I see how cute she is.  How independent.  Someday, I hope to be just like you.

I understand that maybe you don’t know that your elementary school also holds preschool classes that teach applied behavioral analysis methods, speech therapy and helps all sorts of special needs three and four year old kids.  I get that you may not know that these classes are held in the same building in which your daughter passes notes and learns about history. I wish I didn’t have to know about them either.

But certainly you’ve noticed that there are a bunch of too-young little kids sharing a sidewalk with your kids.  That they’re so little that they still need to be accompanied by their moms.  Haven’t you ever wondered what those little kids are doing there?  And, more to the point when it comes to this morning, haven’t you ever considered that those kids have mothers who have to park and then dodge your crazy minivan rushes in the drop-off line?  That we are required to walk our kids to the school’s entrance where our teachers wait?

I don’t suppose that you have.  And although I understand that, what I do not understand is you feeling like you’re accomplishing anything by giving me a crusty face because I hadn’t yet cleared your hurried path while trying to convince my kid that there is time to jump in puddles later.  That’s something that I don’t understand.

So, thanks for the scrunchy-face.  You made my day.  Trust me when I tell you that someday, I hope to be just like you.  Someday, I hope that school drop off will consist of my biggest job making sure my kid grabs his lunch.

Like I said…someday, I hope to be just like you.  But, just as much, I hope that if that day ever comes, that I will also be kind.  So maybe not exactly like you.

  • Joy - Aw, sorry that you had to experience this. Some people are just rude and do not think for a second. xoMarch 21, 2013 – 6:16 amReplyCancel

    • admin - Thanks, Joy. The thing is, there are five spots for cars to park where you can avoid crossing the line by using only the sidewalks. Five spots for a few dozen parents who have to park.March 21, 2013 – 7:44 amReplyCancel

  • Kenya G. Johnson - My mom works as a receptionist at an elementary school. I hear all kinds of stories by what she can see. I wish she would blog, she said she would after she retired. Until then I’m saving the emails 😉 Do you remember the movie were Adam Sandler had a remote that he could pause everything around him? That would be one where you paused everything and then did something really mean to the van. No one would ever know 😉March 21, 2013 – 6:31 amReplyCancel

    • admin - Kenya,
      I hope your mom does blog. I’ll bet she has some amazing stories. I totally remember that movie! I wonder what I could do to her van…hmmm…. 😉March 21, 2013 – 7:45 amReplyCancel

  • @facethesun - And we wonder why so many kids are selfish! If their parents don’t set a good example, that is what they learn.March 21, 2013 – 8:07 amReplyCancel

    • admin - I know right? I get that parents can’t set a perfect example all the time but being kind to little kids? That’s one that should always be in place.March 21, 2013 – 8:15 amReplyCancel

  • Janine Huldie - After teaching middle and high school kids, this so doesn’t surprise me, but just so sorry you had to deal with this. Seriously and then these people wonder why their kids are monsters!!March 21, 2013 – 8:54 amReplyCancel

    • admin - Janine, I hadn’t realized you were a teacher. I bet you have some stories about the things you saw!March 21, 2013 – 9:45 amReplyCancel

  • [email protected] - i call it car rider chicken, and it’s horrible! can not believe that mom gave you a face. how rude! i’d be so happy to hear that you gave her the finger. lol.March 21, 2013 – 9:32 amReplyCancel

    • admin - I love the name car rider chicken. The actual event, not so much…and I wish I’d have given her the finger! But you know…kids around and all that. Bah.March 21, 2013 – 9:46 amReplyCancel

  • Kerri - Yes, yes, yes!!! You just described Boo’s drop-off routine. I am sending this post to everyone I know 🙂March 21, 2013 – 9:36 amReplyCancel

    • admin - Kerri,
      You’re so awesome. It sucks that we have to deal with freaking drama at drop off along with everything else. Some people are just assholes.March 21, 2013 – 9:47 amReplyCancel

  • Stephanie @ Mommy, for real. - Wow, that really sucks. On a positive note, you wrote about it really beautifully. I really loved this post. I wish more people would stop and think about something from someone else’s perspective. This is really great, friend.March 21, 2013 – 10:05 amReplyCancel

    • admin - Thanks, Stephanie! I wish people would stop to think more about others, too. Myself included sometimes. Thanks for the awesome kind words. <3March 21, 2013 – 10:16 amReplyCancel

  • suzie - I hate morning conflicts makes me feel funny for the rest of the day. Just breathe it out. But really she should take a chillMarch 21, 2013 – 10:05 amReplyCancel

    • admin - They really do muck up the rest of the day, don’t they?
      Thanks so much for the visit and the comment!March 21, 2013 – 10:17 amReplyCancel

  • Ellie - Ugh, people are really ridiculous sometimes! Sorry you had to deal with Ms. Scrunch Face, hopefully you’re day will get better.March 21, 2013 – 11:15 amReplyCancel

    • admin - Thanks so much Ellie!March 21, 2013 – 7:16 pmReplyCancel

  • Amanda - You’re a beautiful soul to have such the response, and I couldn’t agree with you more. And for her sake, hopefully she will “wake up” before it’s too late. My preschooler does not have special needs, but no matter how big of a hurry we are in, I always slow down for her. Not just for her, but for me too. I slow down to enjoy her. Those little kisses that she’ll one day refuse to give in public, her little princess backpack and wiping to crusted toothpaste that always gets left on the corners of her little mouth while she says “Mom, don’t lick your finger and wipe it on me, that’s just gross!” lol Hopefully those who are in their own world, rushing through life as these moments pass them by will wake up and slow down before it’s too late. And, even when they are in a rush, hopefully they will remember how impactful a simple smile can be to a fellow mother, as well as a scrunchy “don’t mind me, I’m just one of THOSE people” faces. 😉March 21, 2013 – 12:17 pmReplyCancel

    • Amanda - Forgot to sign and introduce myself!!
      I’m Amanda*, the Modern Hippie Momma from, And I love your story and reading your posts. So happy to have found your blog! <3March 21, 2013 – 12:20 pmReplyCancel

      • admin - Hi Amanda! Thanks so much for the visit and the sweet comment. Trust me that this was not the first draft and that the first was very “thanks a lot!” ish. I’ll definitely check out your blog! Thanks again.March 21, 2013 – 7:17 pmReplyCancel

        • admin - And you’re so right that it’s important to enjoy the moments that will pass all too soon.March 21, 2013 – 7:19 pmReplyCancel

  • Julia Tomiak - Wow. I got tears in my eyes reading this, because I hope I never have been like that mama. I used to teach special ed, and after that I was a pediatric P.T., so I know what you’re talking about. Fortunately, I’m blessed with very capable and independent children. But I hope, because of my experience, that I will never forget how lucky I am, and that I will, as they get older, help them appreciate it too. And I will remember this post if ever I am tempted to put my tiny worries before someone else’s. Thank you.March 21, 2013 – 1:07 pmReplyCancel

    • admin - Aw, Julia, if you got tears in your eyes because you hope that you’ve never been like that mama, you very likely haven’t been. I think having any involvement with special kids changes us and makes us more aware in general of how lucky we are.
      And thank you for the visit and the comment. I appreciate it.March 21, 2013 – 7:20 pmReplyCancel

  • Emily - Oh I can picture that woman so well, I really can. She is the woman that lives in her bubble and has no clue about the world around her, whether it comes to blocking the drop-off lane or thinking she is being “wronged” by someone else. Her biggest worry of the day is probably what to pack her kid for lunch. She has no idea that our worries are that and yet so much more, when it comes to our kids….I can picture her because I’ve encountered her too. I love how you wrote about this — so controlled and yet you got your point across so beautifully.March 21, 2013 – 3:45 pmReplyCancel

    • admin - Emily, you’re so right that she’s the one living in a bubble with no clue about the world around her. It’s too bad, too, because the world around us is pretty amazing if we take a minute to appreciate it. And you’re spot on that she has no ideas that our worries are packing a lunch AND so so SO much more.
      Thanks so much and I promise that the first draft wasn’t nearly so controlled. Good thing I waited to hit the publish button and came back to rethink it after Tucker’s bedtime last night or it would have been pretty angry sounding. A lesson that you recently reinforced for me when you mentioned having to wait to write. So thanks.March 21, 2013 – 7:23 pmReplyCancel

  • Jen - Screw her. I hope she didn’t mess with your day AND I hope you are NEVER like her. She sounds like a bitch. Her kids are going to be entitled self absorbed asses. She would never be friends with me, she clearly wouldn’t have the time. Also, please read my post, Your children are perfect just the way they are. I know life is hard, but Tucker is perfect, his smile could light up a galaxy. He’s funny and sweet, talking is over-rated. <3 TTTx10March 22, 2013 – 8:26 amReplyCancel

    • admin - Aw thank you! I love the “his smile could light up a galaxy!” And the post you mean of yours – is it the Love the People you Love one? I remember that one well. Gave me tears, and was awesome.March 22, 2013 – 1:25 pmReplyCancel

  • Deb (Urban Moo Cow) - People can be so oblivious and self-absorbed. Motherhood has made me so much less judgmental, so much less impatient with people. Everyone has a story. What’s amazing to me is how many parents for whom the same is not true.

    Some day, your son is going to be so proud of you. xoMarch 22, 2013 – 9:12 amReplyCancel

    • admin - Deb, I hope he’s proud of me! Thank you so much. And yes, motherhood makes us so much more tolerant. And patient. And thanks for the reminder that everybody has a story. That’s easy to forget sometimes.March 22, 2013 – 1:26 pmReplyCancel

  • Stacey - The last I checked, Frogger was a game we played in the 80s, not a game self-absorbed parents play with small children trying to get into school. We registered our son (current diagnosis : sensory processing disorder) for kindergarten. I already planned on walking him in every morning; now I have another excuse to do such. I have a feeling we may get those scrunchy faces. Our son doesn’t always understand that he needs to get out of other people’s way, especially if he is absorbed in a task (puddles, oh, yes he loves puddles too). I could not trust him to walk in by himself nor would I do that to him. Hopefully, if someone makes a face at me like that woman did to you, I will be as nice as you about it!March 22, 2013 – 9:58 amReplyCancel

    • admin - I remember Frogger! Loved that game, actually. I’m so glad you’re planning on walking your son in every morning. And I think learning to get out of people’s way is hard for all little kids. Add puddles and a diagnosis, and watch out!
      Oh and I didn’t really plan to be nice. I think I was just shocked and didn’t have time to react before she drove off. Oh well.March 22, 2013 – 1:28 pmReplyCancel

  • annie - she sounds like a dream. imagine how impatient she can be with the kid. I don’t think you will end up like her at all…March 22, 2013 – 10:09 amReplyCancel

    • admin - Thanks Annie!March 22, 2013 – 1:28 pmReplyCancel

  • K - Wow. Your words are so powerful. I love how you wrote this post, and I hate that you have to deal with people like this. I’ve encountered them, too…There was this one time I was walking with a group of people, walking as fast as I could and trying not to fall, and then I heard an angry voice pipe up, “Why are you going so slowly? Speed up, won’t you?!!” Ugh. I just hate it when people make assumptions. Some people, like the woman you wrote about, are just so caught up in their own little worlds that they don’t even try to see things from others’ perspectives. Thank you for writing this post.March 22, 2013 – 10:36 amReplyCancel

    • admin - Thanks so much! I suppose we’ve all encountered them. Sorry to hear that you had to experience it personally. People can be such jerks. I hope you said something to the person who who pooped on your day, unlike me!March 22, 2013 – 1:30 pmReplyCancel

  • Wendy - Thanks for reminding us all that there is a world out there outside of our own families. I love reading your perspectives.March 22, 2013 – 12:23 pmReplyCancel

    • admin - Thanks for the comment, Wendy!March 22, 2013 – 1:30 pmReplyCancel

  • Jamie - This was super on-point! Owen just started his new Special Needs preschool at our local public elementary school on Monday, and though I haven’t had your experience at drop-off (yet?), I have had many experiences in public places – parking lots, grocery stores, restaurants, etc. – to know exactly how it feels. Know that you will likely never be like crusty face…and that’s a good thing.March 22, 2013 – 4:01 pmReplyCancel

    • admin - Thanks, for coming by, Jamie! I hope that you and Owen have only the very best school drop-off experiences. Because having had them in parking lots and grocery stores already is just plain enough.
      And I hope he loves school!March 22, 2013 – 5:16 pmReplyCancel

  • Maggie Amada - I hope you scrunched your face right back. She deserved it.March 22, 2013 – 6:20 pmReplyCancel

    • admin - Maggie, I wish that I could say that I did. Sadly, I just tried to hurry Tucker along…March 22, 2013 – 10:25 pmReplyCancel

  • Rachel - These things happen all the time in adult life, and we process them and move on. They sting so much more when there are kids involved. We want to believe that people would behave a little bit better because there are children around, that they would want to set a good a example for their own child, that they love their own child and would love yours by extension, that they understand that you are all part of a precious community of young people. It works this way for some people. You, I’m sure, feel this way most of the time — but not everyone is like you. And it’s unfortunate.March 22, 2013 – 10:21 pmReplyCancel

    • admin - Thanks, Rachel. I do feel like that most of the time. Motherhood is a bond. One that trumps so many other bonds that it continually shocks me that not all of us feel communal towards our kids. Why does it take tragedies like Sandy Hook for us to pull together as mothers? Why can’t we pull together as mothers all of the time? Me included, here. Because sometimes other people’s kids are not full of my favorite things.March 22, 2013 – 10:28 pmReplyCancel

  • Alana Terry - Doesn’t sound like a fun encounter. There are so many times I wish I could jump in someone’s brain and make them get it. 🙁 Until then, I guess we get the chance to practice patience!March 22, 2013 – 11:34 pmReplyCancel

    • admin - Ach, it wasn’t a fun encounter. Not at all. I wish we could jump in people’s brains, too…March 22, 2013 – 11:52 pmReplyCancel

  • Linda Atwell - Out One Ear - YES! I really wonder sometimes, was I given Lindsey to learn patience. Patience I wasn’t even interested in learning, but had to. You always hit the nail right on the head Kristi! Thanks for another great post. I love it!March 23, 2013 – 9:04 pmReplyCancel

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