by Jennifer Dyer
This morning was a big day in the Dyer household. After much deliberation and paperwork, today would be Rachel’s first time to take the bus to and from school. I had plans for this day. I was going to take lots of pictures. Give the bus drivers cookies for taking care of my baby. Have a good cry, all by myself, because my baby was getting more independent. Hmm… Think it worked that way? Not in this house.
As we tucked Rachel into bed last night, I thought, Here’s an idea. Let’s give her something to look forward to. Let’s talk about the bus coming in the morning.
At four in the morning when Rachel kept coming in to stare at me, perhaps wondering if it was time to get up, I had another thought. It wasn’t ‘nearly as chipper as the one several hours earlier. Eek.
At some point, she finally fell asleep. Which was great, except we had to get her up. We stumbled through the routine–I’m still wearing a pair of shorts I found under my bed–but I had her outside and ready for first-bus-day pictures before the bus got to our house.
Except, Rachel didn’t understand she would get on the bus at our house. She thought we had to go to school to catch a ride, the same way she always does for field trips. She hopped in the car. I coaxed her out. She ran back into the car, pointing at the driver’s seat as if to day, “Let’s go, crazy lady!” I waved her out.
By the time the bus chugged around the corner, Rachel was back in the rear of the minivan. Eyes wide, she hedged out of the car, glancing at me, forehead wrinkled. Could it be?
Sadly, she had tucked her dress into her shorts and her hair was sticking up in three places. She’s taken my phone–formerly set to take pictures–and had it on a setting I’d never seen.
The dog, who’d been behaving like a gentleman, decided the bus was there for him. He lunged. Sadly, I was attached to the other end of the leash. Rachel must have decided to race him … while I was still trying to pull the dress out of her shorts.
I also made a new discovery. The bus driver’s assistant is terrified of dogs, especially big dark ones that run full tilt toward her first thing in the morning. And where were the cookies? Oh, yes, I’d forgotten to make them. So, instead offering an overture of friendship and goodwill to the people taking care of my precious verbally-challenged autistic child, I’d given them a jolt better than any coffee beverage could.
Yay. For. Me.
And as for pictures? I got one as the bus drove away. Another cheer for mom.
What about the good cry? Still haven’t had time to get it done. Maybe later…
I did get this video of Rachel while we waited for the bus in between her forays to the car.