If you have kids – especially teenagers – that need to be dropped off or picked up at school, you will probably encounter at least one of these rules in some form at some point in your career as a chauffeur. Here are the rules as declared by my teens followed by my own version. For the record, my rules trump theirs.
- If you are in the vicinity of the school, do not crank up your music. No one wants to hear your 80’s music. It is old. And? More than a little embarrassing.
- When you see me standing with my friends, do not make eye contact with me. I see you, but that doesn’t mean I want to admit to actually having my mother pick me up from school.
- If I happen to ask you to drive one of my friends home, do not make idle chit-chat. Do you know how embarrassing it is that you think you are cool enough to hang with us?
- If you absolutely have to get out of the van, please dress appropriately. This includes not wearing your sweats and looking as if you have been doing housework all day.
- Under no circumstances are you to shout out my name to get my attention. If I don’t see you right away, I will eventually. But really? Shouting out the window is just wrong. This also includes not honking your horn.
- Conversation to and from school is not a requirement. I am just fine texting or listening to my MP3 player. No offense. I just don’t have much to say beyond, “My day was fine.”
- Absolutely no kissing or hugging me when you drop me off. I mean, gross!
- It is completely acceptable to be about 15 minutes late in order for me to hang out with my friends. Unless I want you there as soon as school lets out. You will not know which day I prefer which option, but I will give you attitude if you chose incorrectly.
- It is my van and I will listen to whatever music strikes my fancy. If you complain, I will make sure that I am playing the Mama Mia! Soundtrack so loud it rattles the windows. Just so you know.
- If I see you standing with your friends and you ignore me, I will not only make eye contact, I will wave. And? It won’t be just a regular wave. It will be over the top and frantic as if I am waving in an airplane for landing.
- If I am acting as a chauffer, I will feel free to actually speak to your friends. They are not as embarrassed by me as you are. If you act put out, I will share stories about you that your friends will be sure to find hilarious.
- If I do have to get out of my van, that means you are ignoring me. If it happens repeatedly, I will make sure to wear clothes that look more like I just rolled out of bed and will accessorize with hair curlers and a robe. Don’t make me get out of the van to get you.
- I reserve the right to shout out not only your name but any embarrassing and cutesy nickname I can think of if I have been sitting in the van waiting for you for more than five minutes and know as a fact you have seen me the whole time. You know I will do it.
- Conversation upon pick up will happen. If I get a simple, “I am fine” as a response, you will get the third degree until you feel the urge to jump out of the moving vehicle. Make it easy and just tell me about your day, because I cannot promise I will slow down if you decide to jump out.
- If I tell you to have a good day and (heaven forbid) tell you I love you when I drop you off and you decide to ignore me, I will most definitely roll down the window and shout, “Make good choices!” I have done it before and will do it every time. You have been warned.
- When I do arrive to pick you up – whether I am 15 minutes late or right on time – that is your clue that it is time to leave. If you decide to pretend not to see me, please refer to rules 1-7 because they will immediately go into effect.
And that, my friends, are our 8 Simple Rules for Surviving Carpool with teenagers.
If you have anymore to add to my list, I would love to hear them. I am all for new weapons for my arsenal in showing the teens who is the boss. And please, don’t judge me. Sometimes a mom just has to humor herself when raising teenagers.