Monday, February 2, 2009
Quote of the day - It's a train station
About three days a week, I run out of my office as the bell rings, hoping to beat my 3,000 students out of the parking lot so I can pick up Brielle before 3:00, when I have to start paying for after care. After I've hugged her, celebrated homeward-bound kindergarten artifacts, and talked her into sitting in her car seat, I pull out to the edge of the street and hope the sight of moving traffic scares her into buckling her car seat more than my nagging did.
On a good day, she reads me one of her little picture-guided books on the way and I get to hear about what she's learned, and maybe even a song.
At the twins' preschool, I take Brielle in and we wade through four-year-olds who've just woken from a nap. I find and squeeze Melía, who helps me find the hiding Ashlyn, who's dressed in some sort of costume. Melía joins Ashlyn in her hiding spot. I tickle them both till they come out. I goad Ashlyn to lose the dress-up gear.
It's snack time now. While waiting for them to eat, I collect artwork from one cubby, blankets and sweaters from another, peanut-butter-scented princess boxes from the lunch rack. And with any luck, two children.
With lots of luck, I emerge with all three.
We work our way down the hall, girls stopping to see what the babies are doing, reminisce about bygone days in younger classes, beg for ice from the ice machine. One gets out to the car, another decides she needs to go potty. They all get outside, and Daddy remembers he didn't sign them out. Back inside, another decides she's ready for a pitstop too. Daddy wonders what happened to his nap time.
It's usually a good 90 minutes between my quitting time and the delicious moment when all four of us are crammed into the battered green Accord.
To make things interesting today, between Brielle's kindergarten and the twins' preschool, I had to swing by Rachelle's work to snag a third carseat. Walking toward Mommy's building, Brielle eyed a set of temporary mobile home offices on a construction site.
"Are those choo-choo trains? Is this a train station?"
"No, but they do look kind of like trains. Those are mobile homes, Brielle. The call them 'mobile' because they are moveable. 'Mobile' comes from the same word as 'move.' Mobile, move, mobile, move. Auntie's house is a mobile home, but it is double-wide. See how skinny those mobile homes are? They are single wide. Do you know why they make them so skinny? That's so they can fit on the back of a truck and drive them on the roads to wherever they need them. Cool, huh?"
Brielle had listened politely to my lecture on manufactured housing nomenclature, etymology and transport. And she had one conclusion:
"I think this is a train station."