How Could I Have Missed the Bus?
It was Day 2 of the new school year.
The bus stop is a three-minute walk from our house. Dylan’s bus was scheduled to arrive at 7:10.
Dylan left the house at 7:09.
Even at 7:09, he stopped in the middle of the driveway, and asked whether or not I thought he could go back inside, run upstairs, find his ear buds, and still make it to the bus stop.
“I don’t think it’s a good idea,” I said.
“I think I could do it,” he said.
I was watching to see if the bus might whiz past. He was still thinking about the ear buds.
“You have one minute to get to the bus stop,” I said. “I don’t think it’s a good idea.”
“Whatever,” he said, and started strolling toward the bus stop.
The phone rang three minutes later.
“There’s like nobody here,” Dylan said from the bus stop.
“Perhaps you missed the bus,” I said.
“How could I have missed the bus? I left in plenty of time!”
“You didn’t leave in plenty of time,” I started – but was interrupted by the shrillness of his voice.
“I did leave in plenty of time! The bus could not have been here at 7:10 or I would have seen it!”
“Maybe the bus came early,” I said.
“Why would it come early?!” he wailed.
Like it was my fault he missed the bus.
Dylan walked back home and rode with me while I took Shane to school. I’ve told him before that if he misses the bus, he can ride with us – but his school starts earlier than Shane’s, and we would have to get Shane to school first.
Traffic was atrocious. We stopped along the way to mail a letter, then looked futilely for Shane’s friends, then drove back up the street to drop off Shane with some other friends.
Then I dropped off Dylan at his school, which is semi-walking distance from Shane’s school. Miraculously, Dylan arrived for his second day of school just as the last bell was ringing.
No natural consequences for his behavior.
The next day, he missed the bus again. I got the call from the bus stop.
“So I left three minutes earlier today,” he said. “And there’s only like one person here.”
“Okay,” I said. “Maybe you should have left more than three minutes earlier.”
“Why would I need to leave more than three minutes earlier?” he shrieked. “I was here in plenty of time if the bus was coming at 7:10!”
“Did you ever consider,” I said, “that maybe the time was changed and that you somehow missed the announcement?”
“I didn’t miss the announcement,” he said. “Everybody was listening to music. So everybody would have missed the announcement.”
“Perhaps you should have left way earlier today to see what time the bus actually plans to arrive. There’s another person there, right?”
“Not anymore,” he screeched. “She left! Why should I come way earlier if the bus is supposed to be here at 7:10?!”
“Why don’t you come home…”
“I am coming home!” he screamed.
Like it’s my fault he missed the bus.
Dylan walked home. I drove Shane to school and Dylan rode along. And then I dropped off Dylan at his school.
Miraculously, Dylan arrived at school just before the final bell.