Molly rode the school bus home for the first time today. It was a brave step for a Pre-K kid like Molly to hop onto a gigantic, loud bus full of big kids as old as 12. Molly was barely as tall as the lowest step on the bus. But Molly did it with full confidence, no complaints, and no problems.
This was an accomplishment for Claire too. Being in Pre-K, Molly gets out at 2:00 rather than 2:45. Molly goes to Extend-a-Care for 45 minutes, at which point Claire gets out of class and picks up Molly. Claire actually has to find Molly and her stuff, sign her out, and get her across school in halls clogged with 895 other kids, to the bus before it leaves. This is also challenge because Molly is a bit of a slow walker. The teachers, Extend-a-Care staff, the bus driver were all prepared for this, and they all helped make it safe and easy to get Molly to the bus. The bus driver and Claire have kept careful watch on Molly to make sure she is alright on the bus. I had asked Claire if she wanted me to go through the process with her once or twice, but she immediately declined, saying she could handle it on her own. Way to go, Claire and Molly!
Molly was excited about riding the bus home, which is good because it is quite helpful for everyone. Up to this point, Claire had been riding the bus home by herself. While Molly stayed at Extend-a-Care, Claire did homework with her nanny Sarah. When Claire was doing something independent like reading, then Sarah would run and get Molly, which took about 45 to 60 minutes door-to-door, including some playground time. This was fine since I was upstairs working from home every day. This changed when I took a new job working at the Whole Foods headquarters. Now Sarah would have to take Claire with her to pick up Molly at Extend-a-Care. Before I started my new job, we did some test runs. It became painfully clear that Claire would not have the time she need to finish her homework if she was also pickup up Molly. Claire was up late, sometimes finishing her homework, up early the next morning to catch up, and some nights in tears. Now, with Molly riding the bus home, they can all stay at home and do homework, etc. without having to head back out into the traffic. Everyone seems to love the new arrangement, although it leaves Sarah with the challenge of keeping Molly from distracting Claire during her homework time.