As of this year I have been a school bus driver for eight years with the River Falls School District and many more with other companies. In fact I remember on the first day that I was to take my test, they shut down all federal buildings because terrorists had hijacked planes and did unspeakable acts of terror to the Twin Towers on 9/11. I have been driving school bus for a while.
One thing that I have learned is that no two days are the same and you never know WHAT will come out of a child’s mouth. Thats where the ideas of "morning warm ups" came from, asking my kids basic questions and seeing where THEY take it.
One morning a couple of weeks ago, I pulled up to a stop with two young girls, one of which, the youngest, ALWAYS carries one of DOZENS of stuffed animals with her. As a bus driver, stuffed animals can be VERY important to kids as they help them start their day or even go as far as helping them not feel so lonely on a sometimes huge bus. Bottom line, always let stuffed animals on board.
On this particular morning as the two young ladies were crossing in front of my bus, I thought I’d have a little fun. Greeting the older sister I waited for the younger to board, being all of 1st grade age, she is always happy and loves to smile at me as she gets on board. This morning I turned to her after looking at her baby leopard stuffed animal named "Freckles" (pronounced FWeck-les) and asked; “Do you have her papers?”
A look of shock crossed the little girls face as she asked back; “Papers?” I proceeded to state that River Falls Public Transportation Ordinance #(I can’t even remember the number, I just whipped it off the top of my head.) CLEARLY states that if your going to transport a wild animal on a school bus, it must be documented with the proper immunization records before it can proceed.” (I was impressed with myself that I never cracked a smile once.) Shocked she stated that “I don’t have any papers for her, I didn’t even know I needed them.” With a wink I said to her, tonight you find a piece of paper and a pencil and see if you can make one up. As we got to school I heard the kids in the back of the bus explain to her that the bus driver was having fun with her and as she left the bus we had a good laugh.
The next morning, my little 1st grader got on the bus with an ear to ear grin to which she handed me a note…
Eat your heart out Steve Harvey and "Little Big Shots" My kids win hands down!!!
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