Ruby is taking the bus to school now. This is despite her many protests, scowls, and threats. For the first part of the week I rode the bus with her, got off with her, and then bused myself back home. Wednesday she had Forest School of course, and yesterday I tried taking the bus with her and not getting off. I kissed her goodbye from the aisle of the city bus and she stepped off and walked to school alone. Today I sent her to wait at the bus stop by herself, while I drove to school to meet her on the other side. You know, just to make sure that she remembered to get off.
“How was the bus?” I asked her, as we walked across the street to the school building together. She just glared at me. “You made it! So that’s something, right?” More glowering.
“Daddy, I don’t want to take the bus!” she finally blurted out.
“I know. But we moved. And I have to work now and can’t drive you to school every day. Would you rather switch schools like your brother? Then you could walk…” I didn’t even have to finish my thought, because her horrified look told me what I already knew. Switching schools would pretty much be the end of the world.
“I am NOT. Switching schools.” she said firmly.
“Okay, then you will have to take the bus,” I informed her.
“ARGH! I don’t want to switch schools OR take the bus!” she shouted.
I just shrugged. What else was there to say? We kept walking and I followed Ruby over to the building where she sat down on a low wall in the shade to wait for the bell. “Can we move to the sun?” I asked. “It’s 45 degrees out, I can see my breath! Let’s sit in the sun!”
Now it was her turn to shrug, and we both got up, walked around to the sunny side of the building, and found another wall to sit on. “Ack!” I said, “the sun’s in my eyes now!”
“Daaaa-ddyyyyy,” she chided, “first you didn’t want the shade, and now you don’t want the sun!”
“Yeah, I don’t like the shade OR the sun!” I whined.
“Well then,” she considered, “you should probably just vaporize yourself. Because you don’t have any other choices. You have to be in the shade or the sun.”
“I guess we can both vaporize ourselves then,” I retorted.
“What?! No! Why do I have to vaporize myself?!” she protested.
“Because you don’t want to switch schools, and you don’t want to take the bus to this school, so you will have to vaporize yourself too.”
She looked at me for a second with dawning comprehension, and then laughed. Her friends came over to see her as they arrived at school, and she went off to play. Nobody was vaporized. I think she’ll be fine on the bus. And next time I will try to remember my sunglasses.