Thursday, May 19, 2011

Look Before You Leap

Several people have asked recently about David's bus riding habits. Or perhaps more accurately, about exactly how David is getting himself down the driveway and to the bus.

It is no secret that David started the year by walking backward to the bus--not a secret because if I had really wanted to keep that little quirk private, then perhaps I shouldn't have written about it HERE and HERE. He has been in school and therapy for more than half of his young life, but until this year I have always acted as chauffeur, with the help of my husband, parents, sister, niece and anyone else we could find standing on the street corner with a valid driver's license because, as you know, David is a busy guy. Well, David did not think riding the bus was a stellar idea and chose to express his misgivings by walking backwards every day. For months.

Initially, it was a form of protest, but after a week or two, he actually found it quite funny. And we knew if we tried to get him to stop, the more stubborn he would become. Quite frankly, it didn't really matter so, aside from my husband walking backward with him on occasion, we ignored it and assumed David would lose interest by the time he turned, well let's see, twenty seven?

We briefly had hope during the winter months when David stopped retropedaling (it is a word, look it up) but we quickly realized that his efforts were all in the interest of sure footing and as the snow melted, so did David's brush with conformity. He was back to his usual habits.

And then, we had what I like to refer to as the "look before you leap incident." One morning several weeks ago, the usual bus had mechanical problems and bus "seven zero three" was replaced by bus "seven three zero." Imagine David's surprise when he reached the end of the driveway, turned to climb the stairs into the bus and instead of Terry, the tall, lanky, gray haired gentleman with a moustache that David resolutely refuses to greet each morning, he saw an African American woman who could probably most politely be described (since I am no super model myself) as Terry's polar opposite.

As I recall, I shoved David in the door of the bus and high-tailed it back up the driveway before he had a chance to protest. Obviously, David does not handle change well, especially when he has not been prepared in advance and that one episode was enough to scare him straight; we have been marching straight toward the bus each morning without exception.

I do believe that David was thrilled to see Terry that next morning and offered him a crooked little grin, although he still refused to say hello. I guess he still has his own form of bus riding silent protest by remaining quite literally silent.


  1. I love that you shoved him on old bus 730 and hightailed it away. Somedays, when I drop Griffin off at school and he is wound up like a top, I feel as though I am pulling the pin on a grenade and running away without even yelling "fire in the hole!"

    I drive away laughing, "Ha ha ha! He's your problem for the next six hours!"

  2. We have had so many mornings when Edward had to be coaxed and cajoled into a) doing the things necessary for going to school and b) (even when he has done those things, we can't count the chickens til his little feet are) getting up those mighty steps. He'll turn tail at the last minute and refuse to go. Thankfully though, now, we can usually encourage him along, without total panicked "the bus is WAITING!!"