In honour of back to school (can I get an “Amen?”), I’m sharing thoughts on the carpool lane, a.k.a the drop-off lane, or simply the parking lot. If you have school age kids who don’t take the bus, you know all about slow-moving vehicles, painted lines and safety patrol.

Sounds simple, right? And yet somehow, it’s a clusterfuck no matter how routine and fixed the rules remain.

Every year, the same shit happens. And, after a break of any length, it gets worse. People forget everything. But the rules are the same. You stay in your car, you put your phone away, you pay attention to what the fuck you’re doing and you drive to the curb. Schools communicate these rules. Take three minutes, read the email or flyer or whatever you get at the beginning of the year. Even if you’re new, be a lemming. Do what the rest of us are doing and you’ll get the hang of it. I promise.

And before you go all “what a sexist” on me, don’t think because you’re a dad, you’re exempt. I’m watching you too, pal and I know you pull the same shit.

Clueless Mom

Clueless is one of my favorites. She just got a new massive-ass SUV. It’s a Lexus, or an Infiniti and it cost more than a teacher’s annual salary. It’s shiny like the giant rock of a diamond on her French manicured hands and she’s terrified of ruining its Turtle Wax shine. When it comes to actually moving forward, she’s not sure if it’s safe to put her foot on the accelerator. When she does, oops, she floors it. She may look innocent but she’s dangerous. Let her go in front of you. Feel really good about yourself and let other cars go too. Build as much distance as you can between you and that ditzy killing machine.

Multi-tasker Mom

Multi-tasker Mom is texting, posting to Facebook and/or doing her make up. She may even be scheduling her next mammogram. Whatever it is, it’s insanely unsafe. Girlfriend, please just stop. That shit is ridiculous and you know it. How many times do you need to see cars wrapped around trees to get the message? Unless you are parked off an abandoned country road with Idris Elba, car-multitasking is not your friend. It’s also illegal in many states and double illegal in school zones. And, if you hit my kid because you’re fixing your lipstick, I will cut you.

And, finally there’s Anarchy Mom:

She’s a radical and the rules don’t apply. Typically she pulls an ‘I’m just going to hop out of the car in the middle of the line’ move. She’s a triple threat with multiple rule violations, unsafe conditions for all, and a traffic backup. She leaves her driver side door open, the car running, and a toddler alone in a car seat. Then she disappears. She’s driving a mini-van, not that there’s anything wrong with that, but her kid’s fucking door opens by itself. What possible reason could she have for getting out of the car? No reason. Stay in your car, Anarchy Mom.

Unless your kid is the size of Whoville’s Cindy-Lou, in which case park your car and pick her up in person, please follow protocol. You’re not exempt no matter how well you emulate Al Pacino and scream “Attica, Attica!”

Now that you know who to watch for, keep in mind next week, everyone, even the rule followers, will be hung-over from too much parenting, too much yelling, and way too many Labour Day cocktails. Be on your toes out there.

Or, you can do what I’m doing: pitch a tent in the school playground and set the kids up with food and charged electronics. They’ll be fine. And, you can sleep in.

This post originally ran on In Other Words.



Jenny Kanevsky is the author of the mystery Chosen Quarry and a copywriter and content marketing provider. Visit her site She is also an editor at The Good Men Project and a contributor at Huffington Post . She lives in Austin, Texas.

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