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Sugar Dish Me

"if you can read, you can cook" -my momma

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with 22 comments

I was having a good bit of trouble deciding what to share with you today. I was drawing a complete blank. We have had a little bit of a trying week here in our household. Since Monday night I’ve been going round and round with a school bus driver and an administrator trying to take up for my little fella that needs a voice to speak up on his behalf. Does low-fat potato salad scream frustration?

Nah.
What about spicy buffalo chicken simmering in a slow cooker all day? Does that properly communicate my level of irritation?


Maybe.
Should I just slather my feelings in creamy peanut butter frosting and try to find some good in a crummy situation?


Probably.

But before we make our way to the peanut butter frosting sandwiched in between walnutty (super made-up word-of-the-day) soft oatmeal cookies, I feel like I should explain.

My kids can be pretty annoying en route to anywhere. The back seat of the car is like giggle-fest 2012. Do you remember how Ernie from Sesame Street laughs? That’s Evan. Everything is funny. Everything. It can be a little bit exhausting. So when Evan came home with a bus referral earlier this year saying that he was laughing and talking loudly, not following directions, and wiggling around in his seat I was not surprised. I did my job and scolded him, took away privileges, and life went on.

Monday, Evan produced that familiar white envelope from his back pack scrawled with that school official cursive writing “To the Parents of…”. Wamp. Wamp.

I raised my eyebrow and glared (a look I acquired from my dad… it requires no words) as I unsealed the envelope. While I read I asked Evan to please tell me what this was about and he said, “I really don’t know. I had to sit with this kid on Friday and he tattles on me for everything, like for things I didn’t even do.” Evan was not concerned. He’s silly, but he’s never been a troublemaker.

Reading on though, I found that the referral said this: “Evan was moved during route for his behavior after he was moved he bit the child sitting with him on the leg

That was it, verbatim. Let’s skip over the poor grammar and lack of punctuation here for a minute (when Evan was in 2nd grade I received a note from a teacher’s assistant telling me that “they was bees” on the playground) and get right to the root of the problem: this woman states in writing that my child is biting his seatmate on the school bus.

I know my kid. My kid doesn’t bite ( not since he was a toddler, anyway). I asked Evan to break it down for me, and after he survived a few rounds of my clever mommy interrogation skills, I determined that Evan is telling the truth. Why would he bite someone on the bus? That’s bananas. So I wrote an email in his defense.

I know, I know. I sound like one of those parents that thinks her precious child can do no wrong. Please don’t worry; I can assure you that is not the case. I will be the first person to call my boys out when they are wrong. I have high expectations of my kids and they both work hard to meet those standards. Evan in particular is a straight-A student. He is conscientious, easy to get along with, always happy, and well-behaved (but sometimes a little chatty). He is very sensitive and gets his feelings hurt easily, is never aggressive, and has never been willfully disobedient. The email to his school’s principal stated all of this.

The week before End-of-Grade testing do we really want Evan confined to in-school-suspension, especially for something I am positive he didn’t do? That seems like the sort of logic that produces grown-ups unable to write notes home to parents in proper English.

So Principal and Bus Driver called me. I informed bus driver that she could not have possibly witnessed my little boy behind a bus seat taller than he is biting another child. Especially not while driving the bus. I told her that I’m sure her job is very trying and I don’t envy her at all. I also told her that if there were bite marks on the other little boy, that surely I would have received a phone call. Bus Driver is very attitudey. She said, “We called the other parents,” in her most indignant voice.

I asked her if, since it is her policy to call the parents of a child allegedly victimized, why have I never received phone calls all the times Evan got off the same school bus upset that someone hit him? Surprise! She didn’t have an answer. When I pressed further she retracted her inadequately communicated statement about moving Evan’s seat during the route.

What it boils down to is this: Evan is silly on the school bus. He sits near the driver. He gets on her nerves. Little Boy sharing the seat says Evan bit him while Evan was leaned down trying to fish his backpack out of the floor. Bus Driver uses this opportunity to get Evan in a little trouble because he is on her nerves. Evan’s Mom is more than Bus Driver bargained for. Bus Driver is rude and nasty on the phone and screeches,”There are cameras!” before dropping the phone (I might mention that the cameras record over themselves and since this conversation happened Tuesday morning, Friday afternoon is long gone. Also cameras do not have x-ray vision that spies between seats). Principal does not relent after witnessing this entire exchange. Bus Driver takes this opportunity to write another referral because Evan is wiggly giggly and Principal announces that now he is suspended off the school bus for 3 days.

I might take this more seriously if Andrew and another little boy hadn’t served out a 5 day bus suspension a couple of years ago for READING. When Evan was in kindergarten they threatened bus suspension because he FELL ASLEEP. I promise I could not make this crap up if I tried.

In short (but actually this rant has gotten quite long… apologies) our mornings have been turned upside down trying to work out transportation. Don’t get me started on afternoon carpool. When I see Evan’s school bus drive by and not stop, I’d really like to use one of my fingers to tell Bus Driver what I think. But since she’d probably just take it out on my little cutie next week, I’m going to occupy myself with these cookies.







I could occupy myself further with peanut butter frosting…


… and then spread said peanut butter frosting all over the oatmeal walnut cookies to make sweet little sandwiches.

Oatmeal Sandwich Cookies with Peanut Butter Filling are surely the best things to emerge from this crummy situation …  probably they are the best things to emerge from anywhere in awhile. Which is why you should try them!! This is the only recipe I have ever tried from Joy the Baker (though there are gazillions that have caught my eye) and I was so so glad I did. Her site is one of the most deliciously happy places on the web and is probably the reason why my email didn’t say:

Dear Bus Driver,

%$#@*&%!@#$* (Fill in the Blank)

Sincerely,

Evan’s Mom

Click HERE for Joy’s super awesome recipe.

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Written by Heather @ Sugar Dish Me

May 17, 2012 at 1:36 pm

22 Responses

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  1. They can’t read on the bus? What can they do on the bus? Almost any bus driver I’ve ever had has been cranky.

    Please post that potato salad recipe. =)

    thoughtsappear

    May 17, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    • They can’t do ANYTHING on the bus. No talking, no reading, no sleeping, no laughing, no eating, no homework. Book bags are supposed to sit on the floor in your seat; NOT IN YOUR LAP. No blinking. No breathing…I think they are basically supposed to sit quietly and stare straight ahead. And despite the fact that Evan’s school is 5 minutes from here, it takes him 45 minutes to get home in the afternoon. That’s why he can’t be quiet. If they would just let him read he would never talk again! I gotcha on the potato salad 🙂 — very soon!

  2. oh my goodness… That sounds horrible! I can’t believe poor Evan was framed 😦 And the bus driver doesn’t seem like she’s a happy camper… What are the school bus system like in America?? Is it possible to switch school busses so that Evan won’t have to suffer under her hands? 😦

    And seriously??? Getting suspended for reading and sleeping?? That sounds waaaay to absurd! If that’s the case then I’m guilty as charged too! I’d be so pissed off if I were in your shoes..

    Well, at least we’ve always got our baking for therapeutic purposes in situations like this! And the buffalo chicken + potato salad does look quite delicious too! I actually envy Evan for being able to eat all these yum yums 🙂

    Sammie

    May 17, 2012 at 2:17 pm

  3. Oh my gosh, that bus driver sounds horrible – poor Evan 😦
    I agree with Sam, is there a way to change???
    I am sure these delicious cookies would have helped cheer up somewhat – that frosting…

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

    Choc Chip Uru

    May 17, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    • Ohhh the frosting 🙂 There’s no way to change unless I go waste my life away in the carpool line every afternoon. It’s a half hour of sitting in an immobile car waiting for a lady with a walkie talkie to give me my kid… unbearable. That calls for more frosting 🙂

  4. Hey Sammie! I wish there were more than one bus for our area. That would solve the problem very quickly! Each bus has a route and they stick to it. The reading and sleeping stuff is total nonsense. I could never get through a ride on any bus without a book & some music. The middle school buses aren’t as strict. My older son just puts on headphones and tunes everything out. But, yes, I was pissed. Could you tell? Haha.

  5. Ohh those cookies..those coooookies.

    Brittany

    May 17, 2012 at 3:51 pm

  6. Sorry to hear about your bus troubles. I’ve had my share of battles with my kids’ schools and know how miserable it can be. As a teacher myself, my advice is start writing letters to everyone! They sure “forget” or change what is said in person or over the phone. A formal letter saying what happened on this date and the bus driver/teacher/whoever involved said . . .” “. No emotion in the letter, just lots of them and very matter of fact. Once you start a paper trail they start worrying about lawsuit and they won’t give you a hard time anymore. The funny thing is a principal gave me this advice on how to deal with parents who were difficult. Now I use it as a parent with the schools. It works. Good luck 🙂 Nice cookies too!!

    Baker on the Rise

    May 17, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    • Thanks! That’s good advice! Where the school is concerned I mostly keep my mouth shut because I know that dealing with children is difficult and ultimately I don’t want to make things harder for my kids. Especially since we live in such a small town. But in all the troubles we have had with school bus drivers over the years, I have never ever had the school administrators be objective and side with or even listen to the child. I used to work in a neighborhood store here where other parents from the same school shopped and EVERYONE talks about the same problems with the buses. It can’t be everybody else all the time (every parent in the area with a child on the bus can’t be wrong, right?), but because most people don’t speak up it just goes on and on.

  7. Good for you for not letting this incident slide, and for sticking up for your little guy. How horrible to be blamed and punished for something you didn’t do! Evan will remember how you believed him, and went to bat for him long after this settles.

    Hope those delicious cookies helped ease some stress. Hello amazing peanut butter frosting!!

    • Thanks, Sandra! I’ll tell you that I’m sure Evan was wiggly and giggly. I’m sure she asked him to be quiet several times. I know that because we go round and round every time we get in the car! If the referral had stated that he wasn’t listening or that he was being too loud or too silly I would have never said a word. But saying he bit someone is over the top.

      Anytime spent in the kitchen eases stress for me 🙂 It’s my happy place. I made a big ‘ol batch of cupcakes for the school bake sale last night. I hope they’re all sold out before Bus Driver has a chance to buy any. 🙂

  8. How horrible, poor Evan 😦 I’d be furious too if that happened to my child. Good on you for not backing down on the evil sounding woman (what’s up with her anyway??) These cookies look like such a delicious distraction. I might just try these over the weekend. I also love Joy’s site, I must have a million recipes bookmarked 🙂

    NickkiT

    May 18, 2012 at 9:02 am

    • I made this recipe because the ingredient list was so simple: I always have all of these things in my pantry. Joy the Baker is really really a happy pretty place. Most of the time I just read and ogle pretty photos but this week I needed a little extra “joy”. The cookies were great. I wish I knew what was up with the bus driver. And the principal. The whole thing was lame.

  9. Well, I’m only going to say what everyone else has said – poor Evan! And what a meanie (for want of some other rather chocier words…) that bus driver is. I remember getting the bus to school and we were lucky, our bus drivers were all really easy going, and the kids in my class who get the school buses are lucky that their monitors are all fair and nice too – they need to behave so they’re safe, but they can at least read and chat! That’s just craziness! I agree about sending it in a letter, and maybe if everyone is having the same problem, everyone should get together to write one?! anyone I hope you get it sorted and in the meantime enjoy those coookies – they look DELICIOUS!

    thepinkrachael

    May 19, 2012 at 6:37 am

    • I would love to stage a revolution… a school bus revolution! But I think I’d just make life harder for my Little Bit. He’d be the kid with the crazy mom. I wrote the email. Honestly I think a good bit of it went over the principal’s head. Whaaaat Evuuur. School’s out in a few weeks. I think we all need a break from it!

  10. I would be SO annoyed. The fact is that we know our kids. And we know what they are capable of doing. And of course you’d know if your son was capable of biting another kid! How frustrating that fingers are pointed without careful consideration.

    So sorry my friend. Hate that you are dealing with this! At least the cookies are a nice little bonus. 🙂

    Hope the weekend is going well for you!

    Ameena

    May 20, 2012 at 11:53 am

    • The frustrating part was that I proved Bus Driver wrong, she rescinded her statement about being able to prove that Evan actually bit another kid, and then Principal and Bus Driver teamed up on me and said “Well Evan admitted to laughing and playing.” I thought I might pull my hair out. Of course he was laughing and playing. He’s NINE! I know it’s probably reeeeally not fun driving a school bus full of kids, but I just feel like she signed up for it and shoulda known they would drive her bonkers. It’s the equivalent of me taking a catering job and then saying, “Serve guests? Nah. I don’t like guests.”

  11. I was a chatty giggly kid and got into trouble all the time for it. That’s all I got into trouble for too. I mean honestly, getting in trouble for being happy. Really?!

    creativenoshing

    May 22, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    • You are right on with that. He’s happy! It could be worse. I would be so humiliated if my child were a bully or if he chose to be mean to other kids & never got along. But he’s not that way at all. He is giggly and goofy and makes friends everywhere he goes. He also gets his feelings hurt so so easily, which is how I know he’d never put someone else in that sorta spot.

  12. […] the middle of dealing with our school bus drama last week, Evan’s teacher sent me an email asking if I might donate 12-24 cupcakes for the school […]


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