Do you remember riding the bus to and from school? Remember how there was sort of a pecking order in terms of who sat where on the great big bus? I do. The nerds sat in the front and the cool kids always occupied the last 2 or so rows of seats. The cooler you were, the farther back you sat. I am not sure why this was, how it happened, or why it continues to be the trend even 30 years later. But, it is.
My 5-year old has been requesting to move her seat from the front of the bus to the back for about a month now. At this young age, the preschool has assigned seating. She started out in the front of the bus in a 5-point harness because she was three years old! She needed to be seated right next to the bus driver because she has a speech disorder and therefore had difficulty expressing herself, her needs, etc. Her IEP required she sit in the front of the bus. I was more than o.k. with that. I wanted my baby to be safe as she traveled in a multi-ton vehicle to and from school every day. What mom wouldn’t?
By now, this kid is talking up a storm (although not always perfectly)! But perfectly enough to commuicate that all of her friends are sitting in the back of the bus and she wants to, too. The back of the bus?! Really? At 5 years old? Sigh….how did this happen? Of course, I have lots of questions: is my Kate considered “popular?” Are her back-of-the-bus friends popular, too? Do these kids have the same pecking order our generations did many moons ago? Will she be safe back there? Safe from “mean kids,” from bumps, and will she remember to use her seatbelt??
So, at 7:20am, just minutes after I put my “little nerd” in the front seat of the bus, I called the district’s transportation department and inquired about getting her out of that carseat and into the back of the bus. No problem. After the transportation lady confirmed that her IEP had been discontinued, she said she’d tell the driver and the bus aide that Kate can move to the back of the bus.
I just hope she continues to be a studious little “popular kid.” Here’s to the back of the bus, Kate Riley!