Friday, July 17, 2009


Jack's bus driver hates us.

I've tried so hard to endear myself to her. We wait on the porch in the morning so Jack is all ready to get on the bus as soon as it turns the corner. I sit in the living room and listen for the bus to come in the afternoon. I'm always on my way out to the curb by the time it pulls up. I'm always very friendly and say hi, and have Jack wave at them as they pull away.

But even all of that can't lessen the reality that Jack is the bus barfer.

It happened first this Wednesday. I put Jack on the bus feeling fine, but got a call 35 minutes later from his ESY teacher telling me that I should pick him up because he threw up on the bus.

Of course when I got to the school, what should be out front, but the bus...with the bus driver and the aide inside cleaning up Jack's vomit. They were practically all decked out in biohazard gear with rubber gloves and all.

I asked if I could help, but they said no. I apologized profusely and went inside to get Jack, who was drenched down to his shoes from his weirdly watery vomit.

Thankfully when I came back out, the bus was gone.

I spent Thursday apologizing profusely to the bus drivers at pick up and drop off.

Then today I got home from a playdate to find a message from the bus driver. She sounded less nice than she has sounded in person in the past.

"Jack threw up on the bus again this morning," she said, "so you might want to pick him up from school."

Then I noticed a message on my cell phone. It was the site coordinator for Jack's school.

"Jack threw up on the bus again this morning," she said. "He seems fine now, so maybe he was just carsick. But be on notice that if he starts to look bad you'll have to come get him."

I ended up calling the site coordinator, because that seemed the responsible thing to do. I told her that Jack does get carsick. I asked if I should bring in new clothes for Jack. She said that I didn't have to because evidently he didn't throw up on himself.

He threw up on someone else's backpack instead.

Oh dear lord.

I asked if maybe I should start driving him to school instead as the bus seems to be hard on his stomach. She told me that I should give it a few more days and then if he continues to have problems, we can take him off the bus then. She was all nice and friendly about it.

The bus driver and aide were less pleased to hear our "Let's give it another chance" option. They didn't even seem all that grateful for my "I'll send a towel on the bus with him" plan.

"There's a lot of liquid in his vomit," the aide said, pantomiming his vomit running onto the floor and down the bus steps.

"I think the bus is just too hot for him in the morning," the driver said, with a meaningful look at me.

I guess this means that my planned thank you baggies of cookies for the bus drivers at the end of ESY have just turned into gift cards.


  1. Screw the gift cards! Really. If the driver & aide were a bit nicer and more understanding, sure. But if they're trying to emotionally bully you? Pfft! A card is fine.

    Poor Jack. What helps him when he's feeling car sick? Would sending him with a little ice pack to press on his face help? Poor kiddo. I hope the bus driver isn't making him feel *worse* by being snotty to him.

    Erm, sorry, I get kinda protective of some of my favorite little guys.

  2. I agree on the ice pack thing. If nothing else, it might distract him enough to help him get past what might become a habitual reflex.

    Also, can he have breakfast at school?

    I vote for getting the driver some of those cute rubber boots from Target. And maybe a nice pair of gloves.

  3. Geez, what about a nice discreet bucket kept under the seat he sits in! Anybody ever heard of puppy pads? Absorbent and plastic backed. There are all kinds of things you can do. But . . . how does Jack feel? Does he feel bad, embarrassed, or just sick? Poor guy.

  4. Poor Jack! Give that little guy lots of hugs! And maybe food isn't a good option for the driver. How about a nice hand towel? You can get really nice ones cheap at Tuesday Morning.

  5. Yeah, I was that kid.

    My mom had to send a note to the bus driver to tell her to sit me in the front seat of the bus because my assigned seat in the back made me throw up repeatedly all over Lisa Ayre's books. Lisa Ayres was an unamused 8th grader whose face I remember well.

    So the driver put me up front and taped a huge trash bag in front of me. Problem solved. I didn't throw up on her bus again.

    The bag was awful big - in retrospect maybe that's where she planned to stuff my kindergarten body if she had to clean up my puke again.

    Anyway, moral of the story - try the front seat. :)

  6. I'd go with the gift cards in the MIDDLE of the session, rather than at the end. Who the heck cares if they're well-disposed toward your kid AFTER THEY NO LONGER WORK WITH HIM? But if they're surly and angry while they're picking him up every day? A little bribe can't hurt.

    Of course, if it turns out he simply can't handle the bus and you end up driving him? Then screw 'em. ;-)

  7. Definitely move him up front...with a discreet bucket on the floor.

    Poor baby. I was a carsick kid myself, so I sympathize.

    I don't remember you mentioning this being a problem during the school year. Is the summer commute substantially longer?

    And yeah, screw the gift cards unless the meanies actually do something to help him.

    Summer is just so relaxing, isn't it? Sigh.

  8. Oooooh, poor kid. I get very car sick myself, so I feel his pain. What about the sea band? No medication and it can be taken off any time with out a problem. Worth a try.

  9. We use Sea Bands with my car sick bunch. They have worked REALLY well. My kids will even ask for them now... "mommy, my tummy is feeling funny, can I have those wrist band things?"
    And, I agree that the surly bus driver and aide don't deserve gift cards. This is not the first time they have had to deal with vomit, and they don't have to be mean about a kid who gets carsick. There is plenty they could do to "lessen" Jack's tummy problems, for example, letting him sit up front, with a barf bag. They need to remember that the kids are the reason they have a job!

  10. Poor guy! I hope this doesn't happen again.

    Also feeling sorry for the driver-- I'm remembering those little ribbed rubber mats on the floor. I bet the barf really settles in.

  11. Oh, poor Jack! And I don't feel too sorry for the bus driver and aide, because I don't like their tones.

  12. Everyone else is so sympathetic to poor Jack. I just crack up everytime I hear about the barfing! To tell the truth, I'm just glad it's not me.

    Now I will just take my seat while waiting for the bus to take me to Meanville.

  13. Poor little dude, puking every day. Puke isn't THAT hard to clean up... you can just put sand on it! I've cleaned up BARRELS of puke in my lifetime! I think the bus driver should be nicer to Jack!!!!!

  14. You were going to do baggies of cookies? Were you going to TOSS them at the drivers? Because that would be awesome. Please do that.


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