I am starting to feel somewhat settled in our new school routine, and we are going to shake it up a little bit on Thursday. After battling my Mommy-guilt, we have decided to let Clare go on the bus to school. I know, I know, what's the big deal really? But I have HUGE reservations about that big yellow thing (even though Clare's will be a little yellow thing and might even be a van). I imagine all sorts of horrible things that could happen on the bus. Yet the time between dropping Clare off at school and leaving the house again to pick Jamie up from school is too short for Simon and Violet to properly nap. And my two little ones desperately need their naps. I weighed my negative attitude concerning the bus (and, mind you, I personally never had to ride the bus to school because I lived within walking distance) against these facts:
* four days a week, I have to wake up two grumpy kids from too-short naps and deal with their wrath for the remainder of the day
* this will allow me to put Simon and Violet down for naps before the bus picks Clare up, so they can get a quality naptime and make for a much happier afternoon all around (and the little ones do need their naps for their overall health as well)
* it's a Special Education bus with at least one aide on it and maybe one or two other kids that stops right in front of our house to pick Clare up - she has a seatbelt and booster seat for safety
* it's just to bring Clare to school - I will still pick her up from school after I pick up Jamie
* Clare is excited to go on the bus (and Jamie is jealous, but there is no way I am bussing him, too!)
So I need to tell the Mommy-guilt to take a hike. I know in my head it's ridiculous to feel like a bad Mommy because I am putting my four-year old on a school bus when I am perfectly capable of driving her to school myself. In my heart, though, I still feel terrible about the decision. I feel selfish - like I just want that extra time while the kids are napping to myself. And I do want that extra time! I won't lie! But I also want the little ones to be able to nap and not be stuck driving around in the car all afternoon. I don't want them to be tired for the rest of the day, red-eyed and whiny. I have to write this all out to justify to myself why my decision is a good one, made for the good of all of us, not just Clare. And that Clare will love this new adventure of riding the bus. Thank goodness Shawn finally talked me into our new fancy-schmancy camera so we can take lots of pictures!