- Family and Parenting
Ideas On How To Use The Time Waiting In The Dreaded Car Line To Surprise Your Children
The time is drawing closer and closer. My stomach starts to churn, my head is already beginning to pound, and my palms start sweating in the anticipation of the on coming rush out the door. I hurry to grab my purse and load my three year old, who is half asleep, in the car. I quickly race over to my daughter’s school only to stop short and join my place in the dreaded car line. Here I will wait for up to an hour with the hot sun beating down on my vehicle insuring that I will not be able to turn the car off to conserve gas. I will watch as the gas tank needle slowly begins its descent downward as the car makes no forward progress. I look around to see the other parents just sitting, waiting joining the metallic snake that is looped around the elementary school anticipating the arrival of their young.
If you are like me, waiting in car line has become a necessary evil that I’m guessing must be there to teach us the importance of patience. After only one week of school, I have become bored with my usual means of occupying myself during this time: solitaire and restaurant story on my phone or checking Facebook every 15.7 seconds hoping someone has updated their status. I have tried reading a book in the car but after having to inch forward about 2 feet every minute, I find I can’t concentrate on the story and I grow frustrated with having to constantly find my place on the page again. So as I let my mind begin to wander, thankful my son is now fast asleep and can’t be as bored as I am, I thought of a few new ideas that we as parents could implement to make car line a little more interesting. Below you will find my exciting list of car line activities organized by days of the week.
Mad Hatter Mondays
Let’s show some team spirit or a little creativity by wearing some form of hat. For the more daring I would recommend something crazy that would be sure to draw attention, like a princess crown or a hat of your own making. Please refer to the picture for an example. For the less adventurous, as football season draws closer this is a good time to support whichever team you prefer.
Topsy Turvy Tuesdays
Now is the day to begin to draw a little more attention to yourself. Topsy Turvy Tuesdays is all about wearing a top that is sure to be noticed. Think along the lines of a cheesy Christmas sweater in September or your own puffy paint creation that is sure to be noticed. Again for the less daring, a sports team shirt would also be acceptable. Not in the mood to change up what you are wearing, then I recommend a new hairstyle. Some great examples would be a Pippi Longstocking look or breaking out the old crimper for a wavy new do.
These days are all about letting yourself really go crazy. Some great ideas would be costumes of your choosing or face painting if the mood strikes. Look around the house and I bet you can find a lot of great material for Wednesday. Who doesn’t have an old 80’s prom dress just lying around begging to be worn again? Who hasn’t wanted to throw on their husband’s clothes and see how the other half feels on a daily basis? Again for the less bold who would like to participate, there are some ideas for you too. Dress up the other siblings in costume who ride along with you and just tell them you are playing pretend. I bet they would love to surprise their brother or sister with a cow costume!
“The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated.” -- William James
I decided we need to throw a day in there to show our appreciation for those who take care of our children while they are away from us. The only people who have it worse than we do during car line are the teachers and staff at the school. They are in 90 degree weather, at least in Florida where we live, sweating profusely while helping whether it is during a normal afternoon thunderstorm or sunny day with a smile on their face. They deserve some gratitude for the job they do. So next Thursday put a cooler in your car with ice cold waters and hand them out as you go. Maybe one day you can pass out ice pops because remember how good those are and they can be bought for really cheap. Another idea is to pick a different staff member each Thursday and get them a $5 gift card to or even just a simple thank you card would be so appreciated. Grab some ponchos on the next trip to the dollar store and hand them out on rainy days. There are a lot of ways to show how grateful you are without spending a lot of money. It would be great to get the kids involved too. You can have them make cards or other simple home made thank you items to teach the importance of gratitude. Starbucks
Number of long lingering stares
Verbal acknowledgement: Positve or Negative
Number of other particpants
Fun Filled Fridays
Fridays are about showing your child how much you care in a very public way. Decorate their car window on the outside with such phrases as Great Job On Your Test! or I Love You So Much. If you think your child would never speak to you again because of this then you can always decorate the inside of their window instead. Another great idea is to get balloons and put them on the seat or even outside the car for a more festive look. Let it be a day where you do something to make your child feel special and loved. Another great Friday idea is what I like to call car pool karaoke. This is where you turn the radio up to a somewhat acceptable level and sing loudly to your favorite songs. See how many other parents you can get to join in for more fun.
Now some of you are asking, so I dress silly and then what? What is the purpose of doing this? For me and people with a competitive nature, it’s all about seeing which ideas get the most reaction. Buy a regular notebook and make a chart where you can record the day, what the craziness you did was, and the reaction from it. Try to out do yourself and get other parents involved to see who can out do each other. Or it can just simply be something you do to break up the day and a way to entertain yourself and your children. If nothing else, adopt Thankful Thursdays because it not only sets a good example to your children but I guarantee you will get as much out of it as the teachers do.