Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Wheels on the Bus

It is so interesting to be the mother of a nearly 2 year old and a 7 year old. It is fascinating to see the similarities and differences between them - developmentally, socially, emotionally, and of course their likes and dislikes. An example of their differences was driven home (pardon the pun) to me in particular over this past week, with regard to my girls very different feelings about -- the bus.

My older daughter is a first grader, she attends elementary school and she rides the big, yellow school bus to and from school (almost) every day. She does not care much for it.

My toddler, on the otherhand, seems to be fascinated with buses – one of her new favorite songs is “The Wheels on the Bus” (big hit with her!). Her language skills are developing and she is learning new words all the time, but two of her favorites are “Lulu” (which is what she calls her sister) and “bus”. And she will say these words together no less than 20 times a day! When we are out running errands, she gets very excited when she sees a bus drive by, and she LOVES to watch through the front window for her sister’s school bus. I'm sure a lot of this stems from her love of her sister and relating the bus with her sister coming home (she doesn't usually see her leave on the bus).

In contrast, my older daughter does not love the bus these days (did I mention that?)! Many mornings, she wakes up saying, “I don’t want to go to school – I don’t like the bus!” One of her big complaints is that her afternoon bus, admittedly, takes quite a long time to get to our house. It seems to me that she is one of the last kids to be picked up in the morning (short ride), and one of the last kids to be dropped off in the afternoon (long ride). In addition to the long ride, she never seems to be able to finish her lunch at school, and she is not allowed to eat on the bus on the way home. I can appreciate that the bus driver / company does not want to have to pick up after the kids, but I also can understand that when she’s on the bus for 45 minutes after a long day at school, that a few Goldfish crackers would go a long way toward keeping her in a good mood!

My husband has a rotating schedule, and is frequently off for a day or two in the middle of the week. And he, being the sweet dad that he is, has taken to grabbing our little one and driving up to school to pick our girl up, thus saving her from the horrors of the dreaded bus ride home! This is great, however, she has become accustomed to being “a car rider” as she refers to it, and BOY does she get crabby when something interferes with her being a car rider! For example, a car repair… My car was at the mechanic’s over the weekend and was not going to be ready until sometime on Monday (they weren’t even starting until Monday, I should say). So, on Sunday, I started to prepare her for the fact that Daddy, who was off on Monday, would not be able to pick her up because he would be home without a car. WELL, let me tell you about the hysteria (hers, not mine – well, not much of it was mine…) over THAT information! We went back and forth and I explained that Nana, Grandpa, and Gramby all walked to school, and that Daddy had to take a train to and from school and that took at least an hour each way. And of course I pulled out the “No one ever picked me up from school unless I had a dentist appointment!” argument.

Trying to rationalize with a 7 year old makes you say lots of things that you don’t picture yourself saying. I now can completely relate to that “In my day, we walked 10 miles to school up hill – both ways!” joke – but now I realize it’s not a joke – it was a desperate parent losing their sanity over their child wanting to be a “car rider!” By the way, you'll be happy to know that Daddy was off again on Tuesday, and so she was able to be a car rider!

Oh, and our new solution for the long bus ride home is for her to take one of her favorite books to read on the bus, to pass the time!


futakobu said...

Hi! It's the first time to leave my comment here. I am a mom of 2 boys and my younger son is 8, now he's begining to learn English.
Your diaries are so interesting for me! Could you recommend me some good books for first step to learn English? Thank you!

Deanna said...

Welcome! I'm so glad that you enjoy it and that you posted a comment!

Good question -- my suggestion would be to look into the "Step into Reading" series of books. When my daughter was started to read, I got her a couple of those, which she enjoyed! I believe there are 4 levels to ease kids into reading, and they have tons of different stories to choose from in each of the different levels. Level 1 starts with very simple stories that have a lot of repetition - simple words repeat over and over so that the child can learn them. If I remember correctly, there were also a lot of words that had similar endings - bat, hat, cat - things like that. But as your child's language and reading skills develop, you can move them up to the next level.

I would imagine that you can go to your local library or bookstore and ask for help finding these types of books. I went online to Barnes & Noble or Amazon and was able to type in Step Into Reading and a large selection of books came up.

Good luck -- let me know how it goes!