A rare life – day 6

First day of the bus

Off to school!

Miss Z had a big milestone today: she took the bus to and from school.

Although she started full-time school two weeks ago, I had been dropping her off and picking her up because the school needed a bit of additional time to organise transport. However, it has all been organised now and from today Miss Z will travel to and from school by bus instead of with me.

Like nearly all American kids, I took the bus from the first day of school until I was old enough to have friends with a driving license and car. Taking the bus should be a normal childhood ritual for me. However, I have been worrying about Miss Z taking the bus. Not so much taking the bus per say – she rides with three other children and a carer, who also works as a teaching assistant at the school and knows exactly what to do in the event Miss Z has any medical issues. But I was worried about not being able to give a full handover to her teacher every morning and getting a report on Z’s day every afternoon. Sure there is a communication book, but it just isn’t the same…

Yes, I am a bit of a control freak when it comes to Miss Z’s care! Vegemite has been joking for weeks that it is a good thing she will be there to pry my hands off Miss Z when it is time for the bus to leave.

Even worse, I would have to send Miss Z off on the bus the day after she’d had a new feeding tube inserted and had an infusion at the hospital. I was worried about confusion over Miss Z’s new feeding routine in particular. In the end, I stayed up late composing a long letter to Miss Z’s teacher, explaining everything in excruciating detail.

I’ve also been a bit nervous over the timing of the bus. Loading Miss Z in her wheelchair/stroller into the bus is not a fast process and I also have to take Vegemite to school. However, everything worked like clockwork today -Miss Z departed on the bus and Vegemite and I headed toward her school shortly after – although I’m sure it won’t go so smoothly every day.

In the end, I was OK with the bus. Miss Z seemed quite content being loaded on the bus – which helped a lot. She does love riding in vans and buses in her chair because its suspension gives it a nice bounce. And the principal phoned me when Miss Z arrived at school to let me know that she’d had a good trip and arrived calm and happy.

Surprisingly, the person who seemed to struggle the most  was Vegemite. She stood in the driveway this morning, watching and waving until the bus disappeared from sight. When Miss Z was gone, Vegemite hugged me and commented that she missed her sister not coming to school with her. This afternoon we arrived home at the same time as the bus and Vegemite was out of the car in a flash, off to chat with the driver and wait for her sister to get off the bus.

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