M. always gets her way. At least when it comes to music in the car. Perhaps it is because she knows how to shout the phrase “I WANT M. MUSIC” continuously until we play Laurie Berkner. Anyway, I thought it was telling when I made an immediate transition after dropping M. off at pre-school today. On the way to school, it was Laurie Berkner and friends. On the two-minute drive home, C. got to hear the last 30 seconds of “Paradise City” and the first 90 seconds of “Icky Thump.” She didn’t seem to mind. Smart kid.

I love M.’s reactions when we drop her off at and pick her up from school. In the mornings, she goes bananas when the teachers open her door and reach in to help her hop out. She kicks her legs wildly and screams in excitement. One of these days she’s going to give someone a foot in their teeth on accident. She’s added the loaded question of, “Don’t I look pretty today?” as they are helping her to the sidewalk. Last week, one teacher looked and me with a smile and said, “Don’t you just love it?” It is pretty funny, yes.

What I also love is watching the kids stream out at the end of the day. Here’s how the process works: As parents show up, we can either park and go get the kids ourselves (Or even walk, as we did one lovely day last week) or we can line our cars up along the curb and, three at a time, the teachers will bring the kids out and help them climb into the cars. All the kids have a slightly dazed look on their faces as they walk out, as if they’ve been playing like crazy for four hours and are badly in need of a nap. For some reason, M. always emerges with one arm up in the air, like she’s waving before she even sees us. I think she’s actually just trying to keep her bag on her shoulder. But, when she does see us, that dazed look disappears and she starts shouting, “There’s my daddy/mommy!” I like the fact she shows all the other parents that she is pleased to see her mom and dad. Makes us look like the best parents ever.

One more note about the pick-up/drop-off routine. There are rules for how it’s supposed to be done. You aren’t supposed to get out of your car if you line up. You aren’t supposed to buckle your kid into their seat. Instead, you stay in the driver’s seat and let the teacher help them into the car and close the door, then slowly pull ahead and do all the buckling down further up the curb a bit so that all the other kids can be placed in their cars quickly. Naturally, a number of parents violate these rules, so we’ve already had a note sent home with all kids clarifying how the system is supposed to work. Of course, I get all indignant anytime I have to wait because some other parent decides to get out and start buckling their kid in. I keep thinking of the scene in Mr. Mom when Jack takes the kids to school for the first time and goes the wrong way. “You’re doing it wrong!” the kids scream. I can’t find the exact quote, but as the other moms all honk furiously at him, one drives by, gives him the finger, and says, “South to drop-off, asshole!” I tell S. that one day I’m going to snap and recreate that moment, laying on the horn and shouting, “Pull up to strap in, asshole!” What was that I said about the other parents thinking we were perfect?