Blog, Parenting, Reflecting

Tales from the Middle School Carpool

70726-50A few days a week I drive around with extra kids and gain more insight than most parents receive in a month’s time. Even though transporting a car full of 11 and 12 year olds home from school doesn’t sound like a joy ride, I am one of the rare parents who actually looks forward to it.

 In just a half hour, I receive an education most parents would pay big bucks for. I have to admit that I often learn more than I want to know, but more importantly, I’m learning more about my daughter and her environment.

 This week alone, I learned several things about myself, my daughter, and the “tween” life.

 #1: I am clearly not as cool as I thought I was. Apparently, it is not “acceptable” for a parent “of my age” as my daughter says, to sing along or even bob my head to the music on the radio. She lowers her head in shame if I violate this rule.

 #2: Kids gossip just as much as adults. Although the carpool is primarily boys, I am constantly amazed at the amount of gossip that flows through one vehicle in a 30-minute period. I know who broke up with who, who was sent to the principal’s office, whose teacher went on a rampage, and who plans to ask who out the next day.

#3: Tweens can multitask well. Not one child that enters my vehicle is lacking a mound of electronic devices. Each one typically has an iPod, a cell phone, and sometimes, a video game or Nintendo DS. Within five minutes after school has let out, each one has received at least 10 text messages, answered them, and moved on to a new phone conversation. However, these devices do not stop the flow of chatter, the exchange of teasing, or the ability to answer when I ask, “How was your day?”

#4: Staying silent is the key to sanity. I’ve realized that they really don’t want to talk with me and thankfully, I don’t have to try and keep a conversation going. They just want to relax, talk with each other, text, and share music. When I’m silent, though, they are much more forthcoming with information that I didn’t necessarily need to know.

All in all, I enjoy this experience. Yes, it’s noisy and yes, I’m using gas and tire wear, but if I didn’t have these moments, I wouldn’t have a clue about the trials and tribulations of my daughter’s school life. And, I would miss out on all the juicy gossip – OMG.


– Shannon Philpott
Blog Entry: Oct. 21, 2009

 © Shannon Philpott, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Shannon Philpott and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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