Today is the first day of school and my kids are not going (at least for now) to the schools I had thought they would be attending when I first planted my tuchus in South Wales. This has moved my cheese, and I am trying to adjust … with limited success I must confess.
The odds are strong that the two youngest daughters will be attending their new school all year, because even if the school next door is 110% willing to let them in there are only so many kids that they can hold and they’ve already hit max capacity. I am okay with this (even though I’ll drive by a school they can walk to) inasmuch as their new school is excellent. I’m willing to tolerate quite a bit of nutty for an excellent school.
Blossom’s school, however, is a different kettle of fish. It’s rating is not great. That’s why we are continuing to fight the good fight to get her into the excellent school down the road. Nevertheless, the school won’t make a final decision for a several weeks so she wouldn’t be changing schools until October even at the best case scenario. Thus, I must watch her traipse into a school that fills me with worry for at least two months .
Worse, the schools are the next town over so Blossom can go via bus for free … but it is a PUBLIC bus. My sweet little Aspy child riding a public bus by herself at age 11 with no concept of stranger-danger?
Ha Ha Ha.
Even if I go with her on the bus we’d need to leave at a hellishly early hour because she’d have to switch buses to get to the school. She is less than 5 miles from the school but no bus goes by there from here. It would be more than an hour to go 5 miles. What the hell, Wales?
Sweet Babou and I decided that needs must and a car should be bought. First, we discovered that we cannot finance the car in the UK but our glorious bank, USAA, came through for us with car loan. All we have to do is go to the dealer and pick out a car in our price range that fits our needs. (Hint, we are not going to be buying a Tesla.) Thus, on Saturday morning we went forth to buy a vehicle with which to transport my babies to school.
Now, in the US when you go to buy a car you can drive off the freaking lot with it, especially if you are paying the dealer up front for your four-wheeled horseless carriage. Not here, though. Nope. In the UK they have to process things, figure shit out, give you time to reconsidered before you make such a significant purchased, and warn you about road tax that comes with your automobile. You pay these things in the States (their called registration and license tags and whatnot) but we don’t mention it up front when you buying a car. God forbid you be discouraged from embracing debt in the name of capitalism.
I applaud the British way of doing things in theory, but in reality I won’t get a flipping car until this afternoon … too late for the first day of school.
Right then, I had to find another way to get my kids to their education stations. The only thing I could come up with was a taxi. Was I thrilled with this rather pricey solution? No, I was not. But it beat riding a bus for an hour at 7:00 AM.
As it turns out they’ve got special taxis for school runs. Who knew? Either you go with the kids (which I will be) or they send two employees (so they can monitor each other in effect) who have special clearance as non-perverted non-criminals. If you set it up in advance, they’ll even give you a discount per day.
We’ll do this for a week while I am creeping around South Wales adjusting to driving on the “wrong” side of the road, and then next week I’ll bust loose and drive my own precious cargo to their school destinations.
Like a boss.