This post is part of a series of incidents I have had with a parent at my child’s school bus-stop. If you’re new to this blog, please read the earlier parts here for better understanding.
“I am an inexhaustible source of awkwardness.” ~ Milena Veen
The candy saga lasted for around 40 days and that’s when it started back-firing for Nina’s father. It so happened that the kids in the school bus who were thick pals with Nina would insist on getting more than one candy each. Often leaving, a few kids without a toffee.
This triggered fights, leaving Nina stressed out. At a tender age of 7 years, clearly, this daily ruckus was slowly getting too much to handle for her and also for the school bus nanny who was not liking the kids fighting, crying or throwing wrappers all over the place.
Gradually, there were enough hints from the staff at the bus and also Nina to stop this free-toffee-distribution ritual. But Nina’s father took it as a prestige issue or a blow of sorts to his ego and multiplied the number of sweets to ensure every kid in the bus, who was a friend of his daughter got a candy each, every day.
One day, Nina chose to put her foot down. She had had enough of playing Santa, being raided by greedy kids asking for toffees. That was a point, where I believe any parent would have chosen to re-think their actions and stop. But Nina’s father chose otherwise. Ending up with a sulking daughter, handing toffees from the bus windows when the bus arrived at our stop.
Beyond the candy saga, another issue raised its head when the school’s final exams started. The school timings fluctuated according to the time-table. Though we received the schedule a month in advance, but one more than one occasion, no one from Nina’s family showed up to pick her up in the afternoon.
Initially, I offered to oblige and on two occasions even dropped her home just to find her father too busy completing a gaming level on his mobile (he was sitting at the entrance and playing when we reached) to be at the bus stop (All the time he is at the bus-stop, you can see him play games or watch videos on YouTube that are clearly audible even from distance). Though he didn’t say THAT and came up with a lame excuse for no-show but it turned off another switch in my mind.
I would have left it at that had it been a one-off thing, but it repeated almost thrice and the following times I chose to call him from the bus-stop, asking him to come over and pick Nina. The fading courtesy on his part, assumingly taking me for granted felt like he was stepping on my toes. But I kept quiet, for a reason.
Starting the new session, Nina will be in grade 3 and that’s where her school schedule will demand her to go earlier to school and get back later than the time Pari shall return. In short, this was the last few days of our interaction with Nina and her father (at least at the bus stop). So, I chose to not say anything that would end Nina’s friendship with Pari, when clearly they no longer will have a reason to be in touch.
With full understanding of this fact, with the way Nina’s father chose to behave, exposed me a disturbing side of his personality. I can’t quite put a finger on it, but something within me said we are happy staying at an arm’s distance from him.
Though I am glad that this awkwardness saga has (hopefully) reached its finale, I can’t help but ignore that from here on, in the new session (starting in a fortnight) Pari will not have company at the bus stop. But, being alone isn’t all that bad, especially after what has been going on in the past one year.
“Awkward interests me. At least when you are feeling awkward you are always thinking. When you are feeling fabulous, for example, rare occurrence that it may be, you stop thinking altogether. Which gets you into all kinds of trouble. Hence, you are for the better off feeling awkward. Just the sound of it on your tongue. Like chewing on screws.” ~ Elizabeth Brundage