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Evening is upon us – Football!

Bearden High School has a home game tonight. Sarah will be demonstrating her excellence. Last year we discovered it was neither cost effective or prudent to take the whole family so Cathy and I take turns going to the games to support the teamflags. Alright, usually Cathy goes. So tonight’s evening chaos is brought to you by Liquid Plumber, The BHS Band Boosters, McDonald’s, and the RedCross babysitting training. Participants in tonight’s chaos are Amy, Evan, Noah, and Dad. Absence from this evenings show is Tommy who stayed at the college to chill with his hommies, Sarah who when not flirting with Zak is spinning flags on the field, and Mom who is taking pictures of Sarah flirting with Zak. Mom shoves down a McDonald’s cheese burger and is out the door leaving Noah instructions to get the trash out of the kitchen then help Dad with Amy and Evan. Amy is told to help Dad with Evan. Mom leaves. Noah goes to the back of the house and plays video games. Dad blinks at the trash. Amy and Evan erupted into loudness contests. Dad tries to figure out how to divide time between refereeing Amy and Evan, working on the tub, and coding web applications. It’s quiet upstairs… too quiet…

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I disciplined your children

It takes a village right? Of course, now-a-days, people seem afraid to address other people’s children, particularly if you are a man. Wonder why that is!

Sarah performs with wingsLast night we were watching Sarah perform at Bearden High School along with several other bands. It was a great show! But at one point I snapped. I watched 3 younger boys, 11 or 12ish, tossing an empty 20 ounce beverage container back and forth like a football. They pause and one of the boys rips the label off, tearing it into 3 pieces in the process, and threw them to the ground. I spoke instantly and instinctively. "Gentleman! I need you to pick up this trash and throw it away." The guilty boy responded, "Oh that just fell off." I had to continue firmly, "Now you are lying to me. I saw you tear it off. Pick up the trash and put it in that trash can over there." They did and I am sure they had some words for me or perhaps gestures when my back turned. I saw them playing later and made a point of kindly thanking them for doing the right thing, "Thanks for throwing the trash away. I really appreciate that." I received a polite response, "No problem."

Should I have ignored it? I don’t think so. In bygone times, it would have been expected and appreciated. I am not sure what parents think or expect today. Maybe those boys will think the next time they or someone with them litters or thinks about vandalism; maybe it will make all the difference. I hope that when my children step out of line, someone steers them back onto the right path.

Post narration: [audio:]

Update: Be sure to read Barry’s post on Disciplining Other Children! I like that Barry reminds us to let the child’s parent do the disciplining if the parent is nearby.

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Dear Substitute Bus Driver

If you are going to lie and claim that you stopped at the two stops which you didn’t even slow down for, you better be able to substantiate it! And how is it that your bus appeared so empty? Were no children at any of your stops today? An official complaint has been filed with the transportation department. Next time stop your bus even if you do not see any children at the stop.

If you are a Knoxville parent searching for ways to deal with busing issues, be sure to put the transportation department’s phone number, 865-594-1550, in your cell phone’s address book. We would have fewer busing issues if the school owned the buses instead of contracting them.

Update: The bus did eventually pickup the high schoolers. Turns out their official stop is on the other side of Northshore Drive and roughly 80m (120feet) walk down a busy, overgrown, narrow road with no sidewalks. This would be the section of road with 2 crosses and piles of roadkill. So the substitute driver likely stopped at only official stops. I have to file paperwork to make the stop that the bus has stopped at for at least 7 years into an "official" stop.