Running Late? Just Park it Anywhere.

Trying to get everybody out the door in the morning is a pain. Some days the progeny seem possessed by the dilatory demons, or the sartorial gods conspire against us. Some days things just go all pear-shaped. We all run late now and then—we should be considerate of those around us when that happens.

There’s another class of parents who run chronically late, as in daily. In most other contexts, these parents are often nice people and lively conversationalists. But in the morning, when they’ve arrived late to school, they’re unpleasant and unhappy. They careen through the drop-off circle and bark at their little darlings to jump out of the car as they slow to the posted speed limit. Or they skid to a halt in the middle of the parking lot in a shower of gravel and dust, leap from the car, and hound, push, prod, and propel their offspring into class with threats like “If you don’t hurry, you’re going to be late.”[1]

No really, just park anywhere.

No really, just park anywhere.

Seriously, when you arrive late, just embrace your tardiness. Park like a normal person. Talk to your child about the upcoming day as you stroll into school. Stop by the office to let them know your child is late but not absent. Walk your child to class. Kiss your child goodbye. Then walk back to your car and drive to work.

And remember, no matter where you park or how many people you inconvenience, your child is still late to school (and you’ll probably be late too).


  1. Yes, I have heard parents say this as they shove or drag little Tobias or little Beatrix into school. Perhaps what the parent means is: “Hurry up so I don’t have to speed to get to work on time” or “Hurry up so I’m not late” or “Hurry up so I can meet my friends for coffee.” If that’s the case, then say so. With some regularity, however, I see the same parent standing around chatting with other parents after depositing their little loved ones at class. If what you mean is “Hurry so you are no too late,” just say that. But really, once you are late, just enjoy being a few minutes late (vide supra).  ↩

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