Just like a regular mom, I look after the students to make sure they are not hitting each other, rough housing, using bad language or being mean. When they do, we sometimes have to put them in a time-out, better known as the front seat. In fact, I have had to take care of students that have had bloody noses, lost teeth and even have accidents.
Like yesterday, I had a couple of my elementary students notify me that one of the little girls was crying. So when I was able to stop the bus in a safe area I had the other student that was sitting with this little girl, come up to the front to talk to me. I asked him what was wrong with her. He was quick to answer, “She says her tummy hurts and she is going to throw up.”
At that moment a couple of things need to happen. The first thing is I tell him to take the trash can back to the seat with him so, in case she does throw up, it will go into the trash can and not the floor. Because what I have learned from the past is that if you don’t have a place for vomit to go... it will go everywhere! And if you have ever watched the movie “Stand By Me,” where the one actor is telling about the pie-eating contest at the fair and the contestant vomits, once one vomits, then another and another until you have a “barforama”!Well, with the bus being an enclosed environment, this is not something you want to happen. If it did it would smell so bad that you wouldn’t get it out of the bus for many years unless you hose the inside of it out with Pine-Sol!
So, of course, I defused the situation with the trash can! The next thing I wanted to do is get her home ASAP because I was worried about her. Lucky for me her house is close to one to my stops, so I was able to get her home, honk the bus horn for mom to come out and get her before any damage was done. You see, the regulations that we have for the buses don't allow us to have things on the bus like paper towels, Kleenex or other things that we may need when these bloody noses and other bodily fluid situations occur. So when they happen, we are scrambling to find things that we can use until we get to the school where we send a student in or have the school send a teacher out. Either way, we are stuck. So you learn to be MacGyver and use whatever you can find to stop the nose bleed or whatever the situation may be.Another reason I refer to myself as a bus mom is that there have been times when there have been very sports-talented kids that don't always have the support from their parents, or the parents have to work, so they miss out on games and such. So I try to be there for them, like when I can, I will bid on a sports trip that they will be going to a game and I root them on. There was one time I had this girl that made it to the state basketball playoffs and not one of her family members could make it, so I was able to take the trip. Once the trip was over I saw that there where some photographers there taking pictures of the games. There just so happened to be one of her at the free throw line that was amazing! So I bought it for her and gave it to her when we got back to the school. She was so grateful that, from that point on, whenever she went to a dance and got her senior pictures, she always gave me one.