A new bane of my parental existence: People who insist on carpooling for the sake of carpooling and who, anxious about achieving perfect reciprocity, end up wasting way more of my time (and theirs) texting about it than is saved by carpooling.
Stop texting me and just let me take everyone’s kids, OK?
I love driving. I don’t mind driving my kids anywhere and don’t mind driving other people’s kids when the families need me to. Middle Boy doesn’t like riding with just anyone; unless he’s being driven by the dad of one of his best friends and the parents of another, he strongly prefers being driven by me or my husband to random other parents. Receiving a ride from peripheral folks is not helpful; it actually makes him uncomfortable.
Mostly I want to have a simple weekly schedule and not have a patchwork of pickups and dropoffs by random people because they need it on certain days, but are too anxious to not immediately return the favor. This unpredictability wastes valuable mental real-estate (“Who’s picking up on Wednesday again?”), not to mention my time.
There is this mom who insists on carpooling when our three boys go to certain basketball practice. The kids either have the practice 5 min from home (where they all go to school) or at one of the other schools that are no more than 10-15 min away; this is all in the evening, when traffic is light. Just drive your goddamn kid! Or relax when I say that it’s OK for me to both drive and pick up! So many fuckin’ time-wasting texts for something that I don’t need or want (carpools), because the mom needs or wants them or thinks she’s saving money or gourd knows what, yet cannot fathom that I don’t give a toss if things are not 100% reciprocal immediately.
I will drive everyone. Everywhere. Whenever you need me to. Yes, all the time if you’d like. It’s really not a problem. I promise it’s not. Seriously.
Stop texting me about goddamn carpool. I don’t want it. I don’t need it. If/when I do need it, I will ask you.
If you need it, just ask. Then receive the favor and relax about it. Do not — I repeat, DO NOT — bug me about returning the favor. Sure, you’re afraid that I might end up wanting your kidney sometime in an unspecified future as a payment. Who knows? Maybe I will. But I sure as $hit don’t want carpool now.