The Cantankerous Crossing Guard

This kid is looking for trouble!

This kid is looking for trouble!

As I drove my son to school this morning, we  were chatting.

He was trying to eat a bowl of sugary, frosted flakes without milk and drink a glass of orange juice. Never mind that he has ample time to do this at a table. He seems to like to grab as he goes. It’s a common theme in my house, since I have been a flight attendant for most of my life. And as everyone knows, we can only eat while standing since so much of our time has been devoted to eating in galleys on airplanes.

As I watched him stuffing the dry flakes into  his mouth, I said, “you know I saw a show the other day and they said that a bowl of cereal like that is equivalent to eating about 6 chocolate chip cookies for breakfast.”  “So?” This was his response, “And your point is?” I started to laugh as if it just dawned on me, that I was not conveying this important health fact to a friend of mine, but to an 11-year-old boy. I’m sure he would have much rather had the chocolate chip cookies. They sure would have been a lot easier for him to handle in the car.

Next, I drove a few more blocks and had to sit in the line that attempts to merge together with oncoming traffic. We must make our turns into the school driveway and I have to leave my house  30 minutes early for this, even though I’m 5 minute’s from the school.

“There she is,” I tell my son. “The cantankerous crossing guard. She’s probably going to stop me again, like she did that one morning, to reprimand me, since she had not yet stepped her foot back onto the curb.” Never mind that I have watched countless others doing the same thing. I also thought it humorous that she had to walk a longer distance to me, just to say something, than to get onto the curb. She seemed to single me out as she approached with her Stop sign that day. I told her, “everyone has crossed.” “Yes, but I’m still in the street!” Hmm, now I wait until she’s done and I watch to confirm that indeed, she had it out for me.

“Hey,” I said to my son. “Did I ever tell you about my brush with fame?” “No.” “Well, when I was in elementary school, I was a crossing guard. That’s right, a Lieutenant. My friend Romaine, was the Captain. Of course there were only two of us, but we were powerful. When I put on that orange belt, (Romaine’s was yellow) I commanded attention.

“I caught all kinds of kids trying to walk against the light and sometimes they even tried to jaywalk!” At this my son just started cracking up! All kinds of flakes flying in my car.All I could think of was, that I would have to deal with kids like him every morning. All jacked up on that cereal with the equivalence of 6 cookies, along with their syrupy orange juice. That combined with the rebellious parents that refuse to stay put, even with my stop sign, made me cringe. I’m starting to feel a little bit sorry for this woman. Gee, I hope I can get the WalMart Greeter job, instead of this, I thought.

Of course, this job did offer greater perks. In my day I didn’t get to hold a stop sign,Oh! That would have been the greatest. This must be the updated uniform. But then, the ‘cantankerous crossing guard,’ doesn’t get to wear the belt. Perhaps that is just what she needs to get respect.