OK, if you are not interested in hearing me rant and rave for the next few minutes then just move on to the the next blog. I am hopping mad right now and have spent my day crying my eyes out. I seem to live in a country that is no longer the country I remember growing up in and I don't think I like it anymore. Our country has become a country of so many rules and regulations that our children are not allowed to be children. While at it lets just drug them up because that is easier too because no one wants to be bothered by them. Let's just create more rules and regulations not using common sense because heck we need to cover our backs because Americans are allowed to sue for just about everything. Maybe you disagree and that is OK, and maybe I am just over reacting because well as you know I am pregnant and the hormones are flying. It doesn't help that I have very strong willed children. Maybe it is the Irish in them. Maybe it is the German in them or who knows. I was a pretty compliant child. I did what I was told. I was too scared to do otherwise because I knew if I didn't I would get a spanking. I don't believe in spanking anymore. I did earlier on in my parenting, but now believe that all it does is teach your children to be scared of you, but doesn't correct the behavior. You might disagree on me on this too, and that is OK because what ever works for you and your children is fine by me. It just didn't work for my children. So, what am I mad about. Well, we moved to a new area. My middle child has to get on the bus at a crazy hour in the morning. Try 6:40 am and rides 20 minutes on the bus to go 1 mile from our house. He then sits at school for 40 minutes in the morning doing busy work like cross word puzzles, word searches, because they are not allowed to go outside and play, and this is all before school has actually even started. It is nuts! They go so early because the buses have to race back to pick up the high school kids at 7:20 am and then make a third trip back to pick up the middle school children at 8:15 a.m. Anyway, my son seems to have gotten a bus driver who is very rigid. The children are expected to sit on their bottoms with their backs against the seats with hand on their laps holding their backpacks not talking to students across from them let alone behind them. The rules of do nots are about 30 rules long. My son got in trouble the very first week because he didn't know that he wasn't allowed to get off on the other stop which is about 6 houses down from the stop closest to our home. He just wanted to get off and on where his friend from his class got off. It didn't make a difference to us, but I guess there are rules to be followed. Then a few days later he was punished because another student was trying to take his backpack, and when the student would not stop my son pushed him away. My son was punished and made to sit with the younger children at the front of the bus. No action was taken against the other child. My son tried to explain to the bus driver what was going on but he would not listen. We spoke to the bus driver and he did not care. Now he claims he doesn't know anything about the situation even though he wrote my son up on that situation. A couple days later he wrote my son up because he was chewing gum that was given to him by his teacher for a prize for good behavior. Today, the bus driver refused to leave the bus stop because my son was not looking forward though sitting on his bottom. I was not there, but my husband said that the bus driver raised his voice and stuck his finger in my sons face telling him that until he looked forward he would not take off. Mean while you have other students on the bus who are not sitting down at all in their seats, but that does not seem to matter. My husband should have pulled him off the bus then, but he had to leave for work and did not have time to drive him to school himself. When my husband spoke with the school officials about the bus driver and his behavior the school did not seem to care. They said the bus driver was within his rights. I do not think it is an easy job being a bus driver. I also believe that safety should be a concern; however, I think it is taking it a little too far when a child is expected to look straight forward for 21 minutes. My son was so upset by the whole situation this morning that when he got to school he could not do his work. The school had to call me to have me bring him home. I will now be driving my son to school from this point on though I hate to do this because it will add an additional 45 minutes of driving time for me on top of the 3 hours I spend in the car every day all ready. I want the America back of my childhood. I want my children to be able to play outside without the fear of being kidnapped. I want them to be able to roam the neighborhood like free range chickens and not be made out to be a bad mother because I don't keep them under house arrest like all the other children here in America. I am tired of people who want us to drug up our children with medications because they must have ADD or ADHD because they fidget in class. Well, if you take away their P.E. and their recesses they are going to fidget. They are not adults. Maybe, if the school system wouldn't have 3 month summer breaks they would not have to spend a whole month of reviewing everything they learned the previous year. Maybe, we should be more concerned about the overall development of the child as opposed to how well the score on performance test. I guess this is a whole different issue and almost an argument for homeschooling. I just don't know what to do at this moment. While I am not a prefect mother. I feel that my husband and I give our children plenty of attention and affection. We expect certain things out of them and teach them how to behave. We discipline them when the don't behave. While they are very privileged we try not to over indulge them. They have to work for things they want and safe their money to buy those items. Maybe, I should become like the Tiger mother who has been written about so much these days and take all my children's toys away and drop them off at the Salvation Army so that they can be perfectly well behaved children that can sit on the bus without so much as blinking an eye. OK enough! Sorry if you have followed me through the end of this rant and rave but I am frustrated and it feels good to get it out.