I am starting a new system. I am determined to have the kids out of bed and completely dressed by 7 each morning. We actually sat at the dining room table and ate a good breakfast today! It was such a good breakfast that the kids took f.o.r.e.v.e.r to eat it and we missed the bus. Or maybe Henry did it on purpose, because when the bus went by, he said, "Mommy, Frances missed the bus. Now we will have to walk to school." There was not even a hint of sadness in his voice. Joke's on him, though. I was planning on walking anyway!!
I loaded Benjamin into the backpack and we headed out. Lucky for us, since yesterday was a holiday, today was the day for our neighborhood trash pickup. We followed the truck all the way to school. I tried several times to walk past the truck, but Henry got mad, so we stopped. And watched. And waited. At every house. The whole way. I guess that's just what moms of boys do.
I did feel a little odd stalking the garbage men, so I did try out some small talk. I mentioned to the guys that it must not be often that they had an audience while doing their weekly pickups. One of the guys told me that it was a good thing that we didn't follow them last week. Apparently last week someone threw away a can of paint. When the packer blade came down to squish all the garbage into the hopper (Are you impressed with my garbage truck terminology??) the paint exploded all over him and cut a gash into his arm. The poor guy had to get to the ER to get stitches. And they couldn't get the paint off beforehand, so they had to stitch over the paint. Then when his boss went back to the house to ask about the paint, the people there denied it. That is why there is a big list of things you aren't supposed to throw away in the regular garbage. This is why I always wrap up my glass in paper bags and surround it with packing tape. There are real actual people who are exposed to the things we throw away!
After the garbage truck turned off in a different direction, we talked about all the trash that people had thrown away. Frances was mad because people were not recycling their glass bottles and aluminum cans. I was proud that she noticed. Then she noticed something else horrifying! LITTER!! My dear little daughter picked up a beer can by the side of the major thoroughfare we were on and held it up high for all to see!! "Mommy! We should recycle this!" Yes dear, we should. And could you please not flaunt your beer can by the side of the road, thankyouverymuch! Thankfully, I had a plastic bag in the backpack, so we got it out and disposed of it. Then Frances and Henry proceeded to pick up every single piece of trash that was left between us and the school. And amazingly enough, Frances wasn't late for school!
As we were turning into the school driveway, I heard the garbage truck behind us again. The kids heard it too, and just as they turned to look, our new friends honked and waved at us. The kids were so tickled!!
We went inside, washed our hands, sent Frances to class and then the boys and I headed home. A truly great adventure-all before 8:30 AM. Except I have no photographs. Because the only thing stranger than following a garbage truck to school, would be taking picture of it.