There was never a child so lovely but his mother was glad to get him to sleep. Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you haven't time to respond to a tug at your pants leg, your schedule is too crowded. Robert Brault

Whats driving a bus like? Seventy of your kids in the back seat going to town. Mr. Brandon

Friday, September 28, 2012

“Engaging the Enemy”

As the volume between two boys started to increase it was evident that they were in a rather heated argument. As the battle of words raged on the ultimate verbal weapon was unsheathed. The “Your Momma” assault had started. The “Your Momma” insult is a powerful force to be reckoned with and not to be used casually. In the case of such lethal weapons one needs to be trained in proper usage and the appropriate time for deployment. After several exchanges I called a cease fire to explain, the “Your Momma” attack was not the weapon to use in this instance, since they were brothers, not step brothers, brothers. I left them looking at each other with very puzzled expressions on their faces. It was a lot to think about.

Thursday, September 27, 2012


As we are going down the road Mr. Mucus asked, “Mr. Brandon would it be ok if I did my hands like this (pointing his hands in different directions) to tell you which way you should go?” Before I can respond The Authority chimes in and clears everything up for us, “Yes, that’s called a human GPS”. He continued, “You know what GPS stands for?” And here is where his true brilliance was able to shine through. “It stands for…….Navigation System.” Never stop learning.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

“Classic Literature”

There are lines from great literature that we all remember and recognize when we hear them. “It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done…” Tale of Two Cities. “That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Romeo and Juliet. “Call me Ishmael.” Moby Dick. From the first grade crowd came this literary gem. “Oh! I forgot my underwear.” from Froggy Gets Dressed. And it did not diminish in luster with the repeating, even the sixtieth repeating. Which by that time was being joined in by a chorus of little voices all ending in laughter. The classics stand the test of time.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

“Snow Flake”

As the kindergarten girl got on the bus she looked to see if she was the first on the bus. She was not, an older girl was already on the bus and this conversation started, “Why did you have to pick up that big girl?” I replied, “Because she was standing at the road and needed a ride to school”. The conversation continued, “You have to be careful when you go by if you go by fast she will chase you.” “We call her Snow Flake, sometimes we call her Comfort Snow Flake because she makes us feel good.” “She will sometimes put her hands on you and knock you down.” “We just love her.” At this point I’m completely confused and say, “What are you talking about?” Turns out she had not listened to a word I had said and without any clue to me had changed the conversation to her dog. This explained a lot, I was wondering how to go past the big girl’s house without her chasing the bus.

Monday, September 24, 2012


Mr. Mucus was overflowing with excitement and was telling Hot Pickle Boy and me that he was now a Scout Boy. He said that Scout Boys go camping, hiking and hunting. One of the first things they were going to do in the Scout Boys was go fish hunting. Hot Pickle Boy being the refined red neck that he is took a deep breath when Mr. Mucus said, “Fish hunting”. Hot Pickle Boy then explained the differences in hunting and fishing and that normally you use a pole for fishing and a gun for hunting but if you used a gun for fishing it was still called fishing. At this point we had reached an intersection and Mr. Mucus informed me to turn left. I told him thanks and without his help I was sure I would get lost. Mr. Mucus replied, “Your welcome, rule number two hundred of the Scout Boys is; Always go the right direction”. He then asked if he could push the button to make the lights come on when we stopped to pick up the next student. I informed him that rule number two hundred and fifty of the Scout Boys was; Don’t push the bus drivers buttons (which is easy to do on some days). He seemed to be ok with that. With him this fired up to follow the Scout Boy rules I think I will tell him about Scout Boy rule number sixty eight; bring the bus driver a chocolate donut.

Friday, September 21, 2012

“Pachyderm Problems”

Having an elephant with you can cause a number of problems if you have not planned things out as well as you should have. I was surprised by a first grader when he asked me, “Mr. Brandon do you have an extra diaper?” Not realizing that this would be a need on the route today I was caught short handed and had to say, “No”. He explained that he had already pulled the poopy diaper off of his elephant and needed a clean one to put on. This is reasonable when he told me that the elephant was only two months old. Next, he was in an argument about the age of the elephant with a much wiser third grader who was explaining that the elephant’s size was not realistic for a two month old elephant. Of course I was called in to verify the age since he had told me earlier. It all calmed down when he took out a book and started reading to the elephant about sharks, apparently elephant are interested in sea life. So when traveling with an elephant; 1. Diapers, 2. Documentation of age, 3. Plenty of reading material, preferably about sea creatures.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

“Just Won't Stop”

The first grader boarded the bus and I watched in the rearview mirror for him to be seated before I pulled away. He paused in front of a seat and started jumping around. I asked what the problem was and why he was not seated. “Well, Mr. Brandon” he started “it’s my shoes they’re dancie today and I can’t get them to stop.” He must have been right because even after he set down his shoes just kept right on moving. I imagine that dancie shoe days are pretty good days.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

“Just Yes or No”

As rain was falling a first grade boy asked, “Mr. Brandon do you think it’s going to rain all day?” Before I could answer a little girl stood and in a soothing voice gave a beautiful soliloquy, “Yes it’s going to rain all day but then a colorful rainbow will come out and a pot of gold….” “Ok princess” he replied “you can set down now”. She told him she hoped he didn’t find that pot of gold.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

“Stay the Course”

Mr. Mucus approached the bus with a red straw stuck on the end of a pencil. I could tell by the way he was holding it; it was no longer a straw and pencil but was some other kind of utensil. He stepped on the bus and showed me his magic wand. He then proceeded to show the others around him the magic wand. Then he promptly started turning everyone around him into frogs and other such animals. Having no appreciation for the magical arts the twins who aren’t twin started screaming, “It’s just a pencil and straw, it’s just a pencil and straw”. Not dissuaded he continued on his merry round of reducing the population of the bus to small helpless creatures. Which was an improvement for most.

Monday, September 17, 2012

“Battle Casualties”

As the war raged on between the left side of the bus and the right side with imaginary bombs, grenades, rockets and gun fire being exchanged, a war weary soldier looked at one of his comrades and said, “Man would you quit with the machine gun sounds, you got no front teeth and your spitting on everybody”.

Friday, September 14, 2012


Statements and questions shared within about five minutes. First grader, “Mr. Brandon do you think I need a haircut?” “I can tell when I need a hair cut by putting on my sunglass in the bath tub and by what it does when I go under water.” Kindergartner, “Mr. Brandon have you ever been to a place called, I Have Got to Use the Bathroom?” “It’s not much fun and the girl’s bathroom doesn’t work and you have to stand in line for the boy’s bathroom and boys are nasty and you don’t want to eat there you want to go on a field trip and eat somewhere else.” First grader, “Mr. Brandon can we do magic tricks on the bus?” Third grader, “I had brain surgery when I was little so sometimes they have to hang me upside down.” Some days you just shake your head yes and say, “Hummm….”

Thursday, September 13, 2012

"Just Thinking"

Hot Pickle Boy approached me with that look of deep thought and contemplation that only an eight year old could have. "Mr. Brandon" he started, "I been thinking, this winter when it gets real cold and snows and maybe we get out of school for half a day, we could take this bus and drive it out on that pond when it's frozen and let it break through and sink". Well, ok I'll keep that in mind.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

“The Young and the Restless”

The kindergartner got on the bus with his usual I’m excited about the day grin. He eagerly searched the bus for his best buddy and there he was, barely able to see over the seat, waving his arms so he could be seen. He went back both of them all smiles. As he prepared to set down he looked across the aisle and there she was, a different kind of kindergartner. The kind with long blond curly hair with ribbons and a smile that makes your heart do funny things. He looked at his buddy, back at her, back at his buddy and did the only reasonable thing someone with a Y chromosome could do, he set down by her. They were all grins and giggles. His buddy with a knot in his stomach slid to the window to ride by himself. A few miles down the road I look in the mirror to check on the progress of young love only to see the little girl leaning against the window with a frown on her face. It didn’t take long to see why. Her first conquest was now setting on the edge of the seat talking to his best buddy across the aisle. You find out early they’re great for grins and giggles but for serious paper wad throwing, paper airplane flying and crawling under the seat exploration there’s nothing like your best buddy.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


There is a true rite of passage that all children go through especially little boys. Usually an older brother or that uncle that is all so important in the education of your children passes on the art of making gas passing noises by blowing on your arm.  Well from behind me I hear someone demonstrating their newly acquired talents and doing it quite well. I look into the mirror to find the music makers. As I scan the seats there they are the obvious choice the Three Stooges, a first grade boy and two kindergarten boys, eagerly engaged in being boys by whacking each other in the head with pieces of paper. “Boys” I said, “quit”. A short time of silence and then the sound starts again. “Boys I said quit.” Pause, then another loud vibrating bugle. I respond in a firm fatherly voice, “Boys did you hear what I said?” They looked at me pointed across the aisle and said, “Ok, we will but would you tell those girls to quit making those farting sounds?” Where upon two cute little girls peeked over the seat at me and just grinned.

Monday, September 10, 2012

“Family Outing”

Mr. Mucus approaches the bus holding a small stuffed toy rabbit, a toy Mickey Mouse and a toy cell phone. As I open the door he says, “These are the little ones and I’m keeping an eye on them today”. He then looks down at them and says, “You guys are killing me”. He seated himself and them and told them he was going to talk to me but he would be keeping an eye on them. He showed me his phone and said, “If you don’t mind I need to call my girlfriend”. It was defiantly a woman on the other end, I could tell by the tone of the conversation. He started, “Yes I’m on the bus and I have the little ones with me, yes, yes, yes, ok, yes, yes hun, ok, talk to you later. Then he proceeded to call his buddy Bob, “Hey, Bob what you doing?” “I’m on the bus with the little ones…. yes I’ve got to keep an eye on them today….. yes it’s their first time to ride the bus but they’re doing alright.” I’m not sure if this information about the little ones messed up a hunting trip or guys night on the town but the next thing he said was, “Bob, don’t you hang up on me”. Looked at me shrugged his shoulders and said, “I’ll have to call him back later”. You never know when the burden of responsibility will be thrust upon you.

Friday, September 7, 2012

“Fact or Fiction"

Would a parent allow their hyperactive third grader, who is known for his inability to get along with others, to board a school bus full of children with a live potted cactus? Fact

Thursday, September 6, 2012

“Living Up to the Name”

Going down the road I hear a large sneeze followed by a chores of students hollering, “Oh yuck”. Because of the volume of the explosion I know this can only be one culprit, Mr. Mucus. Looking in the mirror Mr. Mucus doesn’t seem to be any more coated than usual, could I be wrong? To be on the safe side I take a couple of kleenexes from the dash and say, “Pass this back to whoever needs it”. I follow the path of the kleenex as it makes its way back and it is headed for Mr. Mucus’s seat. Then they hand it to the person who really needs it, the boy setting with Mr. Mucus who immediately starts wiping the back of his head. Mr. Mucus strikes again!!!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

“Open Invitation”

As I’m picking up the twins that aren’t twins their large dog in the backyard is putting up quite a commotion. They get on the bus and tell me, “That’s our dog brownie, he really doesn’t like people if we turned him loose he would probable jump on you. Then he would grab your arm and maybe tear it off and then start on your legs”. And without a pause they said, “Do you want to go see him?” Pass

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

“Mind Reader”

Unhappy with the seating arrangements that I had given, for a reason, the Authority started with, “Can I move?” Reply, “No”. A few seconds later, “Can I move?” Reply, “No”. Then a third time, “Can I move?” Reply, “NO” Then under his breath comes, “I’ll be glad when I go to the middle school and don’t have to ride this stupid bus any more”. Wow, how did he do that? I was thinking and hoping the exact same thing for him. Amazing