14 Sep
Help! I Need A Lifeguard to Rescue Me From My Carpool!

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

I joined my neighbor this year in a carpool to save on gas and sanity. We take turns picking the kids up from school. In my head it was a brilliant idea. However, her kid sucks. Big time! I pulled over the car today and said, “I can’t operate this vehicle with that kind of behavior.” He obeyed the rules of my car, but my children said that when they drive in his family’s car, he continues with the bad behavior—even calling my daughter STUPID and my son FAT and my children LAME.

OMG, isn’t that mental abuse and why isn’t my neighbor (who plans on living across from me forever) saying anything to her son? I can not stand that my children are forced to be around such a negative situation three times a week. I need to approach her. What do I say?


Drowning in the Carpool


Dear Drowning in the Carpool,

First of all, I commend you for starting a rideshare program. Not only is it better for our environment, but it also greatly reduces the number of sleep-deprived, crabby women zooming around town at 7 a.m. wearing nothing but $10 Merona pajamas and dried-on pimple cream. And that, my friends, is a surefire way to Keep America Beautiful. (The other being putting a bag over Dog the Bounty Hunter’s head, but that’s a story for another day.)

Now, I understand your hesitance in not wanting to confront your Neighbor for Life. However, I’m sure you’d agree that it’s far more important to protect your kids from the Carpool Toadie than risk hurting this woman’s feelings. That’s why I strongly advise you to diplomatically, yet assertively, tell her she needs to muzzle her kid because he’s upsetting your babies. If it helps, say something a little over the top like, “Last week after your son called my son “fat,” he came home crying and spent the rest of the afternoon shame eating Oreos in his closet. And then my daughter asked if she could hitchhike a ride to school in an 18-wheeler instead of being held ’emotional hostage’ in your minivan. So I suggest you make things right, lady, or I’m reporting your ass to AAA.”

But if the honest approach doesn’t work, then might I suggest teaching your children a little coping mechanism that I like to call the “Five Finger Eye Stab”?   This is where the tauntee takes the fingers of their right hand and gently pokes at the taunter’s eyes until he shuts up and needs a nurse. (Note: While TMH does not condone kid on kid violence, TMH also had phenomenal success with the FFES when they wanted Billy Washington to stop calling them, “The Grand Duchess of Used Kotex” in 1983.)

Basically, Drowning, it all boils down to being a straight shooter and telling your neighbor that you no longer want to carpool with Don Rickles, Jr. Hopefully she’ll get the message and try to change his behavior. And if she doesn’t, it’s no big deal to just drive your kids yourself every day.

At least then, the only bad words they hear will be coming out of your mouth.


Wendi, TMH

18 Responses to “Help! I Need A Lifeguard to Rescue Me From My Carpool!”


Comment by Desperate Dietwives.

I just wonder that this woman lets his kid abuse yours while she’s driving them all. If she is so insensitive, the only thing is to speak plainly to her, for take it from me, she will take no hint.

Just tell her (when you are out of hearing of the children) that if you hear once more from your kids that he called them stupid, fat and lame, you will stop the carpooling business directly. Hopefully, this will be enough hint for her to restrain her own asshole of a son.


Comment by writingmama04.

Wendi always has the best advice. It’s hard enough to get kids to school without having to coerce/bribe/beat them regarding the mode of transport TO school. Who wants to start a day that way? Don’t blame em. They could be associating the carpool with the whole education thing which will be a lifelong tale of misery and woe when they get to really hard stuff. Like calculus. And civics taught by an ultra-liberal chain-smoking Che Guavara type. Nip this in the bud now.


Comment by dusty earth mother.

Wendi, you’re a genius. And I agree with DD, a good solid threat will work wonders at getting this dim bulb to use duct tape on her brat’s mouth. It always works for me. Oops. Did I just admit that?


Comment by Melissa.

But isnt this the type of clueless parent who will ask her kids about it (even though she witnessed it) and believe any bullshit they say? The perfect kids syndrome?


Comment by annie.

I’m with Melissa, if this dumbass mom doesn’t see what’s wrong with this picture when she’s IN the car with them, she’s sure as hell not going to get it no matter what Drowning says to her.

Protecting our kids from that kind of mean behavior has to come before protecting others from the sight of “early morning mom face”.

I’d come right out and tell her the days of carpooling have officially ended and go buy some $12 jammies and new ponytail holders.


Comment by thepsychobabble.

Tell her that you can’t do it anymore, and tell her why. Her son is a little terrorist, and your kids are getting out of her car more stressed than they went in.
I would probably tell her that you can continue for this next week, so that she can make other arrangements, if that’s needed.


Comment by Liz @ Peace, Love & Guacamole.

Excellent advice all around. I’d be straight with her, but don’t feel like you have to overly explain or justify anything. She’s not going to get it.

If you say your piece and she pesters you to keep carpooling, then repeat “It’s just not working out for us.” as many times as necessary.


Comment by Patty.

My mom put me in a carpool with Mrs. Perfect, whose daughter was Positively Perfect. All the way to and from school with the Perfects, I heard about Ms. Perfect’s grades, clear complexion, flawless hair, and honor roll status, and when Mom drove, Ms. Perfect ratted me out for being lazy, a slob, reading novels instead of doing homework in study, etc.

One day I went to fetch my brother from his friend’s house, which was right across the street from the Perfects. Imagine my glee when I head Ms. Perfect snarl at her mother and the following slap, with Ms. Perfect screech a slur on her mother’s probable species that was epic. There was more screaming, and some dishes broke in the melee. Naturally, I beat feet home to tell Mom. For the first time in months we laughed together.

Mom and I were smiling through the carpool the next day, and, mysteriously, the Perfects withdrew. The excuse was that Madam Perfect had to devote more time to her charity work.

I would definitely stop the car and inform Toad that he was out of the pool as of now, and why. Then I would take him home and tell his mother she had to make new arrangements, because her son was an abusive brat. I’m sure there is a diplomatic way to inform a mother that her darling is a thug, but why waste the time on research? Facts are facts.

Good luck. 🙂


Comment by Margaret (Nanny Goats).

If you tell her the truth, she will somehow figure out a way to make YOU the bad guy. But that shouldn’t stop you from doing it anyway.

Faboo advice, Wendi.


Comment by Erin I'm Gonna Kill Him.

I’d first ask your kids if they want to STOP the carpool. Sometimes kids like to embellish an average story into a good one. In truth, they might find some humor in this crass kid’s behavior. My mom made me drive to school every day with a boy who lusted after me and his questionably retarded younger brother who had flatulence. I had to sit in between these fools in a small truck to school every day. I complained about it constantly, but in truth it made me laugh through first period every day. If they hate it, then just stop showing up to their house. They’ll get the message.


Comment by SillyRnti.

I don’t have children but when I read the bully was just calling the other kids names my immediate thought “That’s it?” I’m the youngest of 5 and remember all of the psychological torture of “I’m not touching you”, “Let’s repeat everything you say” and “Rubber vs. glue.” PLUS the physical pain of “I saw Brue Lee/ WWF/ Rambo now let me practice those moves on you.” To this day if someone suddenly comes up behind me my reflexes kick in and I have the urge to defend myself.

I will add that we had a strict rule that no one outside the family can mess with us. I agree with everyone here. Attempt to have his mom convince him to zip it or Lil Dice Clay will be slinging his insults to an audience of one.


Comment by Kokopuff.

You don’t mention how old your kids are…but if they are upper elementary or middle school, I would teach them some snappy comebacks and sarcastic retorts. I enjoy the passive aggressive approach…”your children seem to be incredibly maladjusted…have you considered therapy, Mrs. Carpooler?” or “My aunt, who works with social services, might be able to help your dysfunctional family…may I call her this evening for a home visit?” Can’t fight your kids’ battles forever…

Lisa Reply:

I’m not sure how teaching them to be passive-aggressive and mean really accomplishes anything. Do you really want to teach them to be mean because someone else started it?


Comment by Lisa.

I dunno. First, I don’t understand why the kids aren’t walking to school, or if it’s too far to walk, taking the bus.

If they were on the bus, they’d have to learn how to deal with a kid like this. I think learning to deal with a jerk – by ignoring him or standing up to him – is the real lesson here.

You cannot protect your child from every sling and arrow. Their best defense is learning to believe in themselves, not what others say about them.

Mom again Reply:

Due to budget cuts years ago our schools do not provide busses. Private services can be had at large expense. Or you drive them in your car. Though in my experience the long walk home would do a great many of the neighborhood kids a world of good.


Comment by Sandy.

Dear Drowning, there is only one alternative and that is to kick the kid that “sucks” out of carpool. I was in the same situation and I warned both the sucky kid and his mom but he kept up his verbal abuse regardless. The kid won’t change and his parents aren’t addressing his issues. Spare your child of the unpleasant start to his day. May terminating the carpool will get the sucky kids mom and dad to focuse on him.


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