Somewhere down at Evangeline's school, there is a list of member families. I am sure that next to our name is a black mark that says "bad parents."
Sometime yesterday morning, a water main in the city broke. Water service to the school temporarily was disrupted, and even after it was reinstated, the water was dirty and unsafe to drink until the lines could be flushed properly. So around 11 a.m., school officials made the decision to close the school and send the students home. School employees started calling parents, using the emergency contact information we gave them at the start of the year.
The first problem was that Natasha was home and on the computer. The incoming call kicked her offline, but since there's no way to switch over to an incoming call once it goes into voice mail, she just logged back in and finished what she was doing. Meanwhile, I kept busy making lunch since Thursday was the big Halloween event at Rachel's preschool and I was supposed to help, especially since it also was her school birthday party.
Around noon, as we pulled out of the driveway, Natasha told me she thinks we might have a voice mail message. I quipped that it was probably Evangeline's school calling. Natasha told me that wasn't funny, and we went to Rachel's preschool, had a great time and left around 2:40 p.m. so we could be reasonably close to Evangeline's pickup time.
A little past 3 o'clock, we roll into the school lot. I was surprised to see it empty already since there's usually a few stragglers, and school only gets out at 2:45 p.m. anyway.
Natasha went inside to get Evangeline and discovered that school had been closed for more than three hours, and Evangeline had been the only student there for about two hours. Evangeline's teacher was pleasant but (I'm sure) slightly annoyed. When we got home, I found a voice mail message from her teacher making the initial call, two followup phone calls on our answering machine, and an e-mail from a member of the board of trustees. Natasha went to her office and found another message or two waiting on her work voice mail.
This morning I took Evangeline to school, groveled some more, and was told by the teacher and the teacher's assistant that they need the number for Rachel's preschool in case this happens again. Natasha and I are racking our brains to decide whom we know well enough in the area to ask them to pick up Evangeline in an emergency.
Being stabbed in the throat looks better all the time.