Q: What is a cheese bus?
A: Well. It is a yellow bus, like cheese. Naturally.
Q: Why is it the name of the website?
A: English teachers love symbols.
My daughter acquired this phrase, the cheese bus, from one of her beloved speech therapists, and the term just stuck. The actual riding of the bus, however, became one of her greatest fears. It took us about seven months to get her prepared for her maiden voyage to return home from school on the cheese bus.
After prying herself from Jordan’s grasp, the teacher got her safely on the bus with the assistance of two other adults – and I waited for the 3:00 arrival. yes, it was a purposeful choice to have the teacher do the hard part. We as parents need all the help we can get.
2:55pm: This arrival felt strangely like an adolescent waiting for a big bash. I straightened up the homemade sign, repositioned the store bought cupcakes and grasped her arrival information. Two sleeping one month old twins certainly adds to the party.
3:10 pm: It must just be a few minutes late. Our house doesn’t have a clear number anyway.
3:30pm: I’m sorry, we have no information about that bus or it’s arrival at this time.
3:40pm: Covered in bodily fluid, in oversized sweatpants, I am standing in the middle of the road, looking at every car driving by, holding a twin in each hand. There is sheer panic on my face. Perhaps if I walk up and down the street, I can will the bus to come.
3:50pm: I thrust one baby into the arms of a friend and sprint after a random bus I see down the street, clutching the other baby in my arms. Excuuuuse me. Do you have a curly haired girl on that bus!?!
3:55pm: Hi Momma. Cheese Bus. I hungry. And she skips into the house.
Riding on the cheese bus. Check.
She never knew it was a scary experience for Mommy. She never knew my imagination took off, knowing she didn’t have the language to get herself home. She never knew how helpless I felt. She didn’t need to know. She just needed me to turn on the music for the dance party and hand her the celebratory cupcake.
And that is what it feels like to be a special needs mother – frightened, exhausted, sometimes lost and waiting – but accepting the unexpected ride and busting out into a dance party when there is cause to celebrate.
Thank you for hopping onto the bus with us.