Yesterday morning I arrived at my first stop and collected the usual kids. After the kids got on, a mom came up onto the steps, looking all worried and serious.
“We won’t be able to pick up H tonight,” she said, holding out a sheet of paper. “So these people will be picking her up. This is what they look like.” She indicated a photo on the paper. “Here are their names,” which were written beneath the photo. “And here is the Secret Password”. She pointed at a phrase neatly printed under the names. “Is that ok?”
I took the paper. “Yes, of course. Not a problem. I assume H will recognise them?”
“Oh yes, of course.”
“Well, it’s all good then. Thanks for letting me know.”
And off we went.
Arriving back at the stop at the end of the day, I saw a lady who was a dead ringer for the lady in the photograph. Aha, I thought, this must be Nicole. I opened the door and she came towards the bus.
“Hi there.” I said, “Is your name Nicole?” Poor Nicole didn’t have time to do much more than nod, much less utter the Top Secret Password, when little H flew down the steps of the bus and launched herself at Nicole, screaming, “AUNTIE NICOLE AUNTIE NICOLE AUNTIE NICOLE!” Now, the critic might suggest I should have prevented little N from getting off the bus prior to confirmation of the Top Secret Password, but seriously, a herd of stampeding elephants couldn’t have stopped her in full flight.
I have to admit, I felt kind of let down that I wasn’t able to actually use the Secret Password. I felt all important and cloak and daggerish with my Secret Password, and then it wasn’t needed….sigh.