Katie was lying face down on the back seat, head pressed against the door. Officer S said she had been lying in that position since her tantrum ended. The window was once again popped out, streamers of clear packing tape trailing down the vehicle.
Melissa said, “Hi, Miss Katie.”
Katie responded without lifting her head, “Hi, Melissa.”
This gave Melissa pause. She asked Officer S if Katie could be released. He was still worried that Katie would bolt into traffic.
“She won’t,” Melissa said. “Even if she was prone to bolting–which she isn’t–that risk is long gone.”
Officer S instructed Mari, the cab driver, to open the child locks. Melissa opened the door and said, “Let’s go, Katie.”
Katie finally raised her head and seemed disoriented. She looked at Melissa as if just noticing her. “I want to go in Melissa’s car.”
“Okay, sweetie.” Melissa grabbed Katie’s backpack, and Katie walked to her SUV. She climbed in the front seat and asked to listen to music. Melissa turned on the radio and asked Katie to wait a few minutes while she finished talking to Officer S. “Is that okay?”
Katie said yes and settled in, buckling her seatbelt.
“That’s a totally different child than the one I saw when I arrived,” Officer S said.
“Well of course,” Melissa said. “She knows me and trusts that I will get her home to Mom. The driver, not so much.” She wrapped up her conversation with Officer S and took photos of the taxi. She also took data from the taxi dispatch software and left.
Melissa and I both got stuck in horrible commute traffic on the drive back to my house, and Katie behaved beautifully, as always. When they finally arrived, Katie lay on the couch while Melissa and I compared stories. “I’m done with that taxi company,” I said. “This is the final straw.”
That evening I called the District’s transportation coordinator and left her a massage stating as much. Later, Marina from Open Mind School called to see how the trip home had gone. “Worse than you can imagine,” I said.
I told her what had happened and she offered to flip Katie’s schedule for the week to give the District two days to line up alternative transportation. I thanked her, and called my district again to convey the information.
Then I waited to see what would happen….
To be continued….
Until next time,