If you're able to whip in and whip out when you're picking up the kids from school, there are a whole lot of other parents who are jealous of your mastery of the situation.  Sometimes it takes a half hour, and that leaves plenty of time for things like power naps.

Picking up the kids from school usually isn't a quick process, and rather than gripe on social media about the amount of time that it sucks out of the day, more Treasure Valley parents are making the most of the free time.  Maybe it's not so bad!  How often do we get thirty minutes to ourselves during the day to sit?  It's forced downtime that can totally work to our advantage.

I'm not one of those parents that gets to the school an hour before the bell just to drive up and claim the first spot in line, but if you've got the time good for you.  That's even more free time to put your feet up on the dash and crack open that steamy romance novel or truck outfitters magazine and forget where you are.  Whether you get there early or late, either way, you're gonna have to wait.  And that's idle time that we might as well use.

Six Things We Do in the Carpool Line Besides Wait:

1.  Read.  Sometimes I'll get the mail before picking up the kids from school, and if there's a magazine in the box that day it's a total score.  In the carpool line, we have time to read articles that we'd usually skip over or skim through, and junk is just fine.  I actually read the yearly water quality report once.

2.  Catch up on email.  We've all got email on our phones, and the carpool line is a great place to write the messages that usually get put on the backburner.  A friend wanted info on my trip to Yellowstone over the summer, and I knocked out that email while I was waiting to pick up the kids from school complete with links and emojis.  I cleaned out the trash and loaded some digital coupons too.

3.  Find a date on Tinder.  This can quickly become a habit.  We just need a few free minutes to swipe left or right on about fifty potential loves, and the daily pickup time is the perfect window to wade those shallow waters and make some progress.  You'll have several new matches by the time you get to the carpool line the next day.

4.  Call the dentist.  And all of the other offices that you need to contact during business hours, like the carpet cleaner, the insurance agent, and the dermatologist to get that mole removed.  It's quiet in the car and you won't be interrupted.  There is no better time.

5.  Listen to the radio.  I mean really listen.  There's no one in the backseat telling you they have to go to the bathroom right now, and there's no one fighting you for control of the buttons.  It's your moment to crank it up and act like it's your audition for The Voice.  You got this.

6.  Close your eyes.  Every time my mom took a rest in the recliner after lunch as I was growing up I would ask, "Are you taking a nap?"  She would say, "No, I'm just closing my eyes."  Hmm.  Well, if you feel the urge to close your eyes, the carpool line is a good place to do it.  If you fall asleep, someone will rap on your window and get you moving again.

If your kids go to a school where the pickup time is about five minutes, you're really going to have to hustle to get all of this done by the time they come piling into the car.  But if you've got some time to kill, these ideas might make the wait more bearable.

Plan your Halloween costume, write your Christmas list...the possibilities are endless.  Kinda like that line!

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