Dropping Off vs Picking Up

“Who’s dropping me off today?”, J asks.
“I’m dropping you off, and Daddy will pick you up.” I reply.
“So, will you see me in soccer after school?”, he asks.
“I wish I could see you doing soccer, but I’m dropping you off, not picking you up. That means that I’m taking you to school from home this morning, and Daddy will come to school at the end of the day, and bring you home from school.”
And with that exchange, I realized how confusing, and not necessarily intuitive to the 4-year-old mind, the phrases “dropping off” and “picking up” are. And, thinking about the words, I’m not even sure I like the implied meaning. Especially the “dropping” part – it gives such a negative tone to the act of taking him to school. Dropping – letting go – releasing. It could be viewed positively, if the kid were running excitedly to participate in school, but, with a reluctant child, who would really prefer to stay home, it just feels like I’m taking him and dumping him in a surrounding that he doesn’t really want (although, his school is great, and he always ends up loving it once he’s there).
We use these phrases because they’re handy and quick – but maybe we should use clearer language. “I am taking you to school” and “Daddy will bring you home after school”. Doesn’t take that much longer to say than “I’m dropping you off and Daddy’s picking you up.”
Or maybe he just need to learn the distinction of these two commonly used phrases.

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