Field Trip Extravaganza

Just to set the stage, here, it is 3:24 pm and I’m considering opening my SECOND beer.  Listen, I’m just impressed I made it until Friday to start drinking.  It’s been a very involved week, parenting wise, and by that I mean that I was chaperone to an all-day field trip to the museum on Wednesday, and I was volunteering for an in-class field trip all morning today. 

Let’s first discuss the Wednesday field trip.  There were two upsides to it: a) Mark was thrilled that I was on the field trip, and b) it was indoors.  The rain was coming down in sheets when we boarded the muggy, hot school bus.  I was instantly appreciative of two of the other parent volunteers: one, a dad who yelled at all the kids to shut up so the driver could talk, and two, a mom – and a friend of mine – who told two little screaming girls that their high pitched squeals were completely uncalled for and distracting to the driver.  These two were field trip veterans, and I was to become just like them before the day was through.

My group of five children seemed fine and normal until 50 minutes before lunch break, when the museum curator informed us that we now had “free time” to “explore” the museum.  I like exploring museums, with my two children who stay with me and who don’t, let’s say, try to ruin all the exhibits and/or run away and/or refuse to move when there is an educational film playing.  But with five children, including one who kept running ahead of the group and getting lost and one who kept getting distracted and lagged behind, also getting lost, it was pretty much the exact opposite of enjoyable.  The one consolation I had was that if I did actually lose two of my group of five, at least they would still be in the building.  The happy news is that all the children, under my watchful eye, ended up on the school bus at the end of the day.  The unhappy news is that I felt like I was going to lose my mind saying “Don’t touch the artifacts.  Keep up with the group.  STAY WITH ME.”  At one point I gave my group two options in a VERY FIRM VOICE: either listen to me and stay together, or stand silently and without moving for the remaining ten minutes until lunch break.  As we headed for the tipi display, I warned that anyone not listening to me would be left behind.  Yes, I threatened to leave the children behind for their misbehaviours.  It worked.  They all listened.  Possibly they also had nightmares about spending the night in the museum.  Wasn’t there a movie about that?

Did I mention that I have been – TMI ALERT – extremely premenstrual this week, to the point of “if my period doesn’t start soon, someone is going to get stabbed“?  So being at the museum with seventy children, riding a crowded school bus in the rain, and then supervising 35 children eating lunch on the floor of a tiny room, plus being responsible for four children who were not my own, two of whom seemed determined to get lost, was probably not the best plan for maintaining good mental health.

And then – THEN – today was an in-class field trip for Jake’s class, where the students would be learning about the ear and how hearing works.  It is just as fascinating as it sounds, and three hours later I was pretty tired of explaining about sound waves and pitch and OMG this is so boring I think I need another drink.  Also?  The volunteers today were the same volunteers from Wednesday’s trip, which means I think we all need a medal.  OR ANOTHER DRINK.  There are thirty-five children in Jake’s class, and quite a number of them are very behaviourally challenged, to the point of needing extra educational assistants, and all I could think of was how impressive it is that the teacher seems sane and is not an alcoholic.

Last week I told the kids that there was only three and a half weeks left of school.  Whee!  We were counting down excitedly to summer vacation when I realized, tragically, that I was a week off.  Ooops.  NOW there are three and a half weeks left of school, not last week.  We are all somewhat devastated by this information. 

I feel like I have more to say, but no more mojo with which to say it.  In other words, happy Friday, beautiful people!  Play nice, have fun. xoxo


  1. Uuuuuggggghhh, this post activates feelings of PTSD. You are a saint for doing two in one week. Drinking is totally appropriate. Heck, they’re lucky you didn’t open a flask while still on the field trip!


    My god. That medal better be made out of vodka.

  3. The story of the bus ride alone gave me the shakes.

  4. The bus rides alone GIVE me the shakes. I hate the fucking school bus. The school bus makes me hate the fucking kids. It’s a vicious cycle. Also, this makes me flash vividly back to being at the Science and Tech Museum with three boys and three girls in my group – two boys kept taking off and the girls kept lagging behind so there was me yelling SLOW DOWN up at the boys and HURRY UP back at the girls and there was poor little Angus nailed to my side also yelling SLOW DOWN and HURRY UP. And then we did it all over again the next year. When we finally went to the Museum of Civilization instead I was happy to have some new places to lose kids in. Extra praise heaped on you.

  5. You need to leverage your extraordinary volunteer status to make sure you only get the GOOD kids in your group. Of course I’m speaking of next year. But maybe it’s cruel of me to infer that you will be in the same boat/bus next year.

    Either way: WELL DONE! Get your drinky on!

  6. The school bus flashes me back to grade 6 when some dumb kid in my class decided he was going to go visit his grandma and we had to sit in the parking lot of the museum while they went to find him. I may have some dealing to do before I can attend a school bus field trip..on the bright side, my kid has only done walking field trips so far and those are just like walking.

    You’re a goddamn hero and don’t let anyone tell you different. NICOLE NICOLE NICOLE EYE OF THE TIGER.

  7. You rule.
    I volunteered for the end of the year trip. Apparently it’s going to be some record for the most kids crammed into a pool for swimming lessons. Yup, 135 JK/SK kids.
    I’m going to help so you may want to crack open a beer for me and drink it.
    I think the pre period business is far worse than the period itself. Like when I start I’m all “Yeeeaaaa…I’m not pregnant” and then it’s followed by “Yeaaaaa…I’m not so miserable” either way, I need to eat ice cream for like 2 weeks.

  8. In the third picture you posted, where hair clip and earrings match your lipstick, you look exactly like Sophia Vergara!

  9. Whoops! Let me try that comment again, attached the right blog entry. 🙂


  1. […] trip that I chaperoned was nearly three years ago and I volunteered under extreme duress. It was just as terrible as I had thought it would be; given the sheer amount of volunteering I do at the school, I felt that it was perfectly acceptable […]

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