Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Field Trip FrEnZy!




I just have to know: What's up with all the field trips lately? My daughter's 4th grade class has three scheduled in the course of less than three weeks. Two of them are even during the same week!


When I went to school, back in the horse-n-buggy days, we actually, oh, I dunno... WENT TO SCHOOL. And while I'm venting about schools these days, did I mention that every Friday at my son's middle school they blast music on the quad (and I mean BLAST) for the entire lunch hour? I am not even kidding. I'm waiting to see strobe lights and fog lamps installed for visual effect. Maybe they can have a no host bar, too. Oh--I know what would be totally cool: Ladies' Nights! (Or would that be Ladies' Lunch Hours?) Anyway. Where was I? Oh yeah, back to field trips.

The list of necessities always makes my head swim. I went over it with Erin the morning of the first field trip... checking and re-checking everything, as if she were planning to camp alone in the Madagascan rainforest for the summer. (I actually had a friend who did that a few years ago. She also dated a very famous Playboy photographer. Can you imagine? Yeah, my life of trips to Walmart and bringing snacks to my son's baseball games is just slightly different.) As I got her ready for the trip, it was brought to my attention that I was doing everything wrong. I brushed her hair and made it "all staticky," put her ponytail up too high, got sunscreen under the collar of her shirt AND SHE DOESN'T LIKE IT TO FEEL DAMP LIKE THAT, put too much Chapstick on her lips, picked out dumb looking clothes to wear, and was completely clueless when it came to suggesting hats that actually fit her head (versus the oversized Angels ball cap of Chad's that she ended up wearing). Who knew I was so stupid? AND out of style?

So The List went something like this--


Have your child wear:
  • A hat
  • Sunscreen (applied BEFORE the trip)
  • T-shirt with sleeves
  • Shorts
  • Shoes that tie securely onto the foot
  • Sunglasses
  • Something old, something new
  • Something b0rrowed, something blue
  • A backpack that contains:
  • Non-perishable food for lunch
  • A water bottle that's FULL (really? I am guessing there was a reason they had to specify)
  • What's left of your heart, so she can stomp on it during our scheduled break
  • Money for the gift shop -- optional
  • A nasty look on her face from arguing with you all morning
  • A gameboy or MP3 Player -- optional (BUT YOU WILL NOT AS MUCH AS WINCE WHEN THE CHILD SAYS S/HE LOST IT... AND BY THE WAY THE SCHOOL AND TEACHER AND EVEN THE SCHOOL BUS ITSELF IS IN NO WAY RESPONSIBLE FOR ANYTHING LOST OR STOLEN!!!!!!!!!!! DO NOT MAKE ME SAY THIS MORE THAN ONCE! YES, WE MEAN YOU, EVIL PARENT!!! NO SOUP FOR YOU!)

And then, of course, there are a million forms to sign, and a million more if you're actually chaperoning, or heavens to Betsy, driving precious children somewhere. (Which, of course, I am... on the next field trip. But we'll get to that one in just a moment.)




The first field trip destination was Calico Ghost Town:



I picked her up at the school afterwards and asked how the trip was. "Fun!" That's about all I could get out of her. She did buy me a darling tulip that had been carved out of wood. She also brought home an arrowhead for both herself and her dad, and some kind of marble-like gadget that looked like a cross between a saw blade and a shirt button. That was for her brother. Before giving it to him, I took him aside and asked him to make a big deal out of it, instead of asking what on earth it was. Because none of us knew what it was, and then she would scream something at him about being so spoiled and ungrateful, and he would call her a brat, and she would sob hysterically, and then doors would slam, and I would tearfully tell Joe that I am obviously not cut out to be a mother. So to avoid that ugly scenario, he instead obeyed and made quite a fuss over the saw blade button thing. I'm glad I can teach my kids to be phony like that. It will serve them well later in life.

The field trip I'm going on tomorrow is to a place called Sand Canyon:



Have I mentioned how much I despise dirt, hiking, heat, creepy crawly things and, admittedly, most of my daughter's classmates? Yeah, it is going to be a fantastic day. Please say a prayer that I don't get Car Sick Erica in my newly washed & vacuumed Toyota tomorrow. Thank you.


The last field trip is to a California mission that I grew up near and visited often -- beautiful Mission San Juan Capistrano:


Of course, it's during the work week and immediately following Joe's back surgery, so I can't go. The ONE place I've looked forward to going all year long now, and I'm gonna miss out. Instead, all I get to look forward to are the "morning-of" preparations--making Erin's hair all staticky, picking out stupid clothes for her, and basically ruining her life all over again. Hey--don't knock it! It's what I do best!



7 comments:

Suz Broughton said...

I just spend a whole day looking at bad plaster dinosaurs in the 100 degree heat. I don't like dirt either...or packed lunches. I don't think our parents had to do this kind of thing :)

Busy Bee Suz said...

Oh, the dreaded field trips. Good for the kids. Torture for the parents. :)
Love all your descriptives. Too funny.
How is Joe doing???? I have been sending good thougts and prayers to the west. I hope he got them!!!

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I love San Juan Capistrano--our 4th graders take the train up--the ride is gorgeous.

Jason, as himself said...

I loved your list of things to bring!

Life with Kaishon said...

A tulip carved out of wood. Well, that is just about the best thing ever : ). Totally makes up for all the things you had to do to actually get her on the trip, right?

Teri Smieja said...

I laughed out loud at several different spots on your post. You have a way with words! Thanks for the smiles. :)

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