Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Name, rank and serial number, M'am.

Over the years, I've become a connoisseur of field trips even though I am pretty sure a connoisseur is some kind of expert in food or the arts or fine wine. I don't really, you know, eat field trips. However, most of them have involved food of some kind, one involved a visit to an art museum, and most of them could have driven me to drink.

There should be some kind of field manual for the field trip, a little pocket-sized book that the teacher hands you when you sign up as a chaperon. Included in the manual are instructions for many emergency situations.

For example, the correct response to a child's sudden onset of the stomach yucks while you are smack dab in the middle of the post office. Never mind that your seriously warped anxiety concerning the location adds salt to the wound, fuel to the fire, heaves to the hurls.

Due to the mercy of God, the child makes it to the bathroom and another mother accompanies him. He feels better later and you are not left holding the bag. Literally.

However, you have participated in other field trip emergencies and would have been grateful for the field trip manual. The best you could do is wing it.

Like when you were forming a human shield against possible bullets from the drug thugs being frisked next to the McDonald's playground. You'll forever see a table with a booth as a bunker.

Or when the bratty kid in Kindergarten knocked another kid's tooth out at the pumpkin patch which was more than forty-five minutes away from a dentist or a doctor.

How about the time the five-year olds went to the rodeo and the entire class cried when the cowboy roped the calf?

Then there is the day that the little girl stepped in dog poo at the park and completely freaked out. She sat on the bench and sobbed while you scraped the poo from every. single. crook. and crevice of her shoe. Why does a child need that kind of tread?

Yes, the field trip manual would be packed full of survival tips and advice for the volunteer. In the very back there is a picture of a tired woman covered in pewk and poo and food stains with a caption that reads, "Friends Don't Let Friends Volunteer."


Roxanne said...

The worst moment I ever had on a field trip was my Senior year in college. I was the long-term sub (before AND after graduation) for the gal I'd student taught for. She had her first baby at the age of 42 and left me in charge of the 30 5th graders. We were on the bus headed an hour away from school to some park, when I looked around and realized I was the ONLY adult on that bus besides the driver. All of the chaperones were on the other bus. I sort of freaked out. . .I was still 3 full months away from being 22, and I was the sole adult in charge of 30 children belonging to other people.

That was 10 kinds of wrong.

Now I'm in charge of other people's children all day long, but, sadly, the day of field trips is long gone in our district--cutbacks in the budget.

LeAnne said...

oh my goodness..this is hilarious!!! i haven't had the pleasure of being a field trip mom yet, but this post definitely makes me look forward to it:) sounds like an interesting day at the post office.

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

Hilarious, and better you than I. Or me.

Susanne said...

LOL. It's been awhile and I had almost forgotten. May that offer you a shred of hope, the memory of them does fade. :vD

Becky said...