Monday, April 20, 2009

Never Again!

I have to admit, I don’t really participate much in the activities at my children’s schools. Those times when they are gone, when I know they are safe and completely occupied, are to be coveted by the work-at-home mom. I do attend class parties and try to go on field trips when allowed, but last week the one field trip I’ve ever attended and absolutely hated came up: the baseball game.

My first experience with this was last year. It was an unusually scorching day for April and our seats ended up being in direct sunlight. Of course, never having been to a game before, I forgot about applying sunscreen. So I was sweaty and burning to a crisp for a game that none of the kids watched. There were way more children than parents, hard to keep up with when there were 5-6 other schools there on field trips also. Yikes! Who decided this madhouse would be fun?

Apparently the school did, because my daughter’s grade went again this year. It started off much better though. Our seats were right on the edge in the shade (although I had remembered to apply sunscreen, just in case). It was a much cooler day, with a slight breeze through the stadium. So far, so good. I just focused on the children around me, and left the rest for the teacher to worry about. Then it was time for my daughter and I to leave—having to pick the youngest up from preschool has its rewards. ;) So we headed out to the parking lot, only to find my car wouldn’t start. The same car I’d just picked up from the mechanic, who had assured me the starting mechanism was “all fixed”. After making arrangements to have the same mechanic tow the car and my inlaws pick up my son, I rushed back inside to ask a grandmother who lived close to my house if we could ride home with them. Sure, she said.

I didn’t realize she was staying until the end of the game. The rest of the kids left for school and still we sat, and sat, and sat. Why are baseball games so long? And, I’m sorry, boring? Something interesting only happened about 5 minutes out of the entire game! Once we finally leave and head for the car, she mentions she’d like to stop and get something to eat. Being an older lady, I realized she didn’t mean a drive-thru. There was another hour gone. Then there was the fact that she wouldn’t drive over 45 mph. By the time I finally arrived home, it was 3:30. Did I mention I hadn’t been feeling well that morning? But I could tough out 3.5 hours sitting at a ball field, couldn’t I? Sure. Until it turned into 5, then another 1.5 to get home.

Ugghh… Heaven help me. All I wanted to do when I got home was lie down. But then the mechanic called—car all fixed. Something they’d replaced had just come loose. Just. Come. Loose. I wasted my afternoon for that? Can you hear the scream building?

I comforted myself with the thought that next year Drama Queen would be old enough, I could safely send her on this trip on her own. Because there was no way I was returning for another disastrous year.

Until I remember… next year Little Man would be in kindergarten. Argh!

So what was your most interesting field trip experience? Yours or someone else’s?


Coming Soon: On Friday, April 24, join us for author Anna Cleary's guest blog!


Playground Monitor said...

My absolute best field trip was the year #2 son was in 5th grade and qualified to go to Tremont Institute in the Great Smoky Mountains for a week. I took the week off work and went as a chaperone. We had nature hikes and studies, sang songs around the campfire at night and even woke to snow one morning -- the morning we did the geology hike and hiked to a waterfall. It was so much fun. I've heard they have Elderhostel programs and I'd love to go back sans kids.

I never baked cookies for school but I was the field trip mom when time allowed. I went to the art museum, the symphony, the fire station and Colonial Bakery.

Maybe when the grandbaby gets older I can be the field trip Grammy. ;-)

Problem Child said...

Lat year, I got to go to the pumpkin patch in the rain. Yay.

I don't really like large groups of small children. I'm finally starting convince the PTA and the church of this fact, and they're asking me less often. That said, I did agree to chaperone the field trip next month. I could regret this.

Christine said...

When my child was a lot younger, I was the room mom and went on a lot of field trips. The worst were in the early years: little yellow school buses taking forever to get to downtown DC (The National Zoo, Museum of Natural History). We'd have 2 hours to see 4 hours worth of stuff. Fortunately, I was well versed in those areas so I managed to get my charges into the most exhibits cause I knew all the secret passages. But once my child hit 4th grade, I would ask, what kind of bus is involved. If it was yellow, I didn't get on it. Period.

Best trips: Philadelphia with the 6th graders--amazing trip (I do miss that area!), and Folgers Shakespearean Festival in downtown DC where I had the privilege of watching 8th-12th graders perform 25 min tableaus from various Shakespeare Plays. I am always in awe of the talent the young people have in this country.

Now that my miss is in HS -- I am banned from all chaperoning duties (yay!!!!). She went to the inauguration with her school group this year and is hitting a theme park in GA this spring.

Lucky her!

Smarty Pants said...

I've never had to chaparone a field trip. I don't know that I'm well suited for it. Its one thing when I say the things I do to the Playkids, but to some random child who's mother doesn't *get* me... best I just don't.

I don't remember doing a lot of field trips in school. We went to the zoo in elementary school, I remember that much. My mom chaparoned that trip and I seem to recall she always got the group of troublemakers. She carried one boy through the park by his ankles.

Linda Winstead Jones said...

I was always a field trip Mom. Most interesting: A preschool trip to a small zoo in North Carolina. We were in the reptile house. Each little room had a touch table, with things for the little kids to check out. We walked into one room, and there on the table -- with a big sign that said "TOUCH TABLE" was a pillowcase. One of the kids asked, "What's that?" I said, "Let's go see." I reached for the pillowcase, just about had it in hand when a man yelled at me to stop. Apparently I was about to scare the snake inside the pillowcase. Uh, he was worried about the snake? And yelled at ME when he was the one who left an unattended snake on a TOUCH TABLE? Huh.


Lynn Raye Harris said...

ROFL, Maven LJ!!

Hey, no kids, no field trips. My mom never chaperoned either. Poor thing was working long hours trying to provide for us. It would have been cool to have her there, so I know your children will think back fondly, Angel. But oy on your adventures!

Now I feel like I should have somehow known you were trapped and offered to come get you. :( I hate, hate, hate being at the mercy of someone else when it comes to trips. Pretty much why I always take my own car -- though who can plan for breakdowns!? Many, many hugs.

I'm with you on the baseball thing. Hubby doesn't watch, fortunately. Until the World Series comes on. And then I am sometimes forced to sit there with him. Not every game though. I refuse.

Linda Winstead Jones said...

And I have to say, baseball isn't my favorite sport, unless one of my grandkids or nephews is playing. Both nephews are pitchers, one in college, another in the Braves organization. Those I'll gladly watch.

But the last time I went to a Stars game, years ago, the pitcher hit the batter with a ball. I was stunned. The batter didn't rush the mound. No punches were thrown, no gloves thrown down. The injured batter just jogged to first base. Huh. Can you tell I prefer hockey? :-)


Anonymous said...

I generally didn't go on field trips with my son. However, I did go 1 year, 5th grade, where we went to the capitol here in AL. Great trip, no lost kids.

Problem Child said...

Is the 5th grade trip to the AL state capital required? I went on that trip in 5th grade -- and that was a VERY long time ago.

Marilyn Shoemaker said...

Field trip? My most embarrassing one in the Spring to the zoo with two Kindergarten classes. The lions were "mating" and I'll never forget Jacob saying "Oooh, Mrs. Shoemaker what is that lion doing to the other lion?" Yes, Mrs. Shoemaker the teach said, got an answer? "Of course, he's scratching her back".

My daughter still remember that to this day.

Angel said...

Marilyn, ROFL!!! I'll have to remember that one. I may need it in the future.

Sounds like everyone else has had great field trip experiences. Maybe, like PC, I'm just not made for large groups of children. When I was young, I had dreams of having a houseful of kids. After 1, I realized I really wasn't cut out for that. 2 was my limit. LOL