February 1 13

This past week I chaperoned my very first school field trip. A second grade venture out to the Kortright Centre on the wettest winter day in Ontario ever.

I wish I could blame the reason for my lack of supreme chaperoning skills on work scheduling difficulties, which certainly come into play more often than not, but the truth is — and I really don’t know how to say this without sounding like a horrible parent and possible jackass — I have just never wanted to go. My kids get excited about visiting museums and Amish country and conservation areas and the zoo and I can’t say I blame them. When I was their age, there was absolutely nothing better than spending a school day somewhere other than school.

But now that I am no longer in school, these things are decidedly less appealing to me unless you are asking me to chaperone, say, West Beverly’s senior ditch day.

There are so many factors at play here, really.

There’s the I Still Look Like a Kid factor. I look like a kind-of-large child, who is going to listen to me? (Answer: no one who is seven years old.)

There’s the OPK factor (Other. People’s. Kids.) Kids are loud and and sticky and touchy and easily distracted and thirsty and have trouble making a straight line and messy and they always seem to have to pee at inopportune times and sometimes they even barf, especially in January (hello, gastro season!)

And don’t even get me started on the SCHOOL BUS FACTOR.

Sixteen Candles I loathe the bus

“I loathe the bus”

Be thankful I didn’t decide to become a teacher, you guys.

Screen Shot 2012-05-31 at 4.12.12 PM

I don’t even remember signing the sheet, offering up my chaperoning services. I don’t even remember.

Screen Shot 2012-05-31 at 4.12.12 PM

But then one day Isabella bounced through the doors all “YOU WON MAMA! THIS IS THE BEST DAY EVER! MY TEACHER PICKED YOU! YOU GET TO COME ON MY TRIP! YAHOO!” I doubt she was this happy in Disney World, even after we bought the Mini Minnie outfit.

She told every person she saw that week, including the bank teller and the pizza delivery man.

“My mama is coming on my trip…” she sang in her best sing-song voice to Rebecca the American Girl Doll, half excited, half neener-neener. My mama gets to come and yours doesn’t.

Her face lit up like Ryan Seacrest on New Year’s Eve when she saw me turn the corner with my fluorescent pink VISITOR sticker affixed to my rain gear.

She held my hand the entire day—she had never been so proud.

She never stopped smiling, even though it was cold and wet and it was a little squicky to hold the muskrat pelt.

She introduced me to all of her friends and classmates who told me adorable stories and wanted to hold my hand and actually listened to me and told me I was pretty and were hilarious and nice and sweet and fun (and no one barfed) and even though OPKs can be loud and and sticky and touchy and easily distracted and thirsty and have trouble making a straight line and messy and they always seem to have to pee at inopportune times they can also be quite lovely, even if they *do* have trouble with the straight line thing.

And even though the bus smelled exactly the way I remembered it—like feet and desperation and cheese and Axe body spray, I got to sit next to this face for the entire ride there and the entire ride home.

isabella-trip copy

Don’t look now, but there might be a second—and maybe third—class trip in my future.

There just might.




  1. Dude, that is AWESOME! Go on as many as you can before they are requesting you NOT chaperone! :)

    Comment by Kristabella on February 1, 2013
  2. Hahaha! So cute! I recently went on a field trip with my sons grade 1 & 2 class. It was fun, but one of the OPK’s did throw up while we waited for the streetcar. Good times.

    ali replied on

    I think I just had a stroke.

    What did you do…OMG!??!?!?!!?!?

    Comment by Sandy on February 1, 2013
  3. What I did was hold down my own vomit and say, “Are you ok sweetie?” Then I did what any responsible adult would do: I told the teacher. I then gave the teacher some kleenex and paper towel that I had in my purse(I am a mom who carries these things around) and I watched as the teacher cleaned her up. It was gross but I felt really sorry for the kid, because it’s not like she puked on the sidewalk, she puked on herself. So glad I could share…

    Comment by Sandy on February 1, 2013
  4. The only think I think you forgot was the exhaustion. I always come away from those things wondering, “how does his teacher do it EVERY day?” And then I have to go home and take a nap.

    Comment by Margaret on February 1, 2013
  5. Soak up the compliments and smiley faces while you can. If I offer to go on a field trip now with my Tween she makes a face like I threatened to stab her.

    ali replied on

    My tween still likes me. For now. But once she doesn’t want me around? Those are the trips I will definitely sign up for! (and there will likely be less vomit)

    Comment by Kelly on February 1, 2013
  6. Awesome! And as everyone says, enjoy it while you can. Michael gets just that excited when I am coming on a trip with them (have done maybe 3 with daycare so far). And all the little kids love having one of the mommies around. This situation will not last.

    Comment by Deborah / Mom2Michael on February 1, 2013
  7. Yup, there will most definitely be more class trips in your future. Because, yes, even though school buses reek of feet, desperation, cheese, and Axe body spray, I think saying no to Isabella’s smiley, happy-you’re-here face miiiiight just be impossible. :)

    Comment by aly on February 1, 2013
  8. That’s why we do it, because is a thrill for them. I also like the, because you get to meet all the kids our child is spending their days with. I still remember the filed trips my mom came on and that was over thirty years ago!

    Comment by Sarah on February 2, 2013
  9. Omg iPad auto correct h*## ..oops

    Comment by Sarah on February 2, 2013
  10. That face and her pride were all worth it. For all the noise and stickiness, I can’t say no to school trips when I see how excited my kids get.

    Comment by Kat on February 2, 2013
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    Comment by Get Oranges on April 8, 2013
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