So. . .today I was a chaperone for a field trip for the very first time. . .another benefit of working for friends. . .if i want to take time off, i can. . .no lying required. . .and it was certainly an experience. . .
We showed up at school at the usual time and were off to ride the city bus. . .40+ kids (a mixture of 1st and 4th graders) and a bunch of parents and teachers. . .we waited outside of a tattoo parlor for the bus. . .and it filled up and we waited for another bus. . .finally, we get to the fair, are handed “scavenger hunt” assignments to complete with our kiddos, and we split up to run amok on the fair. . .
I was paired with two fathers and 5 six-year-old boys. . .dad #1 was Steve and dad #2 never did give me his name so we’ll call him Absent. . .that will make sense later. . .
when we left the school, the dads took off with their kids. . .leaving me with three. . .and they were hauling ass on the walk to the bus. . .so much so that i stopped trying to keep our group together, resigned myself to reigning in the three with me, and went on with my day. . .it got worse when we got to the fair. . .Daddy Steve decided somewhere in his mind that this was an expedition through rough back country, and appointed himself scout for our group. . .what this translates to in reality is a lone figure (with no kids) always just on the verge of disappearing in the forest of people, turning to occasionally raise his hand and wave at us to let us know where he is. . .
so, this leaves Daddy Absent and I to corrale the kiddos. . .but Daddy Absent has already informed us that he has to leave for an hour in the middle of the morning. . .but he’ll be right back and will find us. . .sure. . .so the time arrives and he splits. . .so, i’m alone trying to handle the 6-year-olds. . .and they are attention deficite in that way that all children that age are. . .
and i discovered a trick. . .when in the classroom, their teacher gets their attention by saying loudly “Hey Hey”. . .to which they all respond “Ho Ho”. . .and then they miraculously close their mouths and pay attention. . .neat trick. . .came in handy. . .i must have looked rediculous, a pink baseball cap on a duck surrounded by ducklings, shouting “Hey Hey”. . .but finally it was time to rendevous with the class for lunch. . .and Daddy Absent reappeared. . .which is good, because by that time, i was looking for some help. . .
after lunch, Daddy Steve resumed his scout position. . .and we were off. . .at least Daddy Absent was around. . .so i gave them a taste of 5 minutes without me and went to the bathroom. . .and no sooner did i get back than Daddy Absent decides that he’s going to meet someone somewhere else on the fairgrounds and disappears again. . .now here’s where the day gets really fun. . .
Daddy Steve decides he knows where we’re supposed to meet up to catch the bus back to school. . .and leads us out the wrong exit. . .when we figure this out, we have to walk through the midway to get to the right gate. . .the midway. . .a veritable jungle of pitfalls to lure unwary children into states of bliss so consuming that they may never be seen again. . .and i’m hauling 5 small boys through while our scout becomes smaller and smaller in the distance. . .finally, i grabbed two boys. . .pointed them at Daddy Steve during a lull in traffic, and told them to run to him and grab his hands and don’t let go. . .much more manageable. . .only 3 left for me to herd. . .we almost missed the bus. . .we were the last group to arrive. . .and Daddy Absent met us at the gate, the shit. . .
so, i’m worn out. . .but i got to know the teacher a bit more, i really like her. . .and i got to spend time with some amazing kids. . .and by the time we left the fair, i had them singing the heys and the hos. . .and we were all good buddies and they were listening to me, and coming to me to show off or for help. . .and i think i just made 4 new friends. . .and made my little boy proud. . .i don’t think the dads can say the same. . .