I waited my turn all year and on the very last field trip of the year I was finally selected as a chaperone for Brendon’s class. Brendon was beyond excited! John was disgruntled. I hadn’t realized how much going on the field trip actually meant to Brendon until the night before, when he was asking, “Can I sit next to you on the bus?” “Can I hold your hand on the field trip?”. It was precious.
Somehow I didn’t get selected for the nice air-conditioned indoor field trips this year. No, pumpkin patch in the sweltering heat, play day full of walking and this one, Kualoa Ranch Farm Tour. It was a 45 minute bus ride, followed by a 45 minute walking tour (it rained on us a couple times), lunch and then a 45 minute bus ride home.
The preschoolers were also on the field trip and John’s face lit up when we he saw us get on the bus. He had earlier tried to have a meltdown when I went to Brendon’s class, but thankfully, Ms. Katie was there to keep John from totally losing it. I’m going to miss Hawaii. *sigh* So many good friends and people I trust with my children at this duty station. (Have I said it enough?)
After a very entertaining presentation about the ranch, how they round up cattle, and the rules, we headed out to see the fish ponds, chickens, pet a bunny and a guinea pig, feed a horse, cow, donkey, two goats and a sheep. Brendon was in heaven. He LOVES animals. He always has and he has a list five pets deep of what he’d like to get when we move to the mainland. No sense in getting one now just to fly it in cargo. I just couldn’t do that to an animal and I’m no animal lover. John however, had to be “encouraged” to pet a few and told us at dinner he did NOT petting the horse or the cow! He’s more cautious and leary of large breed anything.
I knew before going, Brendon’s teacher runs a tight ship. I just didn’t realize how under control the children truly were. Before we boarded the bus, they said the Pledge of Allegiance and sang My Country Tis of Thee, after a few verbal commands. This brought tears to my eyes. I’m going to miss all the added benefits of military life. Like pride for your country taught in public school.
Often times she had the children line up in pairs, then switch to single file. They did this quickly, without hesitation. On her verbal commands, they responded back. It was amazing. As an example, when the students got a little restless at one of the presentations, she called out, “attentive listening” and the children responded, “and mutual respect”. Which quickly refocused their behavior. I should spend a day in the classroom for more tips! If only she would let me…
Being a chaperone for Kindergarten is way more laid back than for Preschool. With the Preschoolers you fear for their safety. They seem to have no common sense half the time. With the the Kinder folk, their biggest issue was chatting with their neighbor. Although, beyond the one dad in our group, the other moms didn’t really volunteer to carry the tub of lunches, so we know who did. Ha! Don’t worry about little ol’ me. I got it, I got it!
And lunch. Lunchables are definitely KING! on a field trip. I was almost floored. Of the 21students in our class, only five max had a lunch that was not of the boxed variety. One was mine. I usually get them for field trips as a fun treat, but I’ve been really trying to focus the boys’ diet lately and thought I’d make a regular home lunch for them. It was so eye opening watching the children eat the pre packaged lunches. One of the more “healthy” varieties comes with a make your own sandwich, chips, some apple wedges, two Hershey’s kisses and a bottle of water. I was intrigued. Turns out it there is also a packet of Kool-aid to pour in the water. Or as one of the kids said, “watch as I pour in the sugar”. What are we feeding our precious children? Field trip or no field trip, I feel I have already purchased my last Lunchable.
Brendon did try and talk me into letting his buddy, Brody, sit with us on the bus ride back. Brendon!!! So much for enjoying mom’s company. It was a wonderful day with Brendon (and John from afar). These are the memories I hope they’ll keep.