I joined the newest Kindergartener and her class on a field trip to the zoo this week. I'll confess my memories of field trips are vague at best but I don't recall there being quite so many parents along for the ride. I think this is the sort of problem teachers must love to have but it seemed a little odd that only 3 kids out of 17 didn't have at least one parent present. I say "at least one" because 2 kids actually had both parents there. Another kid had a parent and an aunt there.
And of the kids with parents there, six of them didn't even ride in the van with the class either. They rode to the zoo with their parents instead. The teacher asked me if the newest Kindergartner would be riding in the van and I was all, Duh. If she doesn't ride in the van, she doesn't have a van color to talk about later over dinner. Make way for my kid on the van, people.
Once at the zoo, everyone pretty much headed off in different directions. I guess in my head I thought we were going to traipse around in one big mob. That's the sort of stupid simplistic crap I often conjure up in my pea brain. In reality, there were some small clusters of parents and kids but it was tough to stay together when five year olds have such a wide range of attention spans that vary even more depending on the animal they're looking at.
On top of that, I was assigned one of the parentless kids and I quickly gave up attempting to stay with anyone else opting instead to focus on not losing someone else's baby.
I considered it a successful day when I delivered the parentless kid back to the school van in one piece. I'm hoping she tells her mother about all the educational discussions we had about the different animals and how I always made sure she washed her hands after we touched the animals. On the other hand, I'm hoping she doesn't tell her mother about how I offered to take her to the hospital for stitches everytime she showed me the invisible scrape on her knee she periodically claimed impaired her ability to walk when she was tired of walking. It'd also be sort of awesome if she skipped the part about how I let her and the newest Kindergartener share the same water bottle. I know. The germs! The horror! But it was hot and the kid was thirsty and bottles of water cost $4. But again, it'd be awesome if she could just leave that out of her play by play retelling of her day.
I did not, however, leave it out of the play by play I subjected my husband that night. The one that included my thoughtful analysis about the importance of the van ride. It may or may not have gone along the lines of, "If people are going to drive their own cars and tour the zoo separately, I start to think maybe we should all just take our kids to the zoo on Saturday." Seriously, why would you want to skip the van ride? Although, from me to you, try to get a seat in the back of the van. Getting stuck sitting directly behind your kid's teacher limits your ability to talk about her. Not that I'd have anything I'd want to talk about like say an annoying Indian headband project she didn't think we got right the first time and suggested we do again. I'm just saying the back of the van would be a better place to sit if you did.