The Field Trip

In my early years of parenting I went on every field/class trip, I was new to the game – or as my Kindergarten teacher girlfriend once said “fresh meat”. I thought a trip to the zoo with forty or so, five year olds sounded like fun – a chance to connect with my child and her new friends. I pictured it as an opportunity to get to know the teachers and other parents, and maybe gain an insight into my child’s life away from home. Does that really sound as tragic as what I think it does?

On my first class trip I distinctly remember boarding the yellow bus and giggling at the deja vu moments the setting was capturing. There was a lot of excitement. A little bit of giggling, a bit of squealing. After a further 10 minutes on the bus, when we’d hit the road with forty children, I realized that maybe I’d overlooked a few things. Things like the total lack of suspension a big yellow 1970’s school bus provides and the noise that forty screaming children can create.

And then you arrive.

There’s a format to class trips. Initially it begins with an immediate scramble, particularly when little people are given a target of finding two giraffes that happen to be located three kilometers ahead of you. You will hit the ground running while calling out “boy in the green shirt STOP, boy in the green shirt STOP”. Don’t feel bad about not knowing his name, at some stage you and he will have plenty of time to exchange details, it will be either when you’re wiping the blood off of his shirt after the I saw the zebra first give me the pencil incident or perhaps while you’re both stuck in the fire exit of the Art Gallery (true story).

Of course not every field trip is open air, maybe you’ll visit the police or fire station. On one of these occasions you may be lucky enough to become the mother who gets pushed forward to wear the fireman’s outfit after no one else puts their hand up. It’s an opportunity to provide great hilarity for both teachers, students, and the entire division of your local fire department when your arse doesn’t fit into Fireman Sam’s overalls. Soggy sandwich anyone?

I know I probably sound a little jaded, but four children at school has provided me with a lot of bus rides, zoo visits, science fairs and ten pin bowling shoes to lace.

However, today as I made my way to the fourth little travellers field trip it occurred to me that this was possibly my very last Kindergarten Field trip. All of a sudden my feelings of dread moved to nostalgia – and as sure as motherhood schizophrenia exists, melancholy joined me on my shoulder.

If it’s true we should live each day as if its our last – it’s also possible the same rule applies to field trips. I really loved today. Henry Hotdog tells me it was the bestest day of his life. As I began to type today’s post he was sitting next to me asking what I was going to write and asked if he could “have my blog to talk”.

I am about to type word for word, from the mouth of the 4th little traveler, here he is:

Today was the best Tuesday ever! It was my first ever field trip in my life. We went to Katara and Mrs H gave us a list of buildings and things we had to find. We did it super fast because we looked so good. 

The best thing we found was the Golden Mosque because it was Golden. The second best thing was finding the biggest door in the whole wide world – it went into the amphitheater which I thought was called the echotheatre. 

The blog is finished now. Mum you don’t have to write that. Mum, stop writing. You are sooooooo not funny.

Live each field trip as though it’s your last.

And take your own vehicle.

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  1. The ONLY time that I am grateful for my motion sickness is when I can honestly say that I just cannot take the bus and I have to take my own vehicle. Field trips are the best experience when you skip the bus portion of the program!

  2. I love it!!  I remember having all those same naive thoughts prior to my first field trip.  I have since learned that I should schedule a nap after volunteering for any field trip/school party.  I don’t know how teachers do it….

  3. Two weeks ago I lost the raffle to chaperone my fourth grade girls’ class to the zoo. I was bummed. Not really.  I was freaking elated. dodging that bullet was like winning the lottery!  And then a week later I got an email from the class teacher “Someone pulled out, can you help out on the zoo trip?”


    We’re going to the zoo zoo zoo,
    How about you?
    You can come  too too too…..

  4. Sine Thieme says

    You do that so well – taking an everyday occurrence,  making us laugh at the discomfort and the deja vu, and then turn it philosophical. Thank you! I also have a fourth little Traveler, except she is called Sunshine, and she went on her first camp trip with school yesterday. The house is blaringly empty, even though I couldn’t wait for it. I’m afraid I might have missed her “last time in bed with us during a thunderstorm” and other such events…

  5. I always say “would love to help but have a meeting (not!) so can I meet you there”  …. 

  6. As a teacher I have been on a few and we often struggle to find parent helpers to accompany us so good on you for stepping up!  Great blog post btw!

  7. *fresh meat* oh I love that term.  That was me 5 years ago.  I nearly imploded at the end of Grade 1 and that was 3 years ago…I am still recovering.

  8. p.s – I am at home lounging with my 2 girls as I nominated and seconded the Mr to be a parent helper at the Yr 4 camp for 2 days, 1 night.  I am tucked up safely inside while the wind whips those massive dark rain clouds around.  I am praying it does not rain on them.

    I kinda feel bad…

  9. Love this!  I have been feeling bad because I have not been able to go on any field trips with my 2 big kiddos this year…  I need to make more of an effort.  Even if that involves dragging along baby #3 in his stroller, and not being very helpful to the teachers!  🙂

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