Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Mrs. Tweedy

Dear Mom,
Last weekend I was reading Merrilymarylee's blog post about a past visit to the Children's Museum. I was flooded with memories.
The Indianapolis Children's Museum is a wonderful place. It is also one of those things that I am NOT SORRY that my kids have outgrown. I've done my time there and I am done.
My last trip there was as a second grade field trip chaperone. I learned long before this trip that if at all possible, MEET THE BUS at the destination. I drove myself to the museum. The parents all gathered, fresh faced, and received our group assignments and itineraries. Immediately things are not looking good. My group of three has the Young Lady, a quiet boy and The Class Trouble Maker. Honestly, the Trouble Maker could have been in a group of one and still given his chaperone a run for her money. I cannot tell you how many times he wandered off, how many times I enlisted the help of the Young Lady and Quiet Boy to look for him, how many times I just flat turned my back on the 2 good kids to go searching for Trouble Maker. And we hadn't even had our lunch break yet.
When we gathered for our sack lunches, I was wishing I packed more caffeine. Or a margarita. Not even pretending to be pleasant anymore, I bluntly told the teacher (who, by the way, had assigned no children to herself) that I had lost the Trouble Maker several times already and that perhaps I needed some back up. Teacher gives me one of those smiles that says "yeah well good luck with that" and tells me she will see what she can do. Mom, you should be proud that you raised a lady, because right about then a whole lot of bad words wanted to come out of my mouth and I didn't let them.
Obviously, all ended well and I got my group loaded back onto the bus at the end of the day. I got into the sweet haven of my car, looked into the rear view mirror and saw this looking back at me:

Mrs. Tweedy
Chicken Run

Mrs. Tweedy made another appearance on the 4th grade overnight trip. The Fourth grade trip to visit some of Indiana's historical sights in southern Indiana is a big deal and I was fortunate to have been selected as one of the chaperones. I do not regret having this memory to share with the Young Lady. My Hero got to go when the Young Man was a 4th grader, so we all had a chance to experience the trip.
This was a well organized, run like clock work, two very full days of activity. It was exhausting. At the end of our long first day, we were efficiently checked in to our hotel and given our room assignments. Bedtimes and lights out were part of the Chaperone Instruction Packet, along with our assigned breakfast times. I had to get 3 girls bathed and settled and sleeping. I NEEDED them to get to sleep. So that I could get some sleep.
I was very patient for the first 30 minutes of giggling. Then I gave a gentle reminder of the "big day we have ahead of us tomorrow!" Then a not so nice one where I said "You girls don't want me to be grumpy in the morning" to which the Young Lady pipes up- "YEAH, you guys really  don't want my Mom to be in a bad mood!"
The giggles continued until Mrs. Tweedy got out of bed and stood in the middle of the room for like 20 minutes. She knew that if the girls were only quiet for a little bit that they would soon be asleep. She was right.
Again, we all survived our trip, the kids far less exhausted than the parents.
Mrs. Tweedy and I haven't been on a field trip for 2 years. Can you blame us?


Anonymous said...

Field trips, I had forgotten--luckily my trips to science museums have all had better outcomes--smaller museums no doubt, and don't remember class troublemaker ever assigned to me. I DO remember chaperoning an overnight campout in cabins when MY young man was sixth grader, and I got a girls cabin of course. I did not know ANY of the girls; my Young Lady was three years behind. I was absolutely astonished that they would continue giggling after my stern admonitions. I think I just went to sleep with my hand on the cabin door!!

Anonymous said...

I think a kid must have designed that museum. It's great fun for kids and a nightmare for parents and most especially grandparents. As for chaperoning a GROUP there. . . oh my dear lord!!!!