You’re Nice Anyway

Compound Eye / Foter

Today, dear Reader, I entered the heart of darkness.

Yes, that’s right. I chaperoned a school field trip.

The Little Prince’s school went on a Dozer Day. We even had sunny weather, a rarity here in the mossy PNW.

The mental checklist went like this: Sunscreen? Check. Fresh first-aid kit? Check! Kerchief and two hankies? Check! Extra travel pak of tissues? Checkity-check check! Hip flask? … Hip flask?

OH DAMMIT.

Anyway. I was responsible for five kids, one of them my own lovely spawn. “Give me the troublemakers,” I told his teacher. “No. Seriously. It’ll be fine.”

And she did, and it was. “What, you think I was born yesterday? Put that back…The limit is two. Not three, four is right out…Oh, honey, he threw sand on you? Come on, let’s get you cleaned up…”

All went smoothly, the only hiccups being losing (and, thank God, finding) my cell phone (this was during the sand-flinging incident) and several pocket checks (“THE LIMIT IS TWO. Look, go hide those for other kids. Hide them so well nobody will ever find them.”) and one regrettable incident involving kids thinking it was a great idea to jump off huge tires stacked, I dunno, EIGHT FEET HIGH? (I put a quick stop to that, thankyouverymuch. The Little Prince’s teacher leaned over and said, “I had my doubts when you said to give you the troublemakers. I apologize.” Heh.)

I got told I was pretty, I got my hand held by every single kid in my little pod, and I got a hot dog for lunch. So it was pretty swell. We didn’t get to the driving of the big construction vehicles–the kids could sit/stand in front of the operator, and put their hands on the operator’s hands while the vehicle did its thing, it looked like a lot of fun. My little pod, instead, got to play in sandpiles taller than yours truly, in which were buried small “treasures” in plastic bags. There’s nothing like seeing a whole elementary-school’s worth of kids descend on a sandpile. It’s got to be one of the wonders of Nature.

Every child was exhausted and well and truly filthy by the time we boarded the buses to go back to school. Sitting on the bus, one of my pod–let’s call him Jerome–turned to me with a huge grin. “You know what {Little Prince’s name} said about you?”

“Nope. What?”

“He said you had a laser eye and you could make a kid behave just by looking at him.”

“Well.” I tried not to smile. “Do you think that’s true?”

“Oh yeah,” he said. “But you’re nice anyway. Look at the stickers I got!”

I tell you, of all the times today I had to keep a straight face, that one was the hardest.

I returned every child I was responsible for in original factory condition, and got to take the Little Prince home early. He had to go lie down, he was so exhausted. No doubt we will be finding sand all over the house (and my laser eye) for days to come. But it was totally worth it.

Even if next time, I am goddamn well taking the hip flask…

  • Sounds like an awesome day!

    I had my children convinced I had eyes in the back of my head and could see through walls, smell lies and communicate telepathically with teachers and their father.

    We enforced a rule of ‘strict but fair’ punishment if you tell the truth and ‘rain of fire’ if you lie.

    The two techniques combined worked extraordinarily well and even the teen years were no bother. In fact, both of my kids took to ‘bringing home strays’ and by the time my own two graduated I had ‘raised’ an additional eight. All of them still send me flowers on Mother’s Day.

    It is awesome to be the Scary Cool Mom! Keep it up!

  • martianmooncrab

    and one regrettable incident involving kids thinking it was a great idea to jump off huge tires

    makes you wonder who was regretting it.. grin. It sounded like a lovely day out.

  • Wolf Lahti

    Laser eye, eh?

    If I had a button for “Official Stare Master”, I’d send it to you.

  • You are incredibly brave to take the pod of “troublemakers”. I usually ended up with one or two, but when my husband went on the field trips, which was often, they gave them all to him.

  • Aw, cute! How old are they?