I'll admit it: I'm the queen of volunteering for things I would rather avoid, including field trips. This morning when all normal stay-at-home parents kiss their children good-bye, close the door and go back to bed, I grabbed an armload of mostly unnecessary items (umbrella, purse-sized first aid kit, 2 water-bottles, bag of grapes, granola bars, extra child-sized sweatshirt, 2 packs of gum and $50) and followed my third grade son out the front door.
After spending over 60 minutes on a school bus stuffed with sweaty, squirrelly children, perky parent chaperons and teachers, I realize I never should've followed my son out our front door. I should've kissed his cheek, shut the front door and enjoyed the sight of him walking to school ... alone.
10 Field Trip Survival Tips You Should Read Before You Volunteer:
1. Never make eye contact with the kids. They will talk to you if you do.
2. Don't bother to learn the names of the kids in your group. Chances are that you will lose at least one, so you don't want to get too attached.
3. If you're given 5 kids in your group and you do lose one, steal a kid from another group. The teacher is counting heads and won't notice who is missing until you are gone.
4. Tie their shoe laces together. This will keep your group together and slow them down.
5. Line up tiny plastic cups, fill with Benadryl and teach the students in your group my favorite game and a survival skill for college.
6. Bring plenty of gum and cash. The gum will keep little mouths busy, so they stop talking to you. You can use the cash to pay someone else to switch groups with you.
7. All kids should come with warning labels. Bring name tag stickers and create your own for each kid in your group.
8. If you lose, forget or ditch your own child, it's okay as long as you sign a waiver. Create one and print it before you leave home, just in case.
9. If you need a quick escape, approach the teacher and loudly complain that you have an "itch and an odor" and ask to leave immediately. You will be amazed at how kind everyone around you becomes. They offer to watch the kids in your group and pay for your cab ride home!
10. If you do indeed chaperon a field trip, you are automatically exempt from cooking dinner, driving carpool and parenting your own children for the rest of the night.
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