One of the great things about being a parent is watching your child (or children) blossom into whatever kind of person they’ll become. The possibilities are endless, and that potential can warm even the coldest heart. Yay, babies and kids and shit. Part of this blossoming typically includes moving through the ranks of education, from elementary school to high school to the first star to the right and straight on till morning.
Well, it ain’t all roses and unicorns. See, part of being a parent of school-age children includes field trips to museums and exhibits and shows and concerts and plays and shit. On its own, that’s wonderful; your kids are already in the care of a teacher whom you’ve entrusted with their education and safety for a year. It only makes sense to enhance classroom learning with out-of-classroom learning. Yay, field trips and shit.
That’s where everything goes left. You see, in order for a field trip to work, you need chaperones. Chaperones are typically parents. Chaperoning? Yeah, that’s that bullshit.
Currently, I have one child of field-trip age. She’s a third-grader and she’s awesome. I rather enjoy spending as much time with my children as possible, so I volunteer to chaperone several times during the school year. And when I chaperone, my daughter is always in my group, and that means we get to shoot the breeze about whatever we’re looking at. This is all well and good.
So why are field trips birth control? That’s simple. It’s not MY kid that’s the problem; it’s YOUR kids that are the problem. I said what I said. And I know, your kid is a total angel and would NEVER be the one causing all of the chaos and disruption. Like me, you raise your kids right. I know, boo. I know. And yet kids on field trips are a gaggle of energetic, screaming, yelling, “CONTROL YOUR BODIES” cyborgs put on earth to wreak havoc on tourists and people showing up to museums early specifically to AVOID children.
I recently went on a field trip with my daughter’s class. And I’m sure that individually, most of the children are downright serene. Collectively, though, kids don’t do serenity. They’re a snowball of chaos and the effect of constantly hitting the “+” button on the volume. Kids, especially at their age, don’t seem to understand the concept of keeping thine hands to thineself. It’s like they just have to find a way to bother one another. And THEN they listen—in moments.
“Stop doing that.” They comply.
Five seconds later, they’re back to doing it. For why? I don’t know. They just HAVE to do what it is that you told them to stop doing. A lot. Much to the chagrin of another kid who is typically the recipient of said inability to control themselves. And to level it all up: At this age, kids both are great at and suck at following directions.
For instance, let’s say that you tell the kids to stay with their groups. And let’s say two kids start doing EXACTLY what it is you told them not to do. Let’s also say that you tell them to cut that shit out (not literally, natch), and they realize they are in the wrong AND separated from their group, at which point they take off running (more shit they ain’t supposed to be doing), disrupting another group by running through them (more more shit they ain’t supposed to be doing).
And when you tell them to stop running, they yell out, “WE’RE SUPPOSED TO BE WITH OUR GROUPS” (insubordination, patronization and all-around douchery). So you know you’re supposed to be with our groups, but somehow that didn’t matter when you were doing that very simple thing I requested that you not do because you were told in advance not to do it.
Know what I mean, Vern?
All field trips are some combination of birth control and questioning why anybody has kids in the first place. Even an hour and a half—a relatively short amount of time for the, like, world—can feel tortoiselike as you do your best to corral and keep alive children who don’t call you “Mommy” or “Daddy” and thus have a shortened attention span for your shit, sir.
If your ovaries or, um, testicles (?) are feeling volcanic every time you see a baby, ask the homey with chirrens if you can tag along on a field trip and see if your desire for babies doesn’t go from raging Te Ka to quiet and sleepy video-vixen-looking Te Fiti in under five minutes. That’s a Moana reference—I’m a dad that has little kids, so I watched Moana AT LEAST, without exaggeration, 50 times in October. Go watch Moana. It’s a good movie.
I’ve already explained how day care and birthday parties are birth control. Birthday parties and field trips have a lot in common. Both are unbridled chaos in the name of something greater—in this case, learning. But the most important lesson to learn? Kids on field trips to anywhere are the antithesis of your sanity. Chaperoning? Don’t do it, reconsider, even if you’ll be required to do so because every parent has to get down with the get-down.