Couldn’t Chaperon the Field Trip? Here’s What You Missed…


The Interrogator is in kindergarten. With 29 other boys. I volunteered to chaperon their field trip to an apple orchard last week. Below is a list of things we parent chaperones said during the 5 hour excursion…

Sit down. On your bottom.

Sit. Down.

Hands to yourself.

Face forward, guys.

No head butting the seat in front of you.

No punching the seat in front of you.

No kicking the seat in front of you.

We’ve been driving for about 20 minutes. Funny, it feels like hours to me.

Oh, we don’t kiss our friends at school.

We don’t kiss our friends on a field trip either.

Please save the kisses for home.

Don’t lay on him, please. I know you’re not asleep. Because you’re talking to me, that’s how I know.

I wonder if they sell spiked apple cider at this orchard. I hope so.

Put down the hay.

Stop throwing the hay.

Keep. Your. Hands. Out. Of. The. Hay.

Now you have hay in your eyes? Oh, dear. That hurts, doesn’t it. Have you ever heard of karma?

Try to cough into your arm. No, not into my arm. Into your arm.

Here, honey, I have a tissue. You can use it to wipe your…oh, OK. So you wiped it on your shoulder instead. Very good.

You may pick 6 apples.

Nope. You can’t pick 10 apples.

No, you cannot pick 20 apples. Because you can pick 6 apples.

6 apples! Lalalalalalalalalalala! What’s that? I can’t hear you asking for more apples! Lalalalalalalalalala!

Please don’t pick an apple off the tree and then throw it on the ground.

You didn’t “drop it”. I watched you throw it. Yes, I did. Yes, I did. Oh. Yes. I. Did.

Please stop kicking apples.

Ouch! I said please stop kicking apples.

Look at my face. If you kick another apple at me, I’m telling your parents. How do you like them apples?

You have to poop? Awesome.

When I said we’re not going to do face painting today, that didn’t mean you should put your hands into the ash from last night’s bonfire and finger paint your face black.

Please don’t hit him.

Please don’t hit me.

Please don’t zip up someone else’s jacket…see? Now his lips are caught in the zipper.

Please get out from under the seat of the bus. We’re driving on the highway. No, you didn’t “fall off” the seat. Nice try.

Don’t lick the seat.

Don’t lick the boy next to you.

Don’t lick the floor of the bus. Because your tongue may fall off. That’s why.

Put your pants on, boys. Put them on now. This is a school bus. Put your pants on. Actually, it’s not funny.

Kindergarten boys, listen up! Please do not let any part of your body touch any part of anyone else’s body. Got it?

Do I believe in Jesus Christ?  I certainly will if I make it off this bus in one piece.

Whatever they are paying these teachers, it’s not enough. They deserve a raise. Immediately.

*This post appeared in the Parents Section of the Huffington Post on October 18th, 2012.

22 thoughts on “Couldn’t Chaperon the Field Trip? Here’s What You Missed…

  1. Phew! But you survived! And hopefully when life gives you apples you can make applesauce! I hope you got more than just 6!

    • HaHA, Em! Very funny! I actually ate an apple. In front of the kids. One that someone had just thrown on the ground. I said, “That’s a perfectly good apple.” He said, “But it fell on the ground.” I said, “But there’s nothing wrong with it.” He said, “I know.” Crunch. I bit right into it. He asked, “Can I have a bite?” I said, “Nope. Sorry. School allergy policy doesn’t allow it. It’s a shame. Cuz it’s really good.” Crunch. Slurp. Grin.

    • Maryanne, you nailed it. I smiled and put on my happy hat when the kids turned to face me. But my girlfriend Tracee caught me in a moment right there.

  2. This. Was. Great! Oh, the memories. I once sat next to a first grader who demonstrated her cartoon laugh *many* times over the course of the 2 hour round trip–she sounded like a high-pitched machine gun on steroids. Of course as soon as the show was over, there was an instant replay–again and again, always preceded by “Do you want to hear my cartoon laugh?” The decline was never a deterrent.

    Thanks for the laugh, Bethany. It brightened my day.

    • Dee, the Kenyan runs cross country. There are several girls on his team. None of their Moms run with us during practices. At first I found this peculiar. After running with them, I now understand fully. They. Never. Stop. Talking. And singing. One asked me if I knew a song on the radio. I said, “Um, I don’t think I know that one.” So she sang the entire song. All 3 verses. It took a solid 10 minutes, but it felt like 3 hours. Luckily I am outside when we run and can stop to “tie my shoe” if necessary. I can’t imagine being trapped on a bus with a maniacal cartoon laugh.

  3. Bethany – I’ve been on that field trip more then once I’m afraid. I didn’t learn my lesson the first time! The second time it rained – so I am adding:
    Stop shaking the umbrella.
    No you may not sit on my lap.
    Why, because I don’t want all 5 kids on my lap and I can see into the future.
    Great now you have an umbrella. Where did you get it?
    You found it, oh gosh where?
    Stop poking kids with your umbrella.
    See that old man over there? I think he’s looking for his umbrella. Don’t run away!

    • Nooooooo! Not in the rain! The umbrella becomes a weapon! I’m headed out to Valley Forge next week with 35 3rd grade boys. Better or worse than this trip? Stay tuned…

      Thanks for reading, Jenny!

  4. In 4th grade they are studying idioms. One of the idioms they studied last week, was “a picture is worth 1000 words.” Yes, the picture of you in the hay ride, with that dagger eyed, tight lipped, yet resigned grimace of an expression on your face is the perfect illustration of this idiom, and I belive should be incorporated into the 4th grade curriculum next year as “the” illustration. Though NO picture is worth 1000 of YOUR words. Your words are priceless. I ( and all of my friends) were belly laughing. Thank you!

    • Dorothy, the 4th grade teachers know my sense of humor well. You are absolutely right, this picture could be the illustration that accompanies that idiom! I will have that look on my face at the pre-k aquarium field trip too.

      And you are too kind. Right back at you, my prolific friend. XO

    • He’ll remember it as the field trip we took right before we went on a date to McDonald’s for french fries and Bredenbeck’s for ice cream. And that works for me;-)

  5. I was laughing so hard I almost peed my pants. People were staring. You should really warn a girl…. I have been there! In preschool we went to a farm. You know the drill- hayride, animals and pumpkins. How hard could that be? Well, the classmate I offered to chaperone doesn’t like loud noises or scary scarecrows. He will disappear and hide with no warning. Fun. Again preparing a speech in my head…sorry I lost your child. Won’t do that again. Now I offer to be classroom mom. At least I know I won’t loose them!
    Thank you for another great read!!!!

    • I hear you! I actually turned to another parent on the bus and said, “I hate watching other people’s children. I feel weird if I have to correct them.” That changed by the end of the trip. I was ready to whip some 5 year old asses into shape. They get so goofy when they’re together. They feed off one another’s goofiness. One on one, they’re a dream. In a group of 30…not so much.

      Thanks for reading! See you next Tuesday!

  6. …you should have warned them once and then simply ridden off into the sunset after they pushed the envelope… …it would have been poetic since you were wearing your Equestrian anyway…

    • I appreciate your Lewis Black equestrian reference;-) Had I ridden off into the sunset after my initial warning, I would never have made it onto the bus. At school.

  7. This is awesome! Not only is it hilarious, but it made me happy to hear that my kindergarten boy isn’t the only one being wiggly, giggly, and disgusting. A FIVE HOUR field trip? Think of all the mom points you earned for that!

    • Amy, most of them are wiggly, giggly, and disgusting. Just when you think you’ve scored some points with one, you hear, “Hey, are you going to come on my field trip too?” from another. So, yes, next week I’ll go to Valley Forge with the 3rd grade boys. Wish me luck!

      Thanks for reading!

  8. Bethany, this is hilarious! I used similar phrases last week on my son’s first grade class trip to the zoo.

    Imagine trying to walk through the insectarium with four boys that have to fill out a packet! I had fun, but maybe my next volunteering experience will be an in-class party.

    • Oh, Valerie, I feel your pain. It is really tough to enjoy the field trips when the kids are still young because your primary role as a chaperon is to ensure none of them gets left at the venue. That’s it. Expecting anything beyond that is raising your expectations too high. If you manage to have some fun, you are a rock star. In-class party is the way to go! Thanks for reading!

  9. Most awesome thing I’ve ever said on a field trip: “Stop licking that, it’s a garbage can.”
    and this was at a ZOO!!! If I wasn’t a germaphobe before, I became one that day…
    (and yes, it was MY kid…oh the horror)

    • Oh, I love it! So nasty. When that stuff happens, I figure my kids don’t even need to be immunized. They acquire enough antibodies from licking a garbage can, don’t they?

      My kids are immunized, btw. Thanks for reading!

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