Sunday, April 27, 2008

Field Trip

I am not one of those parents who loves school field trips.

In fact, I can't stand school field trips.

When I was in school (I can hear my kids now: Oh, here she goes, when she was in school...)...when I was in school and we went on field trips, we went as a class. Enough grownups came along to make sure no one got lost. The whole class stayed together the whole time.

Not anymore.

Now, parents are expected to accompany their children on the field trips. They are expected to entertain/amuse/feed/shop for/supervise/take to the bathroom/put up with their own child on the trip. The teachers walk around and enjoy the field trip, occasionally waving hi to a parent who is chasing their child from exhibit to exhibit. At that point, I don't know why they don't just give the kids the day off and say "Go do something with your parents." If I want to take my child to a museum, I certainly know how to do that. I don't need the school to force it upon me.

Tomorrow Little Brother's class is going to the aquarium. It's a pretty good aquarium. We've been there several times as a family. (Yes, I'm packing Goldfish crackers and Swedish fish for snack. I just have to.) Little Brother can run through the aquarium in less than an hour and 15 minutes. Needless to say, I'm choosing my shoes with that in mind tomorrow. I don't care if my other ones are cuter. I have to be able to run.

I also have to keep this kid busy for 3 hours at the aquarium. We never stay that long. You can cover the whole place in under 2 hours, even if you walk at a reasonable pace.

So, in the hopes that I'll be able to avoid spending 1 hour in the aquarium and 2 hours in the gift shop telling Little Brother that we are not spending $30 on a 6-inch-long stuffed shark, I've printed out the list of fish you can catch in the Animal Crossing video game. Little Brother discovered on a previous visit that this aquarium has an Arowana. Let's see how many others he can find.

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