How do I get Me Alone?

Published Date: January 28th, 2010
Category: Weekly Thought

So I survived my first field trip. I have to say, the aspect I dreaded the most (the bus ride) was actually quite peaceful and the aspect I thought would be the easiest (exploring the exhibits at the Kohl’s Children’s Museum) was a trifle horrifying.

Not because the three little boys who I needed to chaperone were bad. They were quite well-behaved (considering one of them was my own). No, it was because I realized that I was in charge of OTHER people’s children.

Why this never occurred to me, I don’t know. I volunteer in G’s classroom almost every week, and I am in charge of helping those kids eat, go to the bathroom, make crafts, attend assemblies. How much different could a field trip be?

Immensely.

The wonderful thing about the Kohl’s Children’s Museum is how open and airy and creative it is. The horrible thing about the Kohl’s Children’s Museum is how open and airy and creative it is, because that environment ENCOURAGES little children to run off and do their own nifty things.

Which is fine when you are just watching your own child. But let me tell you, this does NOT WORK when you are watching other people’s children. At one point, I spoke so shrilly in the wonderfully messy and confusing “water room” (where I of course got drenched) to my three boys, half the kids in the room whipped around to see if they were the ones getting in trouble.

I felt a trifle bad about my drill sergeant techniques when it came to chaperoning these kids, but at the end of the day, not one of my boys was:

• lost

• hurt

• or crying

So that in itself was a success. Plus, I democratically let them each choose an exhibit, so they all felt they had some choices in what we viewed. And as all parents know, choices = happy 5-year-olds.

My favorite moment was when we came back home and John walked in from his work day. After being in constant proximity with twenty little beings all day, I just needed to sit in the dark for a while where no one would touch me or spill something on me or need me to do something. I said to John:

“I need a little alone time right now.”

To which G instantly piped in:

“Alone time? Where’s that? Can I come?”

This entry was posted on Thursday, January 28th, 2010 at 12:39 pm and is filed under Weekly Thought. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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