Kids these days


squirrelI’m either brave or . . .

I recently volunteered as a parental chaperone for The Kid’s field trip to a local farm. This is the second time I have done this, so apparently I did not how remember exhausting these things can be. Who am I exactly? The Kid is in grade 2 and there are just eight other student in the class. This is no normal class though; these students are “gifted.” This is also known as “too damn smart for their own good.” Or too smart for me, perhaps.

When taking a school bus as a kid the ride is a carnival. As an adult riding a school bus is an uncomfortable bone-shaking hell ride where every bump might as well be Mt. Everest on a bad day. Hitting a small crack in the road sent me bouncing off the seat like a superball off the pavement.


Once at the farm, the students looked at a bunch of goats and turkeys and chickens and admired the (bad descriptive writing alert) quiet serenity of soaring turkey vultures gliding gently overhead. The wagon ride was nice.

They took a tour through the fields, learned about growing pumpkins, apples, grapes, raspberries, corn and sunflowers. The lesson included a pleasant discussion about the sex lives of flowers, with discussion of “things that stick out” and “things that don’t stick out.” This new Ontario sex ed curriculum has no place in the classroom  because it takes place in the serene fields of Ontario. Damn, what an education system. I had no idea.

The kids were mostly well  behaved but there is always that one. You know what I am talking about, right? During feeding time at the trough the kids dive into their lunches like a panther going after an injured feral pig. My lunch included a Fibre 1 bar, because, you know, I take my fibre intake very seriously. So I start unwrapping the delicious chocolaty goodness and this kid looks over and says, “That didn’t come from a peanut-free facility.” I look at the packaging and sure enough it says so right on the wrapper! I’ll be damned.

In response, I wanted to say, “Shut your trap there, Poindexter,” but I am supposed to be a positive parental role model when really I wanted to put that four eyes in his place! This boy doesn’t wear glasses, but like Ryan Bingham in ‘Up in the Air’ it’s easier to stereotype and it works better for this story. Instead of being all rude and stuff, I got all passive aggressive, shrugged my shoulders, and said, “We’re sitting under a walnut tree, so if you have a peanut allergy you’re about to blow up like Violet Beauregarde in ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,’ and proceeded to stuff that Fibre 1 bar down my pie hole.

Field trips sure are fun. When is the next one?

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