*Update and a disclaimer : I was contacted by www.fieldtripmom.com.This blog post was about my personal experience on a field trip with another mother. I am in no way referencing this person’s website. I am not in her city or even her state.
Dear Field Trip Mom,
I knew I would be in for a long day when you threw a fit about not getting your own map after you paid to enter the zoo. Actually, I knew it before we left the classroom when the teacher was calling out buddy groups and you proclaimed loudly for everyone to hear, “I don’t want my kid. He’s awful! Give me one of the good ones!” Um. Yeah. I think I know why he is forced to sit “at an island” desk keeping to himself. Really? I know I haven’t found my parenting book in a while but even I know that wasn’t exactly appropriate.
We were given a pretty detailed lists of do’s and don’ts. I’m pretty sure you broke most of the rules. Don’t buy ANYTHING from the gift shop in capital letters meant you too. We won’t purchase food or drinks meant you too. Stay with the kids. Help in the bathrooms. That was you friend. You wandered off more than your son! If you volunteer to chaperone that doesn’t mean sit on the bench OUTSIDE the farm section and wait. We could have used your help making sure 18 pairs of hands were thoroughly washed. It would have been helpful to have you watching the two children you were assigned in the birdhouse to make sure they kept their little hands to themselves.
I noticed that you were great at correcting every child but your own. You love to call out names of other children. I must tell you though, it’s Emily not Emma and Anthony not Antoine. I’m not even sure what you called Enzo and Jedediah but really? You were assigned two kiddos. Two. They were your responsibility but you were busy asking other kids not to talk when yours was dropping his notebook on the other side of the fence at the giraffe exhibit. I should also note that the teacher was encouraging them to discuss their observations among themselves while you were shushing. I can not believe that my Calgon take me away moment was incited by you instead of the 18 kindergarteners that I was following.
The next time you are chaperoning. You might want to look up the definition of the word. It usually means to accompany, look after or supervise. Again, you had two children. You were given those kids before we left the classroom. It means you are chaperoning from the classroom to the zoo and back. This includes bus time. It might be a good idea to sit near the kids you are assigned and get the ear buds out of your ears and put the phone down so you can actually SUPERVISE.
Since I’m writing you this letter and we meet quite often at pick up times. I would also like to say, my son is just that MY SON. I realize he is pretty stinking cute. He is not a doll that I bought from a store to dress up. Parenting, especially a special needs child is work and very demanding. It’s not for everyone, some days I wonder if I’m doing okay. Let me go out on a limb and say it’s not for you. You can’t stop by the 7-11 and pick one out. I know you are never really going to go through with it, you’ve said as much yourself. It’s really draining to have the same conversation with you every time you see Jack standing beside me. He isn’t a toy or doll. He does understand more than you think he does.
I realize I might be coming off as condescending and bitter. I really don’t want to. This is about the safety of the children. I may not be able to be at every field trip. I can’t imagine how I would feel after watching you if one of my kids was assigned to you. I know I could have done a better job of keeping one of my kids off the rocks. Chaperoning is work. Just asking you to step it up.
Another extremely concerned parent.