So, when the kids are grown, you’re done being a parent.
I sure hope not. Kelly McKenzie sure isn’t. Some of you know of her adventures on Just Typikel, Grown kids still give you plenty of blog fodder. That, plus Kelly’s mom, 91 and going strong, plays her part, too.
Kelly is a fantastic writer, and goes for broke when it comes to telling tales about her now-grown kids. And why not? What do you have to lose?
But even when the kids are big, and in driver’s ed or high school or just starting to shave their legs, there are always the old stories. The kindergarten tales that don’t go away. The middle school trips and matches and dances.
Today, she’s here on the CD to tell about a hellacious field trip when her kids were little. And I don’t mean hellacious like a perfectly-grilled T-bone or Jules Day singing “Eli’s Coming” kind of way. How, then? Read on and you’ll see.
Please welcome Kelly, and have a look at her other tales in Just Typikel.
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I can’t fault the teacher. Bless her. Ms. D has sent home countless notes advising the grade three parents of a potential crisis. It appears that the October field trip falls upon the same day as the school pictures so she’s simply trying to avert the concept of a corn maze field trip from hell.
The notes could not have been clearer.
“I understand that the students will be dressed nicely for their photos. Please provide a change of clothes for your child to wear on the afternoon field trip. With all the rain we’ve been having lately the corn maze is bound to be slightly wet and even muddy …”
Frankly I’ve found this constant messaging to be rather excessive. Surely one alert would be sufficient? Perfect Mommy that I am I’ve efficiently provided my eight year old lad with his standard pair of ripped jeans and an old sweatshirt. While it’s a certainty that his lovely photo garb of oxford shirt and pressed party pants will be jammed mercilessly into his backpack at least he and certainly the others will be appropriately dressed for this potentially mucky outing.
It’s obvious there’s been a serious disconnect. Did two-thirds of the class seriously not get these memos? My assigned carload is especially perplexing. Of the shiny haired seven passengers, six are dressed in their party best. The three girls are preening in their gorgeous velour dresses complimented by pristine white tights and matching patent leather shoes. Three of the boys are sporting crisp khaki pants topped by manly buttoned up shirts. My son has managed to change but he’s still wearing his good shoes. Of course. His boots and runners are tucked away safely at home.
I exchange worried looks with my fellow drivers – another mom and the teacher. Our
panicked queries polite enquiries as to the whereabouts of the children’s “other clothes” are met with blank stares and carefree shoulder shrugs.
“I did warn them.” Ms D calls back over her shoulder as she ushers everyone to the door.
Our three cars arrive at the corn maze parking lot a mere 30 minutes later. Actually, “parking lot” would be a slight misnomer; “mud pit” being more appropriate. I take note of Ms. D’s decision to park out on the street. Of course. She’s driving her brand new Honda Pilot. If my car was new I’d do the same.
While it’s a tad alarming to observe the severely tilting, bordering on abject collapse, of the swaying and crumpled cornstalks at the maze entryway, I choose to view it as intentional. Deliberate spookiness for the customers. Obviously the interior paths will be groomed and well maintained. My passengers are oblivious and tumble eagerly out of the car, shrieking with delight for the entrance.
“Kelly, can you please stay here in case anyone gets separated from the group and returns to the cars? Janet and I will go into the maze with the children. I expect it’ll take us about 45 minutes.”
I fire my now unnecessary gumboots at my son. They’re a bit big but at least they’ll save his shoes. I’m happy to stay. It means I can hangout in the somewhat drier neighboring pumpkin patch.
I pass the promised 45 minutes with a hot coffee and a pleasant dearth of lost maze walkers. It’s so peaceful here. A little damp but serene. This is a delightful field trip. Well done Ms. D.
45 minutes stretches to an hour and ten. Hmmm. Perhaps my darling has chosen to lead everyone in games of cornstalk sword play. I do hope none of my white leotard girls have gotten involved. A speck of mud on those beauts would require serious soaking with the OxiClean.
The peaceful autumnal air is suddenly shattered with the sound of rabid squeals and distinctly piercing notes of pure hysteria. Wait. What? The bits I’m able to discern are beyond alarming.
“I thought we’d die in there!”
“I’m deaf! I can’t hear! What?”
“My dress is wrapped around my legs. I can’t walk. Help!”
And lastly. “Mom! Your boot fell off! I lost your boot!”
My eyes now behold a vision impossible to describe. Bodies caked in dripping slimy mud lurch themselves towards my car. Hair, dresses, shoes are indistinguishable. There is only one dominate colour. Diarrhea Brown. Ms. D, taller than all the rest, morphs into view. I can just make out the blue of her eyes as the rest of her is cloaked in turbid matter.
“Halt! Anyone travelling in my car stop now. Do not move until I have given you each a garbage bag. ”
“Oh Kelly. You have NO idea. Never again. Ever …” her grit filled voice trails off as she slithers for her car.
Garbage bags? Perfect Mommy? Ha! Foolish Mommy more like. The concept of garbage bags never once crossed my mind. Just typikel.
Of the seven strangers who assemble at my car, which one is my son? Everyone looks the same. I can perceive only eyes and teeth. Of course, that’s him. The one missing a boot. Oh gawd. Please let Ms. D have extra bags. Please.
But no. Ms. D naturally didn’t realize she’d need at least two per student plus multiple bags for the seats. She has only enough for her passengers. I watch in envy as each of her charges gingerly steps into an open bag and dutifully yanks it up to the waist. Once carefully positioned onto the seats they reach up and obediently place their heads through the newly created hole of the second one. They settle in, looking like mummified olives.
My seven charges squelch into the back of my car. With neither garbage bags nor towels or even saniwipes I’ll be cleaning this puppy for days. A wee voice pipes up from the murky depths.”My mom’s gonna have to get my dress dry cleaned a couple of times, I bet!”
No hon. She’s going to have to throw it out. Same with every single article of clothing worn by the rest of you.
But there’s an upside. At least your families will have the lovely school photos to remind them of those once precious outfits …
Enough about me and the corn maze field trip from hell. I’m curious about you. What’s your favourite horror of a field trip? Can you top this one? If you’d care to share, I’d love to hear.