Today, I went with Stella and her class on a field trip to the Seattle Pacific Science Center. Since her class is learning about dinosaurs this week, the dino-exhibit was a nice supplement.
This is also my first field trip as a mom/chaperone. I have gone on field trips as a child, but this was my first time being the adult on such a trip. We were supposed to be to school by 9:15 this morning. We left the house with a forty-five minute window, only to run into traffic. I mean really!?!, don’t you all have to be at work by 8am? After much exaggerated sighing and calling other drivers various potty words (yes, I am teaching road rage at young age, but someone has to), we made it to Stella’s school, parked the car quickly (a miracle) and got to her class with minutes to spare.
I was assigned as the chaperone for Stella and one of her friends Ruby (two kids to keep track of, one of whom is my own, I can handle that). We were then given the low-down on how we were getting to the Science Center. Since Stella’s school is downtown and the Science Center is uptown in the Seattle Center, we were to walk, take a bus and do a little more walking…taking a bus with a bunch of 2-1/2-5 year-olds, sketchy, but whatever, I am sure they have done it before.
We started our trek to the bus, which was uphill in the wind and rain (I am not joking) and since I am not one to push or prod a child along unless it is of necessity, me and my two charges were walking at a pre-schooler pace, and bringing up the tail end of the line. Apparently this was unacceptable or I my chaperone capabilities were somewhat in question, as only a block away from the school one of the teachers took Ruby from me and I was left with just Stella. Hmm…
Anyway, after waiting in the cold wind and rain, we did catch a bus that took us to the general area of the Science Center and then walked uphill again (I am not joking, apparently all destinations in Seattle are located uphill) to the center. After waiting around in the cold while some lady that works there told us a bunch of stuff (I couldn’t really hear her and I honestly chose not to listen) and gave the chaperones some stickers, we were finally allowed inside.
Ahh…warmth and dinosaurs!
Stella was unsure at first and spent the first few minutes sneaking pretzels out of my purse and keeping an eye on the dinosaurs. The dinosaurs are the animatronics kind, so they look pretty real, and I don’t blame Stella for being a little frightened. But, after we determined that they could not get us in any way, Stella started to relax and enjoy herself.
We were only able to stay and look at the dinosaurs for a short time and then were taken to another area of the exhibit where there was some space stuff – I got a picture of Stella in spaceship cock-pit (left), but it was a touch lame – planets, yawn. After the space stuff, we were shepherded into a play area where there was a water table/river type thing along with a little slide and various other toys. And with that, the kids were off, running in all different directions. Fortunately, it was closed off, so the chances of losing a child was minimized. Here we stayed for quite some time – until the kids and the parents showed signs of boredom and hunger.
Lunchtime! We ate lunch in one of the party/lunchrooms the center had available. It has been forever since I actually ate in any type of lunchroom setting. Fighting off flashbacks of high school and grade school (PTSD), Stella and I sat with her classmates and dined on PB&J. The kids were quite a treat, and one little boy let me know with much certainty that the dinosaurs were not real, but in fact robots. Mystery solved 🙂
Starting about halfway through our trip, Stella has started asking me if she could go home. I had taken the day off of work, but hadn’t told Stella this. My plan was to go on the field trip, take Stella back to school and enjoy a few mommy-only hours before taking her back home. Best laid plans, right?
Well, the Force is strong with my little one and she started early in trip asking, so you can only imagine that by lunchtime every other thing out of her mouth was asking to go home.
Naturally, I acquiesced, because, yes, I am a push over, and told her she could only come home with me if she took a nap and helped me clean. Well, rest assured that that the nap did not happen and I think we have a 50/50 chance for the cleaning. Oh well…coffee, how I love you.
Anyway, I digress. We finished lunch, and began the cold journey home. While waiting for the bus, the kids found a pile of snow and had fun stomping it into oblivion, until the director lady told them to stop. Hmm…not like snow has feelings, but whatever.
Bus arrived! A short and warm journey back to school.
All in all, it was a pretty fun day. Hanging out with a bunch of 2-1/2 – 5 year olds is a lot of fun and sure beats being in the office (no offense). They are all so full of energy and life – something we sadly lose as we get older.
I can’t wait for the next field trip! Maybe it is something we should start doing at work…that and recess.