By Eboni Elise
Now that my preschooler is starting his second year of school, I’ve got a few field trips under my belt, which should probably be a 24K diamond studded WWE championship belt where I get a carat added for every school trip I conquer (lol). Any extended period of time with multiple children is a feat. #imjustsaying
The fall field trips are my favorite and this year I volunteered to chaperone a trip to Goebbert’s Pumpkin Farm. During each trip, I’ve learned something new and I decided to share. Thank me later.
1. Coffee & Advil are not just for “about last night”
They’re for encountering 3 and 4 years olds as well. Screams of excitement or from shear sleepiness, tantrums, repeated nurses rhymes on the bus - I’m ready for anything when coffee is consumed beforehand and Advil is involved. Trips where both are taken has made a more pleasant Eboni.
On this trip, I was ready (like all the other moms) with coffee in hand, lining up to board the big yellow school bus. Mine was the perfect temperature with the perfect blend of cream and sugar from my fav barista at Dunkin’ Donuts. We start to ease our way on and the bus driver tells us we can’t get on until it’s thrown away. I almost turned into a 4 year old. The inside of me wanted to throw a tantrum but my face said “Let me oblige to show my child that I’m a good listener and follow the rules (*insert eye roll emoji*). Us chaperone moms were huddled around the garbage can gulping down our coffee like smokers taking their lasts puffs of cigarettes so they can dart back inside from the cold.
Needless to say, I was grateful that I at least had half a cup in my system to keep me together on this trip. Drink your coffee before you get on the bus! And keep some Advil with you to take when you eat lunch.
2. Come suited...
There are always items that will be needed that you shouldn’t always rely on the teacher to have. It makes life a bit easier. I come packed with essential things like kleenex (for runny noses), wet wipes, hand sanitizer (because, yeah preschoolers and germs), snacks, schedule for the day and the teacher’s contact info. Place them in a ziplock bag and put in your purse or backpack that I normally wear to be handsfree (just in case I need to snatch a collar or two).
3. …and booted
Wearing the right attire and checking the weather is key. Rain was not in the forecast on the day of our trip to the pumpkin farm but mother nature had another plan in mind. It drizzled and was cold. Luckily, I dressed in layers, had a scarf to protect my hair, and boots! They were muddy by the end but it could’ve been worse. I was a witness to several designer flats destroyed so make sure come suited to be flexible and adjust to the weather.
4. Be Present
Your child will always be thrilled that you’re there and get to meet their friends. Be in the moment and enjoy the experience with your child and his/her classmates! It also helps not to be distracted so you can keep up with the kids assigned to you.
When I volunteered to be a chaperone, working mom guilt immediately set in. I have a job in which it is hard to disconnect but I did it anyway. I figured the work would be there for me to deal with tomorrow. The most important thing that day was my son.
5. Enjoy the After Party (Wine included)
The only people invited to this party is me, myself, and I. After chaperoning a field trip, I’ve learned to have dinner already prepared to instantly warm up or grab takeout. Once my child is put to bed I kick my feet up, open a bottle of wine, and do something relaxing (read a good book, catch up on my shows, or take a bath). You deserve it after surviving the day.
Don’t be afraid to get to know the other parent chaperones. You’ll find that you have a lot in common. My best conversations have been on the bus ride back when the kiddies have fallen asleep.
Any other tips? Leave in the comments below!