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The Penultimate Field Trip

Posted Sep 28 2010 1:28pm

Seriously. The second-to-last. Just one more for my fifth grader and there will be no more hikes through dusty trails, looking at stuffed bobcats and pointing out poison oak.

Once, just once, I’d like to see the guide slip and grab onto a branch, to end the big talk about NOT GETTING CLOSE TO THE POISON OAK while standing there, pointing to it with fingertip a millimeter from the oily surface, assuring us that he is not allergic but that some people are (ya think?). Like earning that little t-shirt immunized you from all of God’s creations. But you let everyone crawl into a hollow tree trunk without looking first. I would have cleared that sucker like a SWAT team clears a house after they batter the door down.

It was my first outing in oh, carry the one, six weeks of being so sick that bending over made the cabin pressure inside my sinuses go to eleven. I’m tired, I smell bad (at least I think I do; see below), I’m dusty, I wore jeans in 100-plus degree heat, and still had to wait around after school for the last activity to end at five before driving back over the mountain and home.

OMG the kids are making Tootsie Roll straws by sticking them stick-first into their drink straws, cupping their mouths around the lollipop AND the straw, and savoring the combined flavors. I just banned that shit to the kitchen.

I am exhausted and need a shower, and Guy will be home soon, sick and overworked but hopefully having been able to get a massage on the way home. Aren’t I the good little girlfriend? I really didn’t mind. I didn’t. Really. Still don’t. Honest.

Gems from the day:

9:13 a.m.: Field trip off to a great start. Got talking to other parents and the bus took off. Shouldn’t be too hard to catch up right? It’s very big and very yellow.

9:43 a.m.: Waaaay up in the Saratoga hills. Left a trail of Starbucks cups.

11:25: a.m.: It appears that the standard wildlife guide response to a wrong answer is, “I like the way you’re thinking.”

Btw, this is the same guy who, when telling the kids that the Ohlone Indians didn’t have modern conveniences like flushing toilets, I quipped, “Our house doesn’t have flushing toilets either.” (Long story. Think of four guys, living all together, not needing to aim or think of the ladies, and then moving in with my daughter and me.)

The guy began to chant, “If it’s yellow..”

I said, “Do NOT finish that sentence.”

He replied, “Oh, you must not be conservationists at home.”

“Not in a house with six guys, I’m not.”

12:05 p.m.: Fellow chaperone: “What is the perfume you are wearing? It’s very nice.” Um, I’m only wearing deodorant.


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