Katie Katie Parsons is the creator of Mumbling Mommy and is a freelance writer, editor and communications specialist. She works from her home office on the east coast of Florida. Most often she writes about life in a combined family of five children and what it's like being a full time work-from-home parent. Feel free to pitch guest post ideas or just drop her a line at katie@mumblingmommy.com.

Since my daughter-in-law needs to spend time with the newest granddaughter, I have taken over some of the carpooling for the Big Sis. When her Dad isn’t able to get her to school due to work, I make the run. I do the after-school pick-up also. This involves several minutes of her getting to play on the playground before we head home. Once home, I get to cuddle the littlest granddaughter for a few minutes….goody, goody. I even took on my newest venture to spending time with her: a chaperone.

My Day As A Chaperone

Last week I had the task of helping escort my first grade  granddaughter, as a chaperone, for a field trip to the Civic Center for a concert by the LaPorte Symphony. The building itself is a treasure having housed venues such as dances with some of the Big Bands, political assemblies, concerts, and fundraisers. It is a well-known and loved piece of history in our area. I remember my mom referencing it a lot in regard to her growing-up and young adult years. So, with my granddaughter and 2 classmates in my car, we headed to the event.

I thought I was hosting Girls Gone Crazy. They sang a few songs loudly. They tickled each other. They laughed hysterically (about really odd things). They rolled the windows up and down haphazardly, to the shrieks of the other two school mates.

We arrived right behind their teacher’s car — all of us were slowed down a bit due to the construction.

The LaPorte Symphony Orchestra members were ready and geared to please all the area school children there. The conductor wore a sequinced red, white and blue, flag-like vest under his tuxedo. An overhead screen projected a duck-like cartoon character that encouraged the kids to enjoy the music, clap, rock, sing, etc. The female vocalist was remarkable, and sang beautifully. The area Children’s Choir joined in on several songs along with these polished musicians. At the end of the concert, we all stood and sang “The National Anthem” and I showed the little people which hand to put over their heart as they sang. Good stuff.

The girls were probably a bit hyper from being in an auditorium and car ride, so the conversation got a bit crazy on the way home. It regarded “poop.” They pretended that they were smearing poop on each other. They pretended that they were serving poop to each other as a snack. When we got stopped for the return visit because of the road construction, they began to rub “poop” on my carseat (I felt so honored to be included).

They cackled and were laughing so hard. They began to try to outdo the other with the most outrageous act of poop usage. At one point (during the sitting still at the construction site), I turned around and asked, “You guys aren’t really passing poop around are you?” In one voice they exclaimed, “OOOOOUUUUUUU, NO! We’re just pretending”.

“Ok, I was just checking”, I said. Whew.
We were finally on our way again, and they continued to laugh, joke, and come up with weird comments regarding odd things.
I found myself starting to laugh with them (great choice for a chaperone, huh?). They were reminding me of the silly things my friends and I did in grade school and high school. I did a lot of crazy stuff in college, as well. I remember lying in bed during slumber parties, summer camp, college road trips and laughing with my friends for hours (probably about stuff as weird as “poop”).
Apparently, speaking bad words like “poop”is that little spot in life where one can be a bit naughty as a first grader.I pictured the girls as 16 year olds, and said a little prayer that they would stay as sweet and simple as they are now. They will be challenged with decisions and choices much worse than poop as the years go on.

This experience as a chaperone has been one for the memory books.May their hearts stay light, fun and joyful, and may the world treat them with gentle care.

Category: Grandparents

Tags: field trips