Sometimes a mama has just got to vent.
I took a holiday day off yesterday to chaperone my son's class to the local pioneer village. We had not yet gone and were looking forward to it. The teacher gave me a list of five students for my group. I sat with two of them at the back of the school bus going there, while my son sat two seats up with the other two kids. When we got there we had free time for about 45 minutes, so we set out to tour the village. The kids were pretty good at first, but one of them kept complaining that he had already been there three times, and another kid, who had also been there before, was begging to go to the playground. For the first kid I tried to be nice while I asked him why he bothered coming on the trip, and for the second kid I made some kind of compromise that we would get to the playground after lunch.
They ran around and tested me a bit, but I stayed cheerful. At lunch we noticed a snack bar, and I mentioned to another mom that I might want a cup of tea after my bagel. One of the kids heard me (the only girl in the group), and she started whining that she was soooo thirsty. I asked her if her water bottle was in her bag, and she looked at me like a little imp when she replied yes. I realized then that she was about to beg me to buy her something at the snack bar. To shut that down, I hurried the kids with the promise of the playground.
We had to pass by a building that housed a gift shop, and I diverted them in another direction. As we headed to the playground, a group of classmates ran buy with lollipops in their sticky little fists, shouting "candy! candy!" The kids with me started at that second to go insane. We passed by the "General Store," which was closed for lunch, and the kids started begging to go in. I told them that we would go to the playground, as promised, and in half an hour when the Store re-opened, we could take a look. The girl in our group bothered me every two minutes or less to leave and visit the hotel, which was next to the Store.
The playground was next to the one-room schoolhouse, but the kids in my group were not interested at all in going in to check it out. For most of the half-hour, they stayed in a little play hut and played with their Lego guys. I was slightly irritated by this, but I didn't let it get to me. Finally, it was time to check out the hotel, which we did, but the kids got antsy about the Store and ran out before the tour guide was finished. For the hundredth time that day I sheepishly apologized, thanked her, and hurried to catch up with my group. They were waiting on the porch of the General Store, which had not yet opened, but did so a minute later when my kids became louder and complainier about getting in.
As we were waiting, the other mom who had tagged along handed her kid a $2 coin, which made the other kids crazy. The whining escalated to "not fair! he has to share!" I really wish she had kept her money in her pocket. I was partially planning to get the kids some candy but only if they were really nice about it, but when they saw their friend with his own money it was like they were going to go crazy. My own kid saw I was getting frustrated and managed to keep his mouth shut. When we were finally let into the Store, the kids barely sat through the tour, because the only thing they could see were the glass jars with the colorful candy sticks and suckers. As the tour was winding down, the kids became louder and louder, shouting "I want candy!" over and over. The other mom and I each put in a $1 coin and they got to pick a piece each. There was one silent second, and I couldn't help but exclaim, "I don't normally buy candy for whiny kids!" and that shut them up for a bit.
When we got back outside I chastised them a bit for their behaviour and made them say "thank you" to myself and the other mom for paying for their candy. It was awkward amongst us all after that. I couldn't help but be annoyed with the whole bunch of them for the rest of the day. I couldn't believe how rude the kids were, and I worried that my own kid acts like that when I'm not around. He hasn't behaved that way in front of me since he was five years old!
It was after the General Store debacle when their teacher wandered by, and when I noticed that she didn't have a group of kids with her, I realized that she had pawned her entire class of 15 to us three parent volunteers! I realize she has to put up with our little brats every day, but she gets paid a lot to do so, and I was on a vacation day to help her out! If she doesn't like our kids enough to be on the class trip with them, why does she bother teaching at all! It wasn't supposed to be a vacation day for her!