Monday, February 4, 2013

To the Parents of the Kids I Chaperoned at the Zoo...


I recently chaperoned my kid’s first-grade class on their fieldtrip to the zoo. And I would be remiss if I didn’t take a brief moment to say a big heart-felt thank you to the following parents, for not being perfect, pretentious douche-wads; for sending your booger-encrusted kids off into the world with un-buttoned, ill-fitted pants and untied shoes, with stinky breath and tangled hair; for making me feel moderately above average, or at least right at average, like maybe I’m not half-assing this gig as much as I thought I was… Thank you:
To the parents of the kid who had about two days’ worth of snot crusted over his breathing apparatus: Mom, did you even look at your child this morning? It reminded me to look up my kid’s nose, only to discover that by Joseph my dirty little heathen also had boogers crusted around the edge of his nostrils. I know I told him to eat his breakfast and brush his teeth, but you know… I’m really not sure I ever did actually look directly at him this morning…
To the parents of the kid who was sent to school, on field trip day—which happens to be a cold day—without a jacket: I brought a jacket and a sweater for my kid today. So… suck it. And by the way, I let your kid borrow my kid’s jacket. Your kid didn’t want the jacket because he’s like, super-tough and impervious to a stiff breeze, but whatever. I still get points for trying.
To the parents of the adorable kid who sat right next to me on the bus and then proceeded to tell me the riveting and oh-so-recent tale about how her mother spent ‘practically all day’ removing lice and their eggs from her hair: You’ve never seen me slick my hair back in a ponytail so fast. But really, thank you. Because now I don’t feel like white trash for the six times I had lice as a kid, or for the inevitable God-only-knows how many times my kids will contract that repugnant parasite during the next fifteen years. My head itches. How ‘bout yours?
To the parents of the kid who told me all about his new motor home, his new four-wheeler, his new computer, his new house that has a ‘really big’ pool with a slide… and then proceeded to tell me how his uncle is living in his ‘old’ house, you know, ‘the one the bank took away’: I’m feeling a lot better about that short sale from six years ago. So when can we set up a play date with our kids so that my family can play with your ill-begotten agglomeration of over-priced toys?
To the parents of the kid whose lunch is packed with a pre-packaged PB&J, super-long fruit roll-up thingy, chocolate rice crispy treat, cheez-its, and chocolate milk: You’re just making me feel better for not feeding my kid absolute shit. Really. I don’t know what else to say to you. Although, to be fair, maybe your kid doesn’t gnaw on the dog’s tail or scrape the paint off the walls when you feed him those sugary, chemical-laden, poorly-disguised excuses for food. You know… like my kid does.
To the parents of the kid who ran ahead of the group and was momentarily lost, lagged behind the group and was momentarily lost, hid from the group and was momentarily lost, and tried to head-butt everyone in the group and everyone wished he were lost: Oh, wait… at one point, that kid was my kid. Meheh…Heheh… Nevermind.
To the parents of the kid who needed water, like, every 10 seconds, and kept nagging me to carry his hat and/or his jacket: Does he feed himself at home? Thanks for making me feel completely justified in being bitchy to my kid and making him wait for stuff, doing things on my schedule, not caving in to every little whimper and whine, and making him do things for himself. Except tie his shoes. I really ought to branch out from Velcro.
To the parents of the kid who loudly proclaimed during the bus ride home that her breath stunk, and when one of the other children asked if she brushed her teeth this morning, not only did she say ‘no,’ but she pulled her lips back and opened her mouth really wide like in that toothbrush commercial with the flip-top head so that we could see her FIVE silver crowns: Tonight I put my kids in headlocks and brushed both their teeth twice, thankyouverymuch. Seriously dude, that shit looked hellsa expensive. I think I’d rather have lice.
To all of these parents: Each one of you, in your own distinctive and imaginative way, made me feel so much better about my parenting! I’m on my knees thanking you profusely, for making me feel, if only for one day, that I am not totally shitting all over this astonishingly sticky job we call parenting.
Or at least… that I’m not the only one.

So... what makes you feel like a good parent?

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26 comments:

  1. I find it's good to chaperone field trips from time to time. Makes you not only feel better about your own parenting, but your kid generally seems a lot more awesome afterwards as well.

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    1. True, true! Once I scraped all the boogers out of his nose, I was all, "I think I'll keep you!"

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  2. I don't have an actual award for best blog post of the day, or an award for the one that struck me deepest, funniest, and most empathetic. But if I did it would be yours.

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    1. SHUT. UP. I'm giving you a virtual kiss right now.

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  3. I don't have a child old enough to go on field trips yet, but I do have a baby that is happy about 99% of the time. I'm complimented on it every day, while in my head I'm thinking, "If you only knew it was because I nurse her WHENEVER she wants it, she sleeps in my bed, and gets picked up almost immediately if she does happen to complain." If most people knew those things, they'd hate me and talk behind my back about how she's gonna be a spoiled brat someday.
    I am looking forward to field trip chaperoning someday... :)

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    1. Awwww you're fine! Can't spoil a baby! The only time I didn't respond to my babies' needs was when my own sanity was at stake... ;)

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  4. Loved reading this. As an old granny I have help out with my share of field trips and you nailed it!

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    1. Awww, thanks so much! I bet you're an awesome granny! =)

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  5. So funny and sooooo true! I always feel like a champ when I go to school and try to communicate with these kids and all you get is a blank stare. Meanwhile, I'm constantly dragging my little guy away from strangers and reminding him that not everyone is good and you might not want to just hang out with the creepy old guy just because he's fishing. But hey, he's an excellent converationalist and it will do him well at some point.

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    1. Yep. My son's an extrovert, my daughter is the blank stare (or avert the eyes) type. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out... =)

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  6. lol!! that's awesome... well done.. ;)

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    1. Thanks, HMM. I'm always seeking approval from you because you're one of the first blogs I positioned as a model for my own, in terms of honesty, humor, and writing chops. =)

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  7. I like the new page. Those palms look sort of familiar.

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    1. I bet 50 bucks I know who you are, "Anonymous." ;) Okay, 20 bucks. Okay, ZERO, but I'm pretty sure I know who you are. I hate gambling.

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  8. So, more chaperone trips in the future then? :)

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  9. CANNOT believe you invoked the word "LICE" - OMG give me 35 silver crowns and some bridge work. That's a pit of hell I would rather not revisit.

    Cheers - to all the jacked up kids who make us feel better. :D

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    1. LOL! At least I know once I treat for lice, they're GONE. I am a KILLER. One of my recurring nightmares is to have something wrong with my teeth, though... but that sounds like a personal problem to me. ;)

      xoxo

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  10. You're welcome!! I'm the parent that lets her kid pack his own lunch. Which is typically Peanut butter and no jelly, cheese nips shaped like angry birds and some form of chocolate disaster for dessert. Oh and before I sent him on the field trip, I loaded him up on donuts with sprinkles. ;) Found you at the TGIF Hop and absolutely love this post. It made me laugh. :)

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    1. LOL - Angry Bird cheese nips? DON'T TELL MY SON - he doesn't even know those exist!

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  11. Love it! What a nice reminder that we all do the best we can at this thing called parenting. Some of us are just better at it than others. LOL! I appreciate the reminder to make sure my kids are at their absolute best on field trip day. So glad I found you on the TGIF hop. I am now one of your biggest fans.

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    1. LOL, good point! When I'm not chaperoning, I have to be sure to pick my kid's nose before I drop him off at school! I guess there's nothing I can do about the wandering off, though... and if shoelaces come untied I'm screwed.

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  12. You are too hilarious for words! I'm glad I keep voting for you on the Fb links! Too real, too funny! Keep up the good work, Momma!

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    1. Thanks for reading, and thanks for voting! I really do appreciate it, and it makes all the time and effort totally worth it! =)

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  13. You make me laugh. I feel like a much better parent now too. I alwags make sure my kids nose is clean. My momma use to tell me every day not to play with kids with snot all over them or kids with green snot. Love the blog.
    Dana

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    1. Good advice from your lovely momma... <3

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