Oh where oh where has my school bus gone...

My 9 year old had a class trip today.  The 4th grade headed to town to  see a science show – the miracle of bubbles, putting a needle into a balloon – you know, the fun side of science.

Chaperones were not needed, but that’s okay, because I don’t chaperone. I attend class trips, but I don’t classify my participation as one where I govern any kids but my own. I  hang out with my kids, and if I get asked to wrangle a child or two, I will. Perhaps I will blog one day about why I don’t chaperone, but for now, let’s just say that I only feel comfortable bossing around my own kids.

In any case, after the show the class was to have a picnic lunch at a park close to my office. I told my daughter that I would meet her and bring her lunch. She wanted McDonalds, even though there was a good chance it would be cold/luke warm by the time she got to eat it. And she was so cute over the weekend. She kept thanking me profusely for agreeing to meet her and eat lunch with her. It tickled me that it took so little to make her happy.

The class was supposed to be at the park for lunch at 11:15. Yikes. That’s early for lunch. I left my office at 10:40, walked to my car, got to McDonalds (where even at that hour there was a line) and ordered her McNuggets. After waiting in the McLine and paying my McMoney, I got her McLunch and headed towards the park.

It was only 10:45 at this time – I was waaaay early. So I headed over to the theater to make sure the buses were there and that they were going to the park that I was told they were to lunch at. I spoke to her bus driver, was told the show was running a bit late, and that they would be at the park by 11:20 or so.

Rather than hang at the theater and follow the buses to the park, I decided to go get gas, hit the bathroom and read in the park until the kids arrived.

Big mistake. For me. The worry wart with the overactive imagination.

11:20. As I’m reading I keep looking for the buses to arrive. Ok. Where are they? Back to book. Wait, didn’t I read this page already? Where are those buses?

11:30. I’ve been away from my office for an hour now, and the kids aren’t even here. At this point I can’t even concentrate on my book – I am in full blown panic despite the fact that a) I confirmed the park location and time with her bus driver and b) was aware that they were running late.

11:35. I am convinced the school has made a change of plans – they are heading back to class and the kids can eat lunch on the bus. Problem is my kid’s lunch is getting cold on the the seat beside me. Why didn’t I pack her a “just in case” lunch? Why didn’t I stay at the school to make sure the buses were leaving on time? I can’t leave and drive back the theater because I might miss them. All I can do is sit and wait – it’s sheer torture.

I call my husband and make him promise that he will never allow me to do this again. I am not cut out for field trips.

And at 11:40 the buses rumble into the parking lot. I mutter a “thank God” and grab our lunches. We had a great time, even though the ground was a bit wet, leaving me with soaked knees – I was smart enough to not sit on the blanket with my ass. That would’ve sucked.

I may have come close to a mental breakdown, and was out of the office unexcused for more than 2 hours, but my daughter was thrilled. I think that’s all that matters.