Friday, May 2, 2008

Free: One Kid. You Haul.

Every June the fifth graders take a one-day field trip to Boston. They visit the Aquarium and the Science Museum. Since third grade, when Bear got wind of this trip, she has been adamant that she does not want to go.


"I don't know."

The reasons she gives have fluctuated with the years. She's afraid of getting carsick. She isn't really interested in seeing Boston (this from the kid who is fascinated by history). She heard they'd be seeing an exhibit of dead people. (They aren't). The trip would take too long on a bus (actually a valid point, but I didn't concede it). She doesn't want to see the Science Museum. She probably wouldn't have anyone to sit with on the bus. Now with the peanut allergy, she has a new fear - that the restaurant they eat dinner in wouldn't be peanut-free.

Sidenote: I contacted her teacher weeks ago about the difficulty of her dealing with the peanut issue on this trip. She said that I could have a chaperone spot, which is a total score. Tons of parents volunteer; the lucky few are drawn out of a hat.

Even knowing I would be going AND bringing Dramamine AND finding out if the restaurant was OK for her didn't reassure Bear. She moped and moped and moped about it.

I asked her to make a list of some concrete reasons for not wanting to go on this field trip. She listed 12. About 2 were grounded in some form of reality. I talked it over with Tom. I found out from her teacher that the trip was optional. We decided that she has herself so worked up over it that she probably wouldn't enjoy it anyway. We caved.

She smiled happily and hugged me when I told her. I was disappointed that she'd be missing out on a really cool trip, but pleased to ease her anxieties. And, hey, we'd be making a family trip down to Boston at some point in the near future.

Ten minutes later she drifted back into the kitchen, "Mom? I might want to go on the Boston trip, OK?"

God help me.


Nana said...

Bear expressed her anxieties about this trip to me back in January. Her main point was that she was afraid she'd get car sick during such a long bus ride, and she also didn't like the idea that one of her parents wouldn't be riding with her on the bus. I think that if you can go as a chaperone AND ride on the bus with her (as opposed to driving behind the bus), she might change her mind. I know that was the only way I could get Mr.Pickypants to take a field trip to San Francisco when he was in fifth grade. Bear told me she wanted to ride in the car with you or Daddy Shortbread, not on the bus. I'm glad to hear this trip is optional. I know the anxieties over it have been on her mind for a long time. As you say, you guys will be taking the girls to Boston some time anyway, so it's not like she'll ever see Boston. Does Bear realize that not going on the trip doesn't mean she'll have a day off school? Those who don't go usually have to sit in on another class that day. Isn't parenting a barrel of fun at times like this? :)

parnola said...

I'm not enjoying my new nickname ...

#1quiltinggrandma said...

Boy, this brings memories of Daddy Shortbread when it came to what we thought were cool outings during school. He too did not want to participate on any of them. It is true that the apple does not fall far from the tree. Thats okay, because as we recall we always loved doing things together, but if you hear it from Daddy Shortbread, he seems to not remember one thing about the fun times we had when he was growing up. Grandma
God may be able to help. Raising bears is not supposed to be easy. If a bear wants to stay home, the bear can. Grandpa