Chaperoning kindergarteners is not a job for the fainthearted, as one dad discovered recently.
“Let me just say, I haven’t had a drink in 16 years, but I wanted a drink today,” Edwards wrote in the post. “I wanted one real bad.”
He said that it’s one thing to go out with his 5-year-old daughter, Aspen, and another thing entirely to manage a group of other people’s kids.
“I only had five in my group, and they listened about as good as goldfishes,” he wrote. “The whole time I was afraid I’d lose one in the corn field, they’d never be found, and ultimately end up as the premise for a (Stephen) King novel.”
Edwards, who lives in Oregon with his wife and three kids, also described how Aspen’s teacher helped the kids change in and out of their shoes twice throughout the day, so they avoided tracking mud into the bus.
“I’ve said this before, but if my life ever depended on my own children finding their shoes, I’d be dead, so for her to pull off this shoe swap with 20 something 5/6-year-olds places her on par with Batman,” he wrote.
He added that spending just half a day with the kindergarteners left him completely drained.
“I was only with the children for about four hours, but if I had four hours left to live, I’d have spent them on that field trip, because it felt like an eternity,” he wrote. “Between the mud at the pumpkin patch, and the smell on the bus that I couldn’t quite identify, but was probably a virus, and that one wild little boy that is either destined to be a ground-breaking artist or an inmate, I ended the afternoon with a long hot soak in the bath, TOO many cookies, and a handful of Tylenol.”
He finished his post with words of awe and respect for teachers who work with young children all day.
“If you are a teacher reading this, give yourself a huge pat on the back. You are incredible. And if you know a teacher, give them a huge thank you,” wrote Edwards, author of the parenting book “Silence Is a Scary Sound: And Other Stories on Living Through the Terrible Twos and Threes.”
Plenty of teachers appreciated his post, which has racked up more than 10,000 likes and shares on Facebook.
“Oh my goodness, I love this! I teach first grade and wish more parents would post about their experiences after field trips. There is truly nothing like it,” one teacher wrote in the comments. “Good thing you weren't on my last one where I washed someone's pee pants with hand soap and held them under the hand dryer FOREVER. Thank you for appreciating teachers and for chaperoning in the future.”
“Teacher motto: a successful field trip is when you come back with the same amount of children that you left with! Thank you for this post,” another teacher chimed in. “As a preschool teacher, it was very encouraging. Oh, that every parent could understand your perspective.”
With the school year still in full swing, there may be more chaperoning in Edwards’s future — and we wish him the best of luck!