Lost In Translation
The other day Super Girl looked at me very seriously and asked me “Mamma is Aunt D half Chinese, half Japanese and half Mexican?” I stammered “No” as I tried not to choke on my coffee, then I asked her WTF? Well not exactly in that phrasing but you get the gist of it. I explained that Aunt D is part Mexican, part Cuban, part French and part something else then asked WHY she would think Aunt D was half Chinese and half Japanese. She replied “Then how does Aunt D know how to speak Chinese and Japanese?” “Super Girl… she LEARNED some Chinese and Japanese for her TRIP to
I told MacGyver about that and she thought it was hilarious. In talking we decided that D could use that to her advantage and just say that something was just LOST IN TRANSLATION anytime there is a misunderstanding.
Tuesday of last week was Super Girl’s class field trip. She begged me to accompany her on this and me being the most attentive mother ever, I said “Are you sure?” to which she said “Please!” and I said okay, then procrastinated until the VERY last moment to get my background check done. Why? Well I’m not keen on field trips – I never have been. I’m thrilled my offspring like them and get to go, but yeah, I never liked them myself. I realized this as I filled in the background check form the Thursday before at 2:30 pm and secretly hoped that it wouldn’t clear in time or possibly it would come back flagged due to my indictment for attempted murder with frozen poultry or possibly the 27 or 30 (I’ve lost count) separate restraining orders for stalking and various other activities, making me a security risk. I would have been fine with that and cheerily forfeited my $7 museum admittance fee to not go on the damn field trip. No such luck – I truly am karmically challenged – by (much to Super Girl’s delight) I got an email stating that I was cleared. Damn.
The night before the trip to hell… er… trip to the Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary it struck me as to why I have always loathed field trips (oh I’d still go, there was nothing worse than being the kid who couldn’t go). I remembered my first field trip (my mom was a chaperone) and how we sat in the back of the bus where I got car sick on the way there. I can’t remember where we went, but I remember lunch in the park and drinking red Kool Aid then lying down with my head in my mom’s lap. On the way back to school we sat in the back of the bus again where I proceeded to puke up copious amounts of red Kool Aid. It was great. Another field trip started out with the bus driver and teacher letting everyone disembark from the bus via the emergency door in the back. By this age I was far too much of a dork to sit in the back of the bus so I just waited in line waiting my turn to hurl my body out the back of the bus. Now you must note that I’m short and have always been on the short side, so here I was, short and chubby with geek clothes and a bad hair cut. A few people from the door of doom and I started to regret not having just gone out the bus through the front door. When I got there I looked down at the ground which seemed to be about a million miles below me and knew that this was a HUGE mistake. I hesitated; people behind me started saying “Go! Go!” in a very irritated tone, and then I did it. I jumped down just like everyone else, and then I fell flat on my fucking face. I cut my chin; I busted my knee open and scraped up one of my hands. And everyone laugh, except me, the short, chubby kid with blood on her shirt. Then of course there are the trips where I managed to not injure myself, where in I ended up being shoved to the back of the crowd and not being able to see any damn thing. That and riding the bus. Shit I hated riding the bus. D and I always had to ride a bus to school so getting EXTRA time on a bus just wasn’t a selling point for me. But I digress and hey, you aren’t getting paid $250 an hour to listen to my issues, so on we go!
I arrived at school about , everyone headed out to board the buses at and we arrived at the
We started off on the trail and came to a large field with a creek beyond it. Tim stopped us and told us about this field and the creek. Tim took a good 10 minutes to talk about the GRASS… to a group of second graders. I remember thinking “Is he really talking about the GRASS or have I lost my mind?” The kids at this moment started asking about what time it was and when was lunch. We had just started. After Tim’s thrilling dissertation on the grass and how this European grass got here with the help of the immigrants and the animals they brought (and at no point did he EVER say the word poop, though he implied poop, he just never said it and for that he should be ashamed! Second graders love the word poop), we headed to a charming little area where he stopped to point out the POISON IVY! I cringed and hugged Super Girl closer to me while muttering “Don’t even take one step off this trail!”
NEXT, we walked past the enclosures for the birds on display at the Wildlife Sanctuary. Oops! There were no birds in the enclosures! How exciting! Tim explained that the birds that usually called those homes were currently on loan to some where else. Good choice of trails Tim! Finally we make it down next to the creek where Tim admonishes us to be QUIET! And to STAY AWAY from the creek. Thrilling. We see 3 ducks swim about 20 feet from the group. And one heron that flew away. The kids really didn’t give a crap by this time. They were asking every 5 minutes what time it was and saying they were hungry (i.e. bored). I was bored and I had a camera to take photos of interesting things with… which is to say there was very little that was interesting.
On the next part of the trail it was time for the kids to catch bugs. Sadly for them there weren’t that many bugs and it sucks to have to ASK permission to pick up a bug every time you find one – it makes for very few bugs being collected. YAWN. We finally made it back to the Natural Science Museum a little before 11 am. I was shocked to discover we had only been gone for a freaking hour! It seemed much, much longer.
Finally it was time for what the kids enjoyed the MOST! LUNCH! We had a 30 minute lunch so we’d have enough time to see the exhibits in the Natural Science Museum. (The field trip was scheduled to be over at 1:30 pm.) Now let me take a moment to say – DAMN! WTF is up with the shit people are packing in their kids’ lunches? It is NO wonder so many little kids are obese! I looked around and saw that my kid happened to be unique in the fact that her lunch had no junk food. Most kids had WAY too much food also. Super girl had a peanut butter and banana sandwich, an apple, an orange and a carrot (she loves carrots) and a bottle of water. She ate her sandwich, her carrot, had a few pieces of orange and we brought the apple back home. The girl next to her had a 6” sub from Subway, a bag of chips, a Sprite, a container of yogurt and some small slices of watermelon. The girl across from her had a sandwich (minus crust); Cheetos, a big Capri Sun, a big Honey Bun and I think cookies. Ah well now I understood why one of the girls had commented that Super Girl’s lunch looked like “A lot of vegetables”. Looking around, I don’t remember seeing any other kids in the class with fruit and I saw an awful lot of cans of sodas. Come on people! You are what you eat! Don’t turn your kids into JUNK FOOD.
Then it was on to the exhibits! All three rooms of exhibits. And one room was a ‘fossil dig’ room with a corner of it set up as a sand box where they could dig for ‘fossils’ and nothing else really. The next two hours were painful and tedious. I forced my kid and a couple others to walk through the other two rooms and do the ‘scavenger hunt’ to eat up some of the time. Then they all congregated in the Fossil Room to play in the sand. One little girl was such a brat – she proclaimed herself QUEEN and started bossing all the other kids in the sand around, I had the urge to go shove her off her perch and into the sand just to shut her up. Many of the kids just ignored her but several actually did what she said, so apparently she’s been playing this “Queen Of The Universe” roll for a while. It got so desperate to keep the kids occupied that part of our tour was going through the gift shop! I didn’t care, I just wanted it over – since we were inside now and had no where to stow any coats, I had the joy of carrying mine and our water bottles and Super Girls jacket. Wow, it was almost as much fun as going anywhere when my progeny was babies and required a pack mule full of diapers and bottles to accompany us.
Finally it was over, we were on the bus at 1 pm to wait for the rest of second grade to join us. The Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary, blows. I’m lucky I got out with my sanity.
Yeah, I know, I bitch a lot.