There are a lot of reasons I don’t like to chaperone my kids’ school field trips. Primary among them is that I really don’t like other people’s children. My friends’ kids are ok, and my kids’ friends are ok. But if the kids are all about drama, or have bad manners, or cry wolf all the time, or try to shock me by the things they say or do, I’m not a fan. So basically, if they are kids, I don’t like them.
A friend of mine, Melanie, chaperoned an overnight trip with her son’s 5th grade class. Keyword there being “overnight.” (Need I say more?) Remember, these are 5th graders. Eleven year olds. Melanie was happy to volunteer, but by the end of the adventure she swore she’d never do it again.
Sharting (Shit + Fart)
Melanie, some teachers, and one other parent took the 5th grade class to Williamsburg for two full days and one night. Throughout the first day, there was a lingering odor whenever the kids were together. They checked their shoes, and no one had stepped in poop, so they forgot it. After dinner, Melanie learned that one of the kids had sharted himself that morning and sat in it all day. All. Day. He didn’t think to tell anyone. He didn’t try to clean it up. Hell, he didn’t even take off his underwear, throw it away, and go commando. Nope, he just sat in it. Really? A 5th grader who sits in his own poop all day?
Little did Melanie know that wasn’t the worst of it. The next day, they toured more of the colonial town, and one boy in her group literally shit his pants. Well, he shit the sidewalk, because the turd fell out of his pants and onto the sidewalk. But he shit his pants first, and then it fell out onto the sidewalk.
“Oh gross. I can’t believe he did that!” I exclaimed as she was telling me the story.
“The worst part was that I didn’t have anything I could use to pick it up, so I had to scoop up the poop with my boarding pass to throw it away,” she said.
“Why did you do that? I would have left it there and pretended a dog shit on the sidewalk.”
“I couldn’t,” she said, holding up her hand made into a fist. “It was this big. No dog alive could have left that behind.”
When the group flew home that evening, the offending child ran to his mom for a hug at the airport.
“How was your trip?” she asked with a smile.
“It was great, mom. I didn’t poop my pants once,” he said, clearly proud of his accomplishment. (And remember, this is an 11-year-old 5th grader.)
“No,” Melanie added quickly. “But you did poop on the sidewalk.”
And this, my friends, is why I don’t chaperone field trips.