Friday, April 4, 2008

A Series of Unfortunate Events

First off-

a.k.a. Deaf Girl
Sorry, ArtisticallySpecificTastes. The video clip is of an amazing rendition of the National Anthem, hence all of the basketball players in the background. They sound like professional singers in their 30's and they're singing a lot of really tight harmonies. It sounds similar to that Christmas cd your sister MoneyBags likes so much. You know, the one with the family of girls singing, some of whom she knows? Only, these harmonies are more complicated and jazzish than that. Oh, and please tell your deaf friends not to send me those emails. Thank you.


I Forgot My Shirt
No, I'm not sitting here typing in the buff. I forgot my shirt last week. Let me back up.

Phone ringing yesterday.
Me: Hello?
Caller: Hi [Aberjaber], it's Angie.
Me yay! but weird, she's never called me before: Hi! How are you?
Angie: I'm fine. I'm calling because I was wondering if you know- Is the bus going to pick up the kids for the field trip tomorrow, and do you know what time?
Me Huh? Field trip? I didn't know she had a kindergartener. I thought her sons were either older or younger than that. Field trip! Crap! I forgot! I guess maybe the Two Dollars fiasco before had its advantages: Ummmmm. Field trip. Right. That's tomorrow. Yyyyyeah. Welllll, I don't know if the bus is coming or at what time if it is, but I'm actually going on that field trip. (Crap, I have to get a babysitter!) (Thank you Valenzoo!) If you want I could just take him with me when I go.
Angie: Are you sure you don't mind?
Me hey I could get my shirt back at the same time: No, it's fine. Also, I accidentally left my shirt in your car last week.
Angie: Your shirt?
Me: Yeah, the black commando one (I took with me when we were behaving like juvenille delinquents) that I never changed into...(?) I left it in the back of your car, I think...(?)
Angie: ???? My car?
Me understanding dawning: Wait, which Angie is this?
Angie: This is Angie _____.
Me: OHHHHH!!!! Yeah. Different Angie. Different car. You sounded like Angie _____. Um, I can still take your daughter to school if you want.
Angie: Ok. I was going to say, I don't think you've ever even seen my car.
Me: No, you're right. Sorry about that.

Ange- when you read this, I left my shirt in your car. Thank you.

There's Just Something About Field Trips

A few years back, LittleMommy's(4) preschool class attended a field trip at the fire station. I had attended the same field trip the previous year and knew I would be attending it again the following 2 years. Yep. The Bunch didn't overachieve when it came to spacing 'em out. So anyway, when I discovered that Husband was going to have the day of the field trip off from work, I asked if he would pretty please take the kids so I could have a little break. He agreed and so I set off on my little break. ArtisticallySpecificTastes and I were going to Target to spend my birthday giftcard and ooo and ahh over the jewellry. I love earrings. I think I'll say that again. I. LOVE. EARRINGS.

So I went and picked up my favorite AZ shopping partner. I hung out and ate her mom's Lucky Charms for a long time while she got ready to go. Just after we got into the store, a storm began as they only do in Arizona, and we discussed how lucky I was to NOT be on the field trip. I said it was a good thing the field trip was almost over. After about half an hour of "perusing the merchandise" (read it with a Brooklyn accent- threw that in there for you, Kretha)- there was a roll of thunder so loud that ArtisicallySpecificTastes asked me what it was. (Did I mention she is DEAF? Well she is. Completely, all the way, she-don't-hear-no-thunder-deaf.) I told her what it was and her eyes got really big. One of us- and I can't rightly say who it was now, but I think it was me- remarked, "I hope the lightning didn't hit anyone's house." (At certain times of the year, lightning is a pretty common starter of house fires in Arizona. I think it comes from the fact that they plant these stupid trees:

All the photos I found of them were copyrighted so I couldn't embed them. If you were too lazy/in a hurry (and what mom isn't?) to click on the link, I'll sum it up in two words: lightning rod.)
So anyway, I felt bad for the inevitable catastrophe that some poor family was experiencing. We left the store about half an hour later and I went home. Imagine my dismay when I discovered that, sure enough. One of them dern trees was struck by lightning and started a fire. In my carport. And apparently the firetrucks had just left. The tree was burned and the roof on that side of the house was a little charred, but when all was said and done, the neighbors and Husband had all acted quickly, hosing down the house to keep it from igniting and everything was ok. (ish.) The firemen put out the fire, my carport was flooded with mystery foam which had come from their hoses, and my kids were shaken up, but thought it was cool to see the firefighters in action so up-close-and-personal just ten minutes after their trip to the fire station. After a little while, Husband proceeded to tell me how, when the children were permitted to walk through the firetruck, LittleBoyBlau(4) took off the emergency break and put that puppy into gear. The firetruck started rolling. In a crowd of twenty 4 year-olds and their parents and younger siblings. Husband acted fast and scooped up two kids who were inches away from getting squished under the big red truck. So many brushes with death, all before 11 am!
Today, The Pinkiest(5)'s kindergarten class had a field trip to both the grocery store AND the fire station. Apparently the school in This Place That I Live takes a one-stop shopping approach to field tripping. There were about 100 kids and roughly 1 adult for every 4 kids. There was also a teacher on each bus, and two buses went. (4 classes went on the field trip. We have half day K here.) One bus went to the fire station first, the other went to the store.
We went to the store first. We got there, the store took a group photo of all the kids to print out and give them at the end of their tour, and then they divided us into three groups. Each group was given a tour guide and sent to a different area of the store.
Now, before I go on, I would like to say I am well aware of what normally happens on these sorts of trips. MyOwnMother taught kindergarten and did this trip every year for almost ten years. Also, I worked in 2 different grocery stores for a period of three years. I've got the 411 on kindertrips to the grocery store. Normally, they show the kids the loading docks, the area where the produce is washed and banded before it is put out, the trash compacter, the area where the meat is processed, the fryers for the deli counter, and the area in the bakery where the ovens and proofers are. They give the kids a cookie, answer questions, and send you on your way.
Let me tell you how our tour went.
Our group was sent to the Pharmacy first. There, a store manager told the kids how they should NEVER take medicine that they find. Or take more than one vitamin. Or take their siblings' antibiotics. (All good info, but not quite sure why we had to come to the store to learn that.) Next, she walked us over to the section with all the cosmetics and showed the kids the c.c.t.v. cameras in the ceiling, and admonished the kids NOT TO STEAL MAKEUP AND STUFF THAT COSTS MORE THAN FOOD (Things less than food are fine?! Food is ok?!) because there are cameras all over the place in every store you ever go into and they will see you if you steal. See them? There they are? You can look at Walmart or Sears or anyplace you go and find the cameras that ARE WATCHING YOU. (I thought about how although I know those cameras are there, I still occasionally pick a wedgie if it's really bothering me and I'm in an aisle alone. I've got to stop doing that. THEY. ARE. WATCHING. YOU.) The lady was super cute and perky and good at talking to the kids. BUT- after her anti-suicide/theft speeches, she "turned [us] over to Carolyn" for the rest of the tour.
Carolyn was TheSurlyTourGuideWhoHatesChildren. She was mean to the kids and reminded me of the teacher on Pete's Dragon. Seriously. And when the little 5 year-olds didn't make 2 perfect lines in front of her, she clapped her hands real loud and looked at them like they were tomorrow's muggers and rapists. She took them into the refrigerator and the freezer and snapped at the kids, then explained to the adults which products were on sale. She took us to the seafood section. There BrianTheSeafoodGuy told us about how there are farms where they grow sea creatures so as not to deplete the ocean's resources and if we go home and search on the internet for "Aquaculture" we can learn all about it. (This was the interesting part of the tour. I thought I should tell you, since I doubted you'd figure it out on your own.) Then TheSurlyTourGuideWhoHatesChildren regaled the kids with the tale of how she had never had KingCrab before in her life until last year when she went up to Alaska on a fishing boat and they caught crabs (don't go there) and prepared them and ate them and EVERYTHING...! Then she got even grumpier because the expected reaction of awe and wonder was instead blank stares that said, "Whats a Laska?" and "My Uncle has a boat." and "I need to go potty." She stomped over to the bakery section where the baker guy was going to demonstrate to the kids how they decorate the cakes. He opened a mylar package, pulled out a pre-printed, thick, leathery-looking, sugar thing and plopped it on the cake. Then he did a real fancy job of putting a seashell border around two cakes in two minutes flat. And that is why I don't buy cakes at Said Grocery Store. They always appear to have been completed in two minutes. And that is not a good thing. (And how come you have to order your cake a week in advance? He did TWO cakes in two minutes. What are they doing for the other 604,798 minutes of that week? Just wondering.) BakerJose was actually very nice to the kids and talked to them on their level, but his demonstration was ruined somewhat by the constant peppering of comments from TheSurlyTourGuideWhoHatesChildren. Things such as, "DON'T TOUCH!" "STOP TOUCHING!" "BACK UP!" "YOU KIDS NEED TO BACK. UP.!" and my personal favorite, "YOU MAY NOT COUGH ON THE CAKE!!!!" After the cake decorating, came the highlight of the trip. TheSurlyTourGuideWhoHatesChildren took us to the produce section. And this is what she said:
SurlyTourGuide: These are fruits and vegetables. You need FIVE servings of fruit and vegetables each day. Right? Now. There are two kinds of food. Living food and DEAD food. DEAD food has been cooked. Living food has not. Living fruits and vegetables are good for you. I'll tell you- if you eat DEAD food all the time, you ARE GOING TO GET CANCER. If you eat LIVING food, you'll NEVER get cancer.
Kids: !!!! : O
Parents: !!!! : O
SurlyTourGuide: Green vegetables have chlorophyll. That means it's good for you, if you don't turn it into a DEAD food. This is cabbage. These are strawberries. You need yellow vegetables for your eyes. What color is this cantaloupe?
FiveKidsWhoAreStillSortOfListening: OR-ANGE!!!
SurlyTourGuide: Uh, right. So you need yellow vegetables for your eyes. And orange ones. (Walks over to the carrots, picks one up, breaks it in half.) You can always tell which part of your body something is good-for by what it looks like. See the end of that carrot? It looks like your eye.
Kids and Me: ? : o
SurlyTourGuide: See? Right here?
Kids squinting: ???
Me: I wonder which part of your body potatoes look like?
SurlyTourGuide: You want candy, eat peas. That's God's candy right there.
Me: Please let this end soon.
SurlyTourGuide: This is a red pepper. This is an orange pepper. Isn't that beautiful? This is a jalepeno pepper. It cleans your blood.
Kids: : O
SurlyTourGuide: Yup. Them Mexicans use this and cilantro. Cilantro has wonderful, wonderful properties. That's how they stay healthy.
Me: I wonder if she thinks no one in Mexico has cancer?
SurlyTourGuide: This is broccoli. What does broccoli have?
Kids afraid to answer her at this point: Leaves? Little bally thingies? Rubberbands?
SurlyTourGuide: Chlorophyll.! I TOLD YOU. disgusted sigh of exasperation See this orange? Is it cooked?
Kids meekly: Noooo.
SurlyTourGuide: That's right. It's not DEAD food. It's Living food. AND THAT MEANS it's good for you. You remember that.
As we left the store for the fire station, I wondered how many 5/6 year-olds were going to refuse to eat their vegies at dinner tonight. Certainly more than last night. Then I wondered what sort of craziness was going to take place during our fire station experience.
At the fire station we learned to STOP. DROP. AND ROLL. Then, Alex (a kid in ThePinkiest's (5) class), gave a ten minute dissertation on how to check your bedroom door to see if it's hot and then throw a fire ladder out your window and climb down- complete with miming. The fire safety instructor ended with how "houses in [this city we live in] almost never catch on fire because they are built so safely these days." On our way from the fire safety room to see the fire engine, they firemen got called out to a house fire. So much for "almost never catching fire". Luckily, they had double-scheduled firefighters today just in case this happened. I'm thinkin' maybe house fires aren't quite as unusual as he was letting on.
I watched the kids go through the cab of the firetruck, keeping an eye on them to see that nobody put it into gear. After we saw everything in the truck and got the explanation of why firefighters carry Costco-size buckets of kitty litter, we went to Corbin, the EMT. Fire Fighter Corbin showed the kids all the stuff in the ambulance and even took the pulse-ox. of every single kid there. By then we were freezing because, it is NOT balmy out today. And fire station garages make great wind tunnels.
When we finally got home (with Angie ____'s daughter, not Angie ____'s son), I got to see that the call they got for the house fire was NOT for my house. What a relief! I guess the trip to the fire station was uneventful this time. Thank goodness.
I don't know what else to say, other than I'm ready to swear off field trips forever.


Tiercy said...

See I knew I should have stuck to my guns when husband insisted on giving our kids the same name as thousands of other kids born the same year. I have never had this experience...wait which Tiercy is this?

Kim said...

All I can say is, "Wow". You have had some interesting field trip experiences.

Lindsey said...

Hey! I am back from all of my crazy trips and I am going to get your earrings done THIS WEEK! (I promise)

Angela said...

I was wondering whose that was. I'll get it back to you, and yes I don't have a kindergarten kid yet. Next year. Yay.

Oh and Tiercy,

What are you saying about my name, that it is common or something? I have never heard it other than me.

Lindsey said...

We just might become close friends!! My husband and I are considering a move back to Utah...

Tiffany said...

I couldn't stop laughing reading about your feildtrip. I miss you!