Rebecca Eckler is one of Canada's most talked about newspaper columnists, the author of Knocked Up: Confessions of a Hip Mother to Be, which has been translated into nine languages. Also the author of the bestsellers, Wiped!, Toddlers Gone Wild, and Rotten Apple, the first in a YA series. Random thoughts on life in the competitive world of modern mommyhood. Blog will be loved by trendy mothers who still feel, or often feel, that the most important word in "mommee" is ME!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Skool Trips with Good Intentions....

I had really good intentions. I swear.

The Dictator turned four today.....I can't believe it.

In any case, I really have grown up with her. I know, hardy har. But it's true. I still love her more and more every day.

In fact, when the pamphlet came at the beginning of September from her new school, I actually read the entire thing - cover to cover. Twice!

I made one goal for myself this year. I am going to drop off my daughter every day and pick her up every day. So far, so good. We've never been late. I'm, like, the first parent to pick her up. I'm doing good. And I really get such joy out of doing it.

Even if dropping her off at 9 a.m. and then picking her up at 2:45 p.m. really does cut into the day. I'm not complaining, but it's a fact. If I go to a yoga class at 10 a.m. I get back home at 12:30, eat lunch, and then it's basically time to pick her up.

But I really did want to get more active in her school. Well, not entirely it turns out.

The other day I was standing with another parent, while waiting for school to let out, who is also a friend. She's much more of a jetsetter than I am, flying off to Paris Fashion week, parties out of town every weekend, and she works in PR.

Another woman came up to us and said, "Your children are in JK, right?"

"Right," we said back.

"Well, we're looking for a parent blah blah..." I forget what the word was. Oh, yeah, it was a 'parent class representative."

I looked at my friend and of course did what any other parent who DOES NOT like the sound of being a Parent Class Representative would do. I pointed at my friend and said, "That sounds perfect for you! You'd be great at that!"

My friend said - rather whispered violently into my ear - something like, "I'm going to wrap a rope around your neck and strangle you."

My friend told this other woman that she was a working mother and just has no time.

I, too, am a working mother, and, quite frankly don't want to be the one responsible for calling all the Dictator's classmates if there's a snowstorm to tell them not to go to school.

Parent Class Representative would also be responsible for collection money from other parents and buying the teachers X-mas presents.

I mean, I COULD do that all. But I'm so disorganized that I just KNOW I would end up buying the gift and never collect the money from the other parents. And on stormy days, I don't want to get up and call everyone in her class. I just want to stay in bed.

So I told this woman that I couldn't possibly because I'm a working mother and VERY disorganized. Luckily, my parents also happened to be picking up The Dictator with me that day.

"Ask my mother," I told this woman. "She'll tell you I'm the most disorganized person in the world!"

So my mother said, "Yes, I didn't raise her like that. But it's true. She's the worst. But I didn't raise her like that." (Thanks Mom! Even though it's true, you know, it still hurts when your mother crticizes you in front of, well, anyone....)

I could volunteer for pizza day once a month. But I don't really want to clean up after the kids. I certainly don't want to volunteer on skating days, because it's too friggen cold for me and I quite hate skating. And even more than hating the cold and skating, I hate having to put skates on kids. I mean, I really hate skating.

I could volunteer at the lunch room, but they wanted a one term committment at least once a week, and frankly, I can't commit. Because if I ever want to finish this book, I can't be picking up pieces of noodles off the floor. (Also, you have to sit with the kids and make sure they only talk about non-competitive things....I'm super competitive, so I'm not so sure what is considered competitive between 3 and 4 year olds...)

But this Friday, The Dictator will be going on her first field trip to the Yorkville Fire Station. Now, to me, that sounds like a no-brainer. It;s five minutes away from my house. There will be fireman there. And even ugly firemen are kind of cute. That's the one I wanted to volunteer at. I was excited.

So, the good mother I now am, said to The Dictator's teacher this morning, "I know you're going on a field trip. Do you need extra parents to go along? Because I'll help." (I mean, if I have to volunteer for something, this is the thing I want to volunteer for....firemen...firemen...)

"Thanks so much Rebecca, but we don't need help this one. But there will be a lot in the future that I'll definitely ask you."

Doh! Shit! What did I just get myself into???

See, my intentions were good, but god only knows now that I'll probably have to end up going to some puppet show, on the school bus far away from home in the middle of winter. I just know it.

Or even worse, The Science Centre (Still am traumatized from school trips I was forced to go on as a kid. That stupid thig that makes your hair stand on end???? In fact, I walk into the science centre and I immediately want to take a nap.)

So, what do you all think of going on school trips with your kids? Fun? Funny stories? Share with me please!

I am very sad that I don't get to see the firemen....sigh. And I certainly can't go back to the teacher now telling him THAT was the field trip I wanted to go on....I wanted to see firemen, not puppets! Argh.

Four years ago today, was the happiest moment of my life. Still is.


Anonymous Not-so-Patiently_Awaiting_Arrival said...

I just finished reading your book. "Wiped! Life with a pint size dictator". The first book I read cover to cover since leaving university. I loved it. I laughed out loud so many times my husband most likely thinks I have terrets or something to that effect.

Looking forward to your next book. Thank you so much in helping me pass the time until my little guy gets here (November 3, 2007), providing insight into the seemingly dark abyss of new mommyhood, and shedding some light on the "reality" of what I still can't believe I got myself into.

I too, during one passionate, though perhaps drunken moment, remember, through flash back or not, that the husband "just knock me up already"...alas, already came, literally, way sooner that either of us expected.

Cheers to all you moms out there. You most certaintly have a new found respect in my eyes. That said, I know my mother is weeping somewhere, saying, "Finally! She sees the light!"

7:03 PM

Blogger Laural Dawn said...

I totally know what you mean about growing up with your child. I feel the same way. (even if it's cheesy to say).
As for field trips. Here's what happened to me. I volunteered to go on a cool daycare fieldtrip to a farm, and then the weather got bad, so they decided to go to a nursing home.
So, I went with a group of little kids to the nursing home and it was really not so fun, and we spent most of the time trying to get the kids NOT to ask questions (why is he sleeping, why is she in a wheelchair). And then at the end of it all my son had a complete meltdown and instead of helping all the kids I was comforting him. It was a disaster.
I was exhausted after.
And, he wanted to go home with me and not go back to school. (so we went to mcdonald's as I'd taken the day off).
But, the bus ride was pretty fun. And it was nice - but no firestation trip.I'd sign up for that one too.

7:08 AM

Anonymous Sarah said...

Happy Birthday to the Dictator - mine turned 4 on October 1st (so how come in my head she's still a baby?) I've only gone on one school trip with her, to the post office, it's close to my house but the post office ladies are no firemen....I was a little bored but Regan was so excited to have me with her that it was worth it. Suck it up and enjoy the puppets!

7:38 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always loved my birthday day - the attention, the presents. I never understood, I mean TRULY understood why my mother would get all misty eyed and tell me that my birthday would always be more special to her than it was to me. Now, with 2 kids ( a 2 year old and a 2 week old) born days away from my own birthday (today) I get it. My birthday has no real meaning to me other than the aforemetioned attention and presents, but the memories on the day of my children;s birthday brings back floods of memories... I get it now Mum!

8:07 AM

Blogger suchsimplepleasures said...

the last time i went on a school trip was with my step-son. i was very pregnant with my youngest child. it was a zoo field trip for the 1st grade. didn't go to well. you see...there is this butterfly house, the main reason for the field trip. it specifically says...DO NOT TOUCH THE BUTTERFLIES...well, my darling step-son...he stepped on one, right in front of the docent. he was escorted following behind, thanking god that he is not genetically related to me and praying that the behavior was from his biomoms side of the family!

4:49 PM

Blogger Multi-tasking Mommy said...

I can't believe the Dictator is already 4 years old! Happy belated bday to her :)

6:40 PM


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