The trip was pretty amusing though. We packed the kids onto a train car to go visit a suburban park for a morning picnic and playtime. (I'm not sure exactly what part of the school curriculum is satisfied by a picnic, but come testing day, none of these kids will be left behind. Bravo, San Francisco Unified School District!)
Parents often instruct their kids to use their "inside voices". This term denotes a tone of voice that is appropriate to use when speaking to someone in the same room. It's louder than a whisper, but not yelling. This is in contrast to the "outside voice" which is the typical high-decibal noise one hears on a playground.
I can now report the discovery of a new "voice". It's the voice that kids use on a train car and it is delightfully ear-splittingly loud, seemingly an order of magnitude louder than the underachieving "outside voice". A typical "conversation" went like this:
Kid X: (helicopter loud) SALLY!
Sally: (unable to hear Girl X due to the cacophony of other helicopters)
Kid X: (jet engine loud) SALLY!!
Kid X: (sonic boom) SAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLYYYYY!!!!!!!
Kid X: *waves*
Sally: *waves back*
Kid X: ....
Kid X: *turning around* TIMMY!!!!
This went on for the duration of the train ride. Thankfully my ear drums burst after a mere 10 minutes. (Note: be sure to wear blood-colored shirts when chaperoning field trips!)
Eventually we made it to the park, where the kids were promptly mesmerized by the squirrels. Apparently many of Daisy's city-bound classmates never see squirrels. These kids spent a fair chunk of the field trip chasing and treeing the poor animals.
Other kids spent a lot of time crying. That appears to be a classic field trip activity. At any given point in time, at least one kid was crying about something. I'm sure a better chaperone would have been more in tune about what the tears were about, but I just lurked nearby long enough to ensure that some other parent would supply the necessary hugs/nurturing/appendectomy.
I really was one of the worst chaperones. Most of the other parents seemed to have some innate ability to figure out what was an appropriate play activity and what wasn't. All around me parents were instructing the kids about what they could and couldn't climb on. Did I miss the parenting class where they said it was not ok to climb up the slide, or choke your classmates? I guess so.
I did however, spent some quality time thinking about what type of martini I was going to drink that evening. I settled on vodka. I enjoy setting goals and then achieving them.
Also, on the plus side of things, not a single kid hit me.