Do’s and Don’ts of Chaperoning A Preschool Field Trip

The date for the preschool field trip was set weeks ago.  The bus was rented, the driver was hired.  The children studied farm animals extensively in preparation for their big trip.

And most importantly, the names of the 3 lucky mothers who were chosen at random to accompany the children to the “Fall Farm Field trip” were selected.


Guess who got to go?

You guessed it: Sharon Olgilvie, Patricia Hartnett and Camille Strong.

Oh for Heaven’s sake, I am just kidding– Who the hell are those people?

It was Outlaw Mama who was chosen from among her maternal peers, so I suited up and showed up for the magical farm visit yesterday morning.  Now, I am perfectly poised to give you some tips for the next time you chaperone an outing for your child.   I’m going to recommend that you bookmark this page or print it out and put it in your wallet.

Because this is about to get real.  Real valuable.

Here’s the list of DO’s:

  • Do figure out how to check your Twitter while making it look like you are taking pictures of all the precious little children feeding the pigs.
  • Do offer to hold the children’s hats and gloves on the bus ride, but also do refuse to give the hat back to the kid with the big head whose hat will fit on you, especially if it’s 30 degrees and you forgot your hat.
  • Do let the teachers know that you are vegan and adamantly opposed to exploitative farming, especially the kind that requires cows to live in tiny feces-laden pins and chickens to roost in miniscule coops.

And, even more helpful, here’s the list of DON’Ts:

  • Do not try to set the bus driver up with one of your friends after you find out that he is single.
  • Do not ask the host-farmers their thoughts on how cruel it is to eat animals, especially in front of the children.
  • Do not talk about avian bird flu as the children are petting the chickens.
  • Do not ask the teacher who the “real a**hole kids are” because you want to “steer clear” of them all day.
  • Do not lose any of the five children you are asked to watch, even that little punk in the green puffy coat who keeps running off to the horse barn.
  • Do not teach the children to say, “Guess what? Chicken butt!” in the middle of the chicken coop.
  • Do not yell, “Watch out for the cow sh*t,” as the children are walking through the fields.
  • Do not teach the children to sing “99 bottles of beer on the wall,” on the way home from the field trip.  (Change the words to “99 recyclable, BPA-free, free trade containers of organic, local, pesticide-free nectar on the wall.”)
  • Do not ask how the cows, Maisie and Daisy, are slaughtered “so that selfish little children can eat hamburgers.”
  • Do not be offended when the group of alpha-male preschoolers hurl insults at you. (The insult: “Sadie’s mom! You’re a picnic basket.”  Who knew that outdoor dining was such invective these days? Take it like an adult and smile because they are only testing you.)
  • Do not explain the ins and outs of the Petraeus sex scandal, and definitely do not pull out the flow chart explaining how the biographer, the “other lady” and General Allen are involved.  (Now that I think about it, don’t bring up sex at all.  Wait until they are in kindergarten.)

If you can follow these simple tips, you will be golden as you escort your tiny charges through the vast world beyond their classroom.

Editor’s note: I have no idea how to punctuate “don’t’s” to make it look right. So, if it’s wrong, stop being so critical and just enjoy the post.  I’m sorry your mother didn’t love you, but stop judging my punctuation.


25 thoughts on “Do’s and Don’ts of Chaperoning A Preschool Field Trip

  1. Haha! I love this post. I can picture a couple of crazy vegans I know doing some of these don’ts (perfect punctuation by the way). I’ll forward them a link to this helpful post. Like you, I’m a giver.

    Weaving the sex scandal in was brilliant. I’ve been watching it unfold in amazement, along with the BBC scandal.

  2. Great idea to leave the sex talk for kindergarten. Although, I’m still waiting to cover that with my 7th grader . . . I’m praying I have 10 or 15 more years. (BTW, “Do’s and Don’ts” is totally correct. Maddening and inconsistent, but right.)

  3. I was thinking yesterday that Penn State must be thanking its lucky stars for a new sex scandal for the world to focus on. I am riveted by the whole thing. For some good laughs, watch The Daily Show from Monday. Jon Stewart is in perfect, awesome form.

  4. Funny, funny, funny! I want to co-chaperone with you next trip. We can pretend one of the other kids is mine. Just make sure it’s a smart one, because I don’t want my pretend kid to be a doofus.

    Here’s the insult the girls on the bus called my son the other day: a fat loaf of bread. 1. He’s not fat. 2. The girls are totally crushing because he’s gorgeous. 3. He thinks girls are dumb, anyway and that their insult is goofy.

  5. So funny. I laughed out loud at least 3 times. Seriously, why is that Sloane Crosley more famous than the Outlaw Mama? And I’m totally saying “Guess what? Chicken butt!” when I visit living chickens or eat dead ones, whether or not there are children with me.

  6. Excellent! My kids are a little older than yours so I’m on field trip #862, plus camping trip #421, and I own this shit. On my fridge is a thank-you note from a child in my son’s class that reads, “Dear Mrs. Ducote, I hope you will keep driving us on field trips even after {my boy} is not here any more.” Hmmm. Don’t hold your breath, kid. Great post!

  7. Thanks for the laugh! I remember taking the kids on field trips when I worked for a daycare in high school, and it was a nightmare trying to keep track of everyone. There’s always a kid in a puffy jacket, taking off for the barn!

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