This was originally posted on May 13, 2014. I am re-posting this in honor of my most recent chaperoning failure. One day, I will get it right...but obviously, that day has not happened yet. I added a FB Live about my most recent failing at the bottom of this post.
Saturday, I failed Chaperone class 101.
Not sure I will re-take the class.
Friday when I picked Elliot up from school, I asked him if he had all the information we needed for the Hershey Park band trip on Saturday. He confirmed that we were all set and I rolled out of the parking lot confident that my son had all the facts.
Around 9 P.M., I discovered that we did not have all the facts. As I rummaged through old paperwork from school, the school website, the band teachers pages, and the notes sent home regarding the trip, the only time I could find for our departure was 7 A.M. Since I had not received any information from the teacher, this was the time I was going to run with. I was not confident, but that was the plan.
At 6:44 A.M. the phone rang.
"Mrs. Pauling, Are you coming?"
"Did you get the itinerary?"
"We have all been here since 6 A.M."
"Okay, we will be right there."
Thankfully, we live 5 minutes from the school. We made the bus, but I have to be honest here...I ran out of the house without my coffee, so this had to be serious. The teacher said, "I sent home an itinerary with Elliot on Monday." I replied, "Did you tell him to give it to me?" I don't think he answered me.
So, I am already feeling like an inept chaperone and it is not even 7 A.M. Hopefully this day will get better.
I guess he overlooked the mishap because he gave me the list of boys I would be chaperoning. Unfortunately...the names were not right. Elliot did not know any of the kids and the teacher had pretty much left me to fend to myself. We stopped at Panera Bread. The teacher said to gather in your groups and go in....except I could not find my group.
So...I faked it and just took my chances that all the kids made it into Panera and they all made it back out.
Finally I had to ask and they realized that most of my kids went by their middle names (The list did not have their middle names).
Sometimes you just have to be thankful your hair came out great that morning and go on from there.
I made it through the rest of the morning and afternoon without any major incidents. At 6:30 P.M. we met for the Band Awards for Music in the Parks. Our band got 2nd place. As we left the ceremony, we filed out into a horrendous thunder storm. I called the band teacher and left a message that my phone was about to die. I gave another number of one of the students who assured me he would hear his phone. I asked the teacher to call the student's number if our plans changed because of the storm.
Around 8:15 P.M. the storm stopped. At amusement parks, I am an opportunist. Thunderstorm + torrential downpour + amusement park = no lines.
So off to ride rides we went.
From 8:30 P.M. to 10:00 P.M., we rode any ride we wanted. If we wanted to stay on the ride, we didn't have to get off. Roller coasters, The Scrambler, Bumper Cars, The Tilter World. All the rides were right at our fingertips. It was the best time in the park. The last 1/2 hour, we just stayed on the bumper cars. The boys were laughing and having a great time.
At 10 P.M. I told the boys we needed to leave because we had to be at the bus by 10:20 P.M.
Then one of the boys said, "Hey, I have a bunch of missed calls."
Then another boy said, "Yay, me too."
My heart dropped. I guess you can't hear a phone ringing when you are on a ride screaming your head off. *Sigh*
We ran out of the park only to discover the buses had pulled up to the front entrance. On the bus was every other chaperone and student (except my group). When I got on the bus...no one said a word. They had been on the bus since 9 P.M.
Did I already sigh?? Here is another one... *Sigh*
So, I told one of the chaperones that my phone died. He wouldn't even look at me and said, "I know, we have been calling you for an hour."
"Where have you been anyway?" He asked me.
"Riding rides. All the rides were open and there were no lines."
"Well good for you."
For some reason, I don't think he was thinking good thoughts of me when he said that.
On a positive note...my son said I was the best chaperone ever and that he definitely wanted me to go again next year.
After all...Elliot was the only reason I went on the trip. In his eyes, I got an A+.
I guess I am going to have to throw my perfectionist, people-pleasing self out the window and accept that on this band trip...the one my son has been excited about ALL YEAR...
I rocked it.
I am a girl passionately in love with Jesus, my husband, and my children. I am forever learning how to live a life completely undone for my God. This blog is about my journey and a few funny stories in between.