Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Field Trip

Earlier this week, Satchel's class (well, the entire elementary, which has one class) was scheduled to go on a day trip to the Tupelo Buffalo Park & Zoo. It is an annual trip and all of the elementary kids were buzzing with excitement.

Warren chaperoned Satchel's first field trip to the Pink Palace Crafts Fair just a few weeks ago, and I had hoped he would be able to chaperone this trip. "I don't want Satchel going if you don't go," I said.

"Why?" he asked.

"I don't know. I'd just feel better if it was you driving him since it is kind of far away."

Warren decided I was being silly--especially since odds are Satchel might ride in someone else's car anyway. (They don't want parents playing favorites.) I briefly thought about chaperoning myself, but a) the trip was the same day as Jiro's long awaited speech therapy screening and b) I am not the best driver and would probably freak out if I had to drive a carload of other people's kids. So I got over it, and focused on Satchel having fun with all of his friends.

Satchel had assumed that Warren would be going and when he found out that he wasn't, and had time to think about it, he decided that he didn't want to go either. This all happened at 8am, about 30 minutes prior to his scheduled departure.

"Really?" I asked him about a thousand times.

"Yes," he replied every time.

"Surely he'll change his mind when we get to school and he sees his friends going," I said to Warren.

I grabbed Satchel's sack lunch (that he had enthusiastically made the night before) and the extra car seat and drove him to school. (Jiro stayed home to watch cartoons since his appointment was at 9:30am.)

We pulled into the parking lot as everyone was coming out. Satchel's best buddy, Will, said something like, "I'm riding with Miss Sally!"

"I'm not going," Satchel replied as he briskly walked past him to the front door.

Will's face dropped. "Why?" he asked, shocked.

"I'm hoping he changes his mind," I said to Will as I chased after Satchel.

Over the next thirty minutes I did my best to convince him that the trip was going to be awesome. (As did his friends and teachers.) Everyone was going except for him.

"But you love animals," I said.

"It'll be fun!" I tried.

"You know we won't be going to the Memphis Zoo for awhile..." I said.

"What if I let Ian spend the night Friday?" I tried.

"Here, you can have some spending money," I said thrusting two dollars in his hand.

Finally, I considered picking him up and strapping him into Ms. Christie's car under the guise of "You'll thank me for this later" but the minute I suggested that I was going to pick him up, he LOST it.

"Okay, okay!" I said. "I'm not going to force you to go."

I really wasn't sure why he didn't want to go. It seemed like he kind of wanted to hang out in his old classroom. "I don't want to be away from school all day," he sobbed.

Ms. Sarah later confirmed that he said he didn't want to go on a big trip without Warren. Since that was my initial concern too, I can't say I blamed him for bowing out. I was actually feeling quite proud of him for standing his ground.

When I dropped Jiro off at lunch time Satchel was sitting next to Ian eating his sack lunch along with the school's hot lunch and seemed to be as happy as could be. Jiro joined him at the table and everything was fine. I thought maybe when school was over and his class came back and talked about how much fun the trip was he would be sad, but he wasn't. Instead he told me about how he got to be a helper all day and how much fun it was to be downstairs (with his old class). "It's a lot easier than upstairs (in the elementary)," he said.

I was glad that instead of feeling like a baby for not going he instead felt like a big kid for staying.

This morning when I dropped Satchel and Jiro off, Satchel's friend, Theo, was out front with his mother. He was crying and she was consoling him. She asked me if Satchel was nervous about his book report. "Actually, no," I said. "I think he's excited."

Considering the state her son was in, she seemed surprised.

Lest she think I was raising Mr. Perfectly Adjusted, I added, "But you know he refused to go on the field trip Tuesday."

Heaven knows I would have been in a COMPLETE panic at age 6 knowing I had to talk in front of my entire class. While I could certainly empathize with Theo and his mom, I couldn't help feeling relieved that I somehow dodged a bullet. Letting Satchel skip out on the field trip was a lot easier than having to somehow convince him that public speaking is fun.

It's funny how one day Satchel can seem so grown up and then seem so young the next. And back and forth it goes...

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