Monday, February 08, 2010

Field Trip

Yoshi and I went on a school field trip the other week. It was his first ever, so I just had to go on leave to be with him. In the run-up to the big day, Yoshi's world revolved around the trip, so if we wanted him to stop terrorizing Boots or the nannies or to behave over-all, we only had to say the two words: field trip.

He woke up early and raring to go that Friday. We left the school at exactly 7.30 AM. (Thank goodness. It sucks when you're on time but have to wait up for latecomers anyway.) We were in the same bus as Kirsten, Donemark's and Dendee's little girl, the kind who makes you think of flowers and teddy bears and all things sweet and pure. Kids I recognized from last year's class were also with us – Rafael, Chesca, Lara, Amanda, etc. - as well as kids from Yoshi's Juniors class – Sam and Brianna (who looked for Boots and told me, “Tita, makulit po si Ethan. He's annoying.” Haha.) Yosh also introduced me to Naam, a first time classmate with an interesting second name. (“Mommy, parang McNuggets lang...”) I looked around for Isabel, bcoz she was Yoshi's new crush this year. She turned out to be the prettiest girl in the class. (Go get 'em, Ethan!)

Our first stop was a crocodile park, which also housed butterflies and snakes and birds and Vivian the orangutan, all these exotic animals that the kids were allowed to pet. So of course, I didn't wanna be the resident uncool mommy and touched and carried and posed with the creatures as gaily as the next kid. It wasn't an easy feat, actually. The python, for one, was stinky and slimy and weighed much more than Yoshi and Boots combined. Not to mention, it could have gobbled me up in one gulp. But Yoshi wanted us to carry it, so go! (Sigh. The things we have to do in the name of motherhood.)

The best part was the tightrope walker/dancer who did his stunt, without any harness or any other safety equipment, right above a pond of crocodiles. Kids and adults alike screamed in genuine fright whenever he made this act of falling into the water. Yikes. One other thing I will never be in my lifetime. (Yoshi innocently asked, “Mommy, nagpapakamatay ba sha?” Haha.)

Next we went to a science center in the same complex. It involved going into and out of a lot of doors with all kinds of scientific gadgets inside. All interactive, so more fun for the kids. And bcoz I was always jostling to be in front to take a good picture of Yoshi, I was picked to be one of four parents to do a dance video. Groan. It's one of those hilarious things where they paste your face in some funny guy's body and you dance to some crazy music. We all had a good laugh at that. It was funny, even I must admit, but, as in the python episode, I can name easily 60 million other dignified things I could be doing with my time. Sheesh. (Yoshi's take on it was, “Yan kase picture ng picture, napa-volunteer tuloy”. Haha. Ever the atribido. But I could tell he was proud of me for it, bcoz I and the three other parents became instant celebrities, and we all know how Yoshi loves fame. He also couldn't wait to show off my dance video to Daddy and Bootsie back home.)

Lunch was at Blue Wave. Ches' office was nearby and he was also excited about the day, so he met us up there. Yosh could hardly wait to get going tho and was getting impatient with the traffic. Good thing the tour guide came prepared with a lot of trivia, games and jokes. His name was Ray, so of course Yoshi had to say in his forever loud voice, which surprisingly gets even louder when he has something nasty to say, “Parang si Kuya Ray lang na nagtitinda ng taho!” Groan. And while the poor guy was trying to keep every child and adult in the bus entertained in the midst of traffic, Yoshi squealed, “Mommy, para shang radio na hindi tumitigil!” Aarrgghh. (You spend hours upon hours being a hands-on parent and bonding with them and teaching them about good manners and right conduct, money buying them educational CDs and books, slaving away in the corporate world so you can pay for their good education – and they end up being this barbaric anyway. Where is the justice in any of that, I ask you?)

We head off to Active Fun after lunch. Probably Yoshi's favorite in the whole trip. It's the same everywhere – it doesn't even have to be Active Fun or Fun Ranch, it can be any poor excuse for a playground in some mall, and Yoshi and Boots almost pee in their pants in excitement anyway and have to be literally dragged away from the darned place. I imagine them as a bunch of race horses who are let off as the shot is fired. I even say to Ches, “And there they go ...” You'd think we keep them tied up at home or something.

Active Fun was also where some poor boy pooped in his pants. He was younger than Yosh, had no parent with him, and no extra clothes either. One of the teaching aides cleaned him up and I lent him Yoshi's extra pants. Ches replies when I texted him about this: It was good of you to do that. Like he was so surprised I could manage to do something unselfish and magnanimous. He so loves me, my husband. Grrr.

Planetarium was next. The kids loved the twinkling stars up in the ceiling, which also gave the illusion that they were revolving. They were all clapping and squealing. This is one reason why I love being with kids – with them around, I don't end up being the most shallow and easiest-to-please person in the room. (Haha.) Planetarium was my favorite - bcoz it was where I got to sleep. Why not? It was dark and cold and conducive to a power nap. I asked Yosh, who was all caught up on the show on heavenly bodies, for permission, and he replied: “Just please don't snore.” Hahaha.

Our last stop was at the Rizal light and sound show in Luneta (more like a daylight and sound show at that time in the afternoon). I loved it. The stone benches were like something out of an ancient era, the narrator sounded like he knew what he was talking about, and Yoshi for some strange reason gamely posed for pix in this place. (Normally, he and Boots shun my camera and would make an effort to smile or go wacky only when we take a family pix and Ches presses the self-timer and has to run back to join us before the shutter clicks. They love the whole panic of it. Crazy boys.)

I was dead tired by the time we were good to go back home. Most of the adults were, I think. The last humans standing were the little people, of course, who, after all the day's activities, were still as hyper as when we started out in the morning. It was good that Ray the tour guide had the sense not to give us his running commentaries anymore (finally) and just plugged in some cartoon movie that would quiet up the kids. I told Ches, take Yoshi and Boots together and multiply them by 50 – that's how much of a riot the whole field trip was.

But riot, python, and dance video notwithstanding, I would never have traded the field trip for any old day in the office.