So, you just signed up to chaperone the class field trip and now you’re a little worried. After all, shepherding 30 2nd graders through a crowded Planetarium is no small feat, is it? But fear not, Sucker! Because I’ve put together a list of wise, helpful tips that every parent needs to know before they step on that bus. Please follow it closely, remain calm and note that I take no responsibility for any increase in medication after your big day. Here we go!
THE TEN EASY STEPS TO CHAPERONING A CLASS FIELD TRIP ™
By Wendi Aarons, Room Mom
Step 1: Fake Your Own Death
Sure you said you’d commandeer the 2nd grade zoo trip, but that doesn’t mean you actually will commandeer the 2nd grade zoo trip. Especially if you’re dead! Simply update your Facebook status the morning of the event with one of the following:
“Going to see how far I can lean over the deck of this cruise ship!” or
“Hope the fellas down here at the heroin den don’t mind me stealing their stash!”
Then close the curtains, turn off the lights and chill, baby! You can tell everyone you’re still alive after the kids come home and/or the insurance money pours in. Smart!
Step 2: Arrive in Style
If you’re not savvy enough to talk your way out of the field trip, don’t worry. You can still salvage the day by telling the teacher that you’ll meet the class there. Then plant your sweet ass in a chauffeured stretch limo (paid for with the class’ snack fund) and swill cheap champagne while you wave at the other parents who are all stuck on the yellow bus like juvenile offenders on a work release trip. In no time flat, you’ll arrive refreshed, relaxed and just drunk enough to actually enjoy watching a pack of 6-year-olds learn the life cycle of a butterfly! Hic!
(Note: Standing up in the limo’s moon-roof and flipping the bus the bird is fine, but really—why gild the lily?)
Step 3: Take Down the Toughest Guy In the Yard
Much like a convicted murderer’s first day at a SuperMax prison, a field trip chaperone needs to show the class he/she is not to be f*&#ed with. Therefore, immediately find the class discipline problem—usually the kid wearing a Twilight t-shirt and Heelys—and give him a major wedgie attack. (Non-atomic is preferred.) Sure this may get you arrested and/or sent to prison yourself later, but for the two hours the field trip lasts, you’re golden, baby. No kid in your purview will even think about asking you to help them go to the mothafokkin potty after you’ve just been to the mothafokkin potty ten mothafokkin times.
Step 4: Undermine Any and All Learning
We all know that field trips are a total waste of time because children learn best when chained to their desks listening to a teacher drone on about multiplication tables. After all, how does watching a pioneer woman make candles prepare our students for their future factory jobs? Hahaha! But the fact is, it’s a chaperone’s responsibility to squash any “knowledge” that may arise during the trip by putting all smart people in their place. For example:
Paleontologist: “Dinosaurs lived millions of years ago.”
Chaperone: “NO THEY DIDN’T FOSSIL FACE! MY GRANDPA RODE ON THEM!”
Firefighter: “We use these hoses to put out fires.”
Chaperone: “THAT’S WHAT THE GOVERNMENT WANTS YOU TO THINK, LACKEY!”
Marine biologist: “Fish come in many colors.”
If the kids learn absolutely nothing from their field trip and come home more confused than ever, then job well done, you! American manufacturing thanks you.
Step 5: Encourage Parent In-Fighting
AKA “School Volunteering 101.” If there are other parents chaperoning the trip along with you, simply tell one of them that other one said she has a face like Newt Gingrinch’s ass. Then go hang out in the gift shop while the kids watch the pissed off moms whack each other to a pulp with chilled juice boxes.Trust me, nobody will even remember you’re there!
(Note: If you don’t already know this tip, you really shouldn’t even call yourself a parent.)
Step 6: Use Fear and Loathing To Your Advantage
The biggest challenge for a chaperone is making sure that kids don’t run away from the group. However, because the obvious solutions to this problem—cattle prod, Taser, Korean-style street fighting—are now frowned upon, you must control your little charges in other ways. The Manchurian Candidate offers a lot of helpful tips, but Lord knows implanting an entire class of 3rd graders with mind-controlling microchips can be quite tedious. Therefore, announce that an evil hag spirit will attack them if they lose their buddy, then show them a picture of your face without make-up as proof. Those little scamps will hold hands so tightly their circulation will be cut off!
Step 7: Take a Lunch Break
One of the perks of being a chaperone is that you’re in charge of transporting everyone’s packed lunches. This means that you can rifle through every single one of the children’s bags and cherry pick what you want. Twenty slightly warm peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that carry a high risk of salmonella poisoning? Don’t mind if I do! And if the kids get hungry, well, tell them it’s high time they learned about edible plants and twigs.
(Note: Save time and avoid lunches packed by the healthy moms. It’s completely impossible to eat your feelings with organic carrots.)
Step 8: Make Your Kid the Teacher’s Pet
One of the only perks of being a chaperone is unlimited face time with the teacher. But don’t be obvious and loudly sing your child’s praises. Rather, build your kid up in her eyes by saying things like, “Sorry we keep falling behind. I just assumed everyone in the class knew how to read map coordinates like my son’s been doing since toddlerhood. Hey, does Best Reader Tyler always smell like ferret pee?” If you play your cards right, your kid will be Line Leader for the rest of the school year, mama!
Step 9: Bribe the Bus Driver
If you’ve somehow screwed the pooch and find yourself riding home on the bus with a gaggle of tired and cranky kids, do yourself a favor and slip the driver a few twenties to “get lost” and somehow end up at an Indian casino. Tell the teacher that you’re going to just run inside to get directions, then stagger out a few hours later with gin on your breath, poker chips in your pants and the boss new nickname “Chief Saggy Boobs.”
If anyone complains, loudly accuse them of not respecting American history and tribal rights, then pass out under a seat until the next morning.
Step 10: Do Not Repeat The Same Mistake
If you followed Tips 1-9 to the letter, chances are the state education board will never allow you to get within 200 feet of another field trip. You’re welcome. But if for some reason you’re once again pressured to chaperone, my advice can be boiled down to the following two words: Face Tattoo. Sure, it might be a little embarrassing to have your forehead inked up like a Rorschach test for the rest of your life, but just remember one thing: Mike Tyson will never, ever be a field trip chaperone.
But if he was, I’d still call him “Sucker.”