I don't know what I was thinking.
Maybe it was the sweet and earnest way my youngest asked if I
would volunteer for his preschool field trip.
Maybe I was feeling guilty because to date, I have avoided all
Room-Mom, PTA-Mom, and soccer coach responsibilities.
Maybe it was the extra-large Dunkin' Donuts coffee and shot of
But I somehow managed to find myself bouncing along on a big
yellow school bus with my young charges heading out to the petting
The petting zoo.
My key responsibility for the day was to keep four little boys
safe, calm, and disease-free. The first stop involved eating lunch
in the picnic area. I figured this would be a piece of cake. I'd
just throw the boys their brown bags and relish the fact that
everyone was seated and contained.
First up, did you know that preschoolers are completely
incapable of opening juice boxes, cheese sticks, and chip bags?
And can you guess what every mom packed?
I spent 10 minutes unsealing my group's food, and just as I
finished, the preschool supervisor announced that lunch was over.
One of my dear friends who volunteers for these sorts of things
regularly handed me a plastic container filled with rice and
"Eat up. You're going to need your strength today, amateur."
We next walked over to the animal area where my allergies went
berserk. But worse than that? They let the kids touch things.
Animal things. Things that harbor virus, infection, and disease. I
immediately took possession of the sole container of anti-bacterial
hand wipes and made sure not one of my little guys would return
harboring Black Death.
Not on my watch.
I would have gladly doused each pair of hands with rubbing
alcohol if I hadn't already drawn the attention of the supervisor
"Only use your pointing finger to pet the ducks! And then come
right back to me. Remember: JUST YOUR POINTING FINGER!"
Two of the boys in my assigned group were named Andy and Cooper.
In an effort to keep everyone together, I paired them up and
insisted on calling them "Anderson Cooper" for the rest of the
Once again, the other chaperones shook their heads and wondered
what institution had released me.
We ended the day with a hay ride. I wobbled off the wooden
platform appearing drunk and stoned. I had bloodshot eyes, a bright
red nose, and an obvious inability to stop scratching my skin.
These people were trying to kill me.
And why in the name of all that is holy did I forget my
There are not too many people I would have done this for.
Actually, just three.
And they had better remember all of this stuff when it's time to
pick out their mother's nursing home.
Marianne is mother of three sons and the wife of a southside Irish fireman. She has learned that sometimes you're just too dumb to know what makes you happy. She blogs regularly at We Band of Mothers (webandofmothers.com) and curses with even greater frequency. Her material is written for the imperfect, the imprudent, and the impatient mothers who know that all this stuff is really very funny if you just give it a minute.
See more of Marianne's stories here.
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