Field Work

Brian’s in a day camp that’s convieniently run by his school.  Yesterday, they had a field trip to an Indian museum.  I wasn’t working(more on THAT later!) so he wanted me to go with him.  Stace talked to Ms. Emily, his former teacher, who thought it was a MARVELOUS idea.  So, we wake up, drive Stace to work, I take him over to the school, and PLANNED on going and getting Stace breakfast.  Brian didn’t LIKE this idea.  (See what you have to look forward to, Jerry?)  So, I hang out, push him on the swings, move around the inside play sections, then FINALLY it’s time to get ready to go.  (At this point, Dark Helmet in my head, I’m thinking, what’s to get ready?  Just go!)  So, the vans are circling wagonesque.  Emily asks if I might be able to take some kids in my car. 

Brief note about the cars.  Our mailbox is down the block from our house.  Stace stops to get the mail before she comes home.  It generally ends up in the well of the front seat.  Drives me nuts.

So, I start cleaning mail and empty juice bottles(big Nantucket Nectars fan here, and I have Cherry Coke for blood.)  Then there’s a change in plans.  I get asked to drive one of the vans.  Think about it for a minute, then I say sure.  I get someone’s Kia Sedona van, which is what I just had from the rental company.  Okay so far.  So, forty minutes later, all four vans start going, mine with Radio Disney playing on the satellite radio.  I’m pulling up the rear in this kid-avan.  I have two four year olds, two seven year olds(Brian being one) and two fourteen year olds.  Most of them fall asleep for most of the hour and forty five minute trip from school to Allentown.  You know, where they’re closing all the factories down…what, no Billy Joel fans here?  We turn onto a side street, then into a driveway.  A very SHORT driveway, with a one-story building that looks a heck of a lot like a house and a heck of lot NOT like a museum.  With someone trying to pull out.  Okay, so we sit there for a minute.  The driver of the first van, who happens to be the owner of the van I’m driving, gets out.  She then asks the driver of the car, who is probably confused and slightly perturbed by the four vans in the driveway while they were trying to leave for canasta or wherever they were going, where we are.  Turns out we missed it by one turn.  So, presumably apologetically, we back out and go back a street.  We do, and finally we make it to the museum.  This one also looks like a house, but at least this one is two stories with a large tipi in the backyard.  The vans park, a whole gaggle of kids gets out of the van, and we eat.  Well, THEY eat.  Stace made hoagies for me and Ms. Emily.  Turns out when I took my backpack out of the car, Emily’s hoagie wasn’t in there.   My Stacie Special Italian was, but no turkey.

OH, CRAP was the most printable of what I was thinking.  So, I gave her the Italian.  I also stole some fruit snacks from Brian.  OH, CRAP.  So, we’re all eating, and the camp people are talking to the museum people.  Apparently, they thought we were all going to be there and 10;30.  We didn’t LEAVE until 10:30.  Oh, crap.  So, there’s a fish hatchery next door.  So that the trip isn’t a total loss, the decision is made to go there.  We also check out the tipi in seperate groups.  So, we pile into the vans, drive thirty feet down the road, and look at the fish.  Yeah, that was anticlimactic.  So, five minutes after we got THERE, apparently someone called someone and now they were ready at the museum.  So, we gather all the kids up AGAIN, strap them into the vans AGAIN, drive an additional thirty seconds, and go back to the museum.  OOOOOOkay.  So, the kids are split up into older, middle, and younger.  Brian’s in the middle group, so we go into the house.  There are two lifesize dioramas against one wall, with six cases of arrowheads over them.  Against the back wall was a display of tools, and the other wall had Lenape artwork.  All the kids get in and sit, and the Indian at the front starts talking about the Lenape tribe, how they lived, how they recycled everything, what they ate, what they wore.  A few of the kids kept asking questions, several about the flintlock in the one case, and whether or not it was real and whether or not the hatchet in one of the cases was a real gun.  No, it was a hatchet.  Then he described how the women elected someone chief, and points to one of the kids, and says the kid’ll be chief.  The women don’t like him, so they make ME chief.  My wife’s not going to like THAT, I say, so the guy points to Brian and says, “So, they make YOU chief.”  Brian looks scared out of his wits.  “Who, ME?”    So, after all this, we heard the story of how the rabbit lost his tail.  Mean fox, smart bear, hungry rabbit, ice fishing, etc.  Right after that, someone decided we better leave.  All the kids get loaded up AGAIN and the four vans leave. AGAIN.  We get back on 309 and the lead van gets out in front and the rest of us lose it.  So, the NEW lead van is driving driving driving.  Then I see the sign that says LAST EXIT IN PENNSYLVANIA.  Perfect!  JUST PERFECT!  By now, one of my four year old passengers is asking me all about Brian’s grandparents, where they live, what their names are, what the meaning of life was, just who it was that wrote the book of love, and how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop.  Now, clearly, the lead van was lost.  I wasn’t, I knew right where we were since my sister used to live up there.  Unfortunately, I had no way to tell THEM this.  So, we drive and drive and drive, ending up dead center of town in Easton, so we all stop in front of the police station so Lead Van Driver can ask for directions.  So, before I can get out that I know exactly where to go and 611 is two sneezes THAT way, she runs over to a police car and finds out that 611 is two sneezes THAT way.  Meanwhile, all my young charges are half-panicked because we’re lost, they knew we were going to get lost, we’ll not be home for dinner, we’ll never be seen again, we’re destined to be a reality show where all we try to do is drive home.  Brian has faith in me.  Shows what HE knows.    Finally, we get on the road again, we get to 611.  WAAAAAAY up 611.  So we’re driving.  And driving.   Lead Van suddenly realizes HEY, WE’RE ALL ABOUT TO RUN OUT OF GAS!  We pull into a gas station, and 80 bucks later and four cases of water later since all the kids beside Brian were thirsty.  I brought two big Gatorades and a gallon of water for us to share.   Finally, we all start leaving.  Peter David would be amused to know that more than once while in the gas station the word grozit was muttered under my breath.  Then Little Miss Chatterbox starts up again, why did we stop, are we EVER going to get home, are we lost again…I never wanted duct tape so bad in my life.  An hour MORE up 611 and I’m thinking, we should turn on Street Road, it’ll be less traffic, take twenty minutes off the trip, the lights are timed better.

We zoomed right past Street Road.  It took twenty five minutes to get through the light to turn on County Line Road.   I felt no satisfaction, since I was in someone else’s van with mostly someone else’s kids and couldn’t go the way I wanted to.  Still, every curse in every language I know was running through my head.  Finally, we get back to the school.  At this point, my butt hurts because Kia van seats aren’t really comfortable for someone 6’3″.  I’m starving.  I’m thirsty.  I want to go home.   Meanwhile, Stace is home in tears because she volunteered me for this.  Brian just looks like he wants to fall down.  When we got home, though, he told Stace he had a great day. 

And then I had Hunan chicken and vegetables and we split a pu pu platter.


~ by Sean on July 10, 2008.

7 Responses to “Field Work”

  1. I must say this is a great article i enjoyed reading it keep the good work 🙂

  2. Home Schooling


    That’s the plan for Ian. And we’ll get avoid nightmares like that with any luck.

    “I wasn’t working (more on THAT later!)”

    Did I miss later?

  3. “I wasn’t working (more on THAT later!)”

    Did I miss later?

    One concept:
    Home Schooling

    We get to teach Ian better than the local school system can and we get to, with luck, avoid nightmares like that.


  4. I was actually waiting to hear about something when I was first typing this post, and have come to find out I won’t know anything until Tuesday. You know, when all information, the tractor beam emitters, and the medical staff arrive. So it’ll be later, just much later than I’d anticipated.

    As for home-schooling, doesn’t that often require someone to actually, you know, be home?

  5. “As for home-schooling, doesn’t that often require someone to actually, you know, be home?”

    I’ve got two cats and two dogs that are home all day long. What’s your point?

  6. See, I don’t have any dogs or cats. They seem to be afraid I’ll dissect them. Or fricasee them. Either or, really.

  7. I agreed with you

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