On Friday we took a class trip to the aquarium. I hate these trips. I know they are great for the kids and families but as an administrator I get all sweaty just thinking about them. My mother put the fear into me with stories of her teaching days as she lost a child on the subway (the child was found later at his home he had apparently taken the subway back to his house). On trips I count kids like someone with OCD. And taking the subway with two classes of 3-5 year old ages me about the same amount. But I went.
The trip involved a long long subway ride to get to the fish house. I spent the ride counting compulsively and stopping children from licking various parts of the subway car. Everywhere I looked a child was absent mindly licking something, poles, windows even seats. My son of course was a repeat offender licking everything while sporting a big black smudge on his moth and nose.
We got there and had a pretty nice time. We saw fishies and penguins it was all a lot of fun. It was hot though and by the time we left everyone was pretty whiny and tired (the kids were too).
We walked back to the subway were greeted with one of those gates that looks a little like a cheese grater we all groaned preparing ourselves for an unpleasant entrance to the train. One of the parents walked through and opened the door for the kids to make thing easier. An alarm went off. The next thing I knew all the parents and kids were jumping the turn style and going through the gate(I paid! I'm no vagrant) Suddenly two police officers came running down the stairs. They looked at us with squinty knowing eyes.
I went into panic mode. I saw all of us, kids included, being handcuffed and taken downtown. I saw kiddy mug shots. I saw the six o'clock news headline:
Who steered them wrong? Who's to blame? Was it this woman?
More at 6.
I broke into a flop sweat. Just when I was ready to confess and turn in everyone else (I paid after all) the train came. I gathered all my hooligans and shoved them quickly on the train. As I pried my sons tongue off the plastic subway seat I took a deep breath and vowed never again to take one of these rotten trips .