What with having some unexpected “free time” – by which I obviously mean any excuse to procrastinate – on my hands, I but these free hands up and offered to accompany 20 prep and grade one kids on an excursion into the City.
As it turns out, it was only 19 kids and a teacher, as the other parent helper and her son were struck down with the same horrible lurgy I had last week.
That first, last minute hurdle managed, we made our way, with another 40 kids and assorted parents and teachers, to the local train station, only to be advised that the train we were planning on catching was help up two stations back and we could be waiting up to half an hour.
During this time, one of the kids in my group had been gifted a balloon by the station attenedant; YES, our train station often has someone there helping and assisting and smiling and stuff.
The balloon was fine, and I was remarkably surprised at just how little whinging and complaining and being all upset and shit from the other kids. One made some half arsed comment about it, and quickly stopped when I basically showed my lack of care about the issue.
I think we don’t give kids enough credit and they are seriously underestimated.
Within 5 minutes the station person attempted to apologise for the inconvenience by plying 60 odd 5, 6 and 7 year olds with chocolate, and I was handed the responsiblity of looking after the balloon for the day.
I think it was a test of my Responsible Adultedness. I would show them how Reponsible Adult I could be!
Thankfullly, the train arrived before one sugar laden treat could be passed on, and we boarded with a group of high school students and their teacher who was impressed that our kids were better behaved than his. I was going to give him the balloon to use as good behaviour collateral, but didn’t get the chance.
I was spending most of my time catching fally over children and avoiding the need to go to the emergency department with one or seven of them.
This in itself became more likely as before we head to the National Gallery of Victoria for their book week, Bunyips and Dragons exhibition, featuring Aussie illustrators of children’s books, we gave the kids some eating and Running Around Like Lunatics time.
The balloon safely strapped to my bag, I supervised some Standard Children Play and Stupid, succsessfully first-aided a cut to a finger that, given the reactoin, appeared to be a near amputation and was spurting blood at an alarming rate.
A bandaid, more for shutting child up than anything else, fixed the issue.
I then watched a bunch of kids running down a very steep slope. Child after child, and just as I thought how amazing it was that no child had done that thing where gravity takes over and they fall and stop themselves with their face, a girl child ran down the hill, lost control, gravity took over, she feel and stopped herself with her face.
So I first aided that issue and hoped sincerely that the newly-bewobbled top two teeth were soon to be bewobbled anyway, and hadn’t already wobbled, fallen out and been replaced with the permanent teeth.
Tasked then with accompanying a bunch of kids to the toilet, I almost lost one as she went chasing pigeons and attempting to catch them with her school jacket. Upon returning, I found that my balloon had not surived my other Adult Responsibilities … 🙁
It was time, then, to head into the exhibition and was thankful that the kids had been fed and watered, had run off some energy (and a finger and some teeth), and been for a wee or three.
The exhibition was lovely and just the right size for a bunch of overtired, little kids. We finished off with lying around on the floor being all arty and drawingy and stuff.
Back to the train where our group jumped on the train waiting at the station when we arrived, but the other groups hadn’t made it in time. We figured they had other Responsible Adults with them, and would be okay.
A mild panic when we disembarked at the other end when we miscounted and thought we had a missing child.
Huge thanks to the fabulous driver of that train who was astute enough to notice that we had a large group of small children, and sensible enough to wait until it was clear we had everyone, and that they were well away from the train.
The thumbs up communication was a bonus – thanks, dude!
I was ready for bed at around4.00p.m. but as it was Chippie’s actual birthday, we did the birthday present and cake thing …
It was about that time that it hit me; what my orthopaedic surgeon said about ‘resting’ and not doing too much walking … now I get it.
I’ll either sleep well from tired, or not from pain …