Today Jacob goes on his first field trip. Now that he's moved up to the "Twos" at daycare (the older toddler room), the biggest benefit is that he gets to go on field trips. The center has a bus equipped with car seats, so it's easy to transport all those kids. Side note: I've actually wondered from time to time (but never thought to ask) how private schools do field trips these days, now that kids are supposed to use boosters for so long. Back when I was a kid at good ol' St. Matthew, a handful of parents would offer to drive and we'd get divvied up into their cars. As long as there were seatbelts, we were good. Now, though, kids have to sit in booster seats until they're, what, 9ish? I wonder if they all bring their own in and install them (yikes), or if they're now forced to get a school bus, or if they just break the law for a bit. I know a couple Lutheran school teachers (one of whom reads the blog--Hi Heather!), so perhaps I'll get an answer one of these days. Anyway, they go to a variety of places--parks, restaurants, and other fun activities. Some cost a couple bucks, some are free. It's a neat thing, though, even if Jacob may not be old enough to truly appreciate the experience. It's something different, so it can't hurt.
Last week I got two permission slips. They were pretty vague on the locations, but as far as I can tell, today's was to the spray park we went to a few weeks back. The permission slip said, "Water park", and that's really the only thing I can imagine. I know they've gone there before, so that's my guess. I'm not sure if I missed any formal information on the field trips because Jacob just got into the room or if normally there's a bit more detail in the monthly newsletter, which didn't seem to make it out this month. Not that I'm particularly concerned, since I trust them with Jacob on a daily basis and today is no different, but anyway...he's going on another one next week to a park. Again, not sure what park it is other than than what road it is located on. I think I found it when I did an internet search, but I can't tell what this park has other than a pond (though if that's the case, cue the worry). So, yes, I think it's cool that he gets to do these things, and this just brings on a whole new level of mommy guilt that I can't be there. Well, I could, but it's tough to take time off on this short notice. And anyway, I'd rather save that time for a cooler one--like when they go to Brueggers or McDonald's or Strong Museum (they have a membership! But oh, the stress of being there with more than my own single child!)! I do wonder how having a parent there would interfere in Jacob's experience. Would he stick to us like glue? Would he not be as social or would he be hesitant to do something just because we're there watching him? I have no idea.
Of course, this whole thing brings out a new level of worry, as well. I can't quite begin to imagine how two teachers can possibly control a group of two year olds in parks or other open areas. A smaller place like a restaurant kitchen, though full of its own dangers, is a bit more confined so it's harder to lose track of someone. But a park where the entire concept is for them to play? I have no idea how that works. It's not like you can tie them all together or have them hold rings on a rope like Jon & Kate (plus 8) used to use. So how can they keep their eyes on that many kids? It's scary. You're not there and you never know what you kid might do. Jacob is fearless and loves to run. Bad combo. And as I've documented here, he's also accident prone. I keep sitting here waiting to get a call that he's fallen and bumped his head or scraped himself up. I should probably just call and see how things went, though I'm sure they'd call if anything went wrong. I'm assuming they went this morning because it'd be best to get it in before naps and lunch and before kids start going home. Between wrangling kids and working around their schedules, this while field trip thing has me wondering. How do they do it?! I guess this is just the next step in child-rearing...discovering the mysteries of the field trip. I'm sure everything will go fine, but what would a new element of parenthood be without a little angst? :)