Friday, April 18, 2008

Ethan’s first field trip

October 26, 2007 - Friday

Ethan’s first field trip
Category: Blogging

So,this week was the Kindergarten field trip to the petting farm. All of the kindergarten classes went, both mornings and afternoons, so it was quite a production, I'd imagine. Ethan was talking about it all week, about the trip to the farm, and getting to see a cow. They were going to have center time in the big barn, and get to touch the animals, and according to Ethan, "pull the milk out of the cow". Somehow I doubt the kids would be doing this, but probably watching it.

Anyway, the day before, it was all he could talk about... the barn, the cow, the milk in the cow, the ride on the bus, etc. Oh, and the pumpkin patch. All about the pumpkin patch they have there. Unfortunately, they don't allow siblings on field trips, which is a bummer. Totally understandable, as a former teacher, I get it. But a bummer from the mommy point of view. I didn't have anyone here to watch Nick, so I couldn't go with them. Didn't bring it up with Ethan, and he didn't seem to care. He's just happy to be going to a real farm. Did I mention that he has his own imaginary farm? It's called Eagle Mountain, and it has T-rex, tri-ceratops, and roosters. But that's another story. He's just happy to see a real farm and compare it to "Eagle Mountain".

The big day arrives, and we get the official sack lunch made and packed up, I stick a silly/cute note in there for him to find, ("Say hi to the cows for me, Love, MOM"), and we're off to drop him off at school. I walk him in to the cafeteria and he sits down with his friend and immediately they start comparing which kind of long sleeve shirt they have on under their official school T-shirts. I get an absent minded, "Bye, mom." and that's it. On to bigger and better things. Good, I think. He's going to have so much fun!! I can't wait to hear all about it later.

I get home, and get things rounded up to drive my dad to the airport. He's got to go back to NY after being here for a week moving in furniture and boxes to their new house. So, we head off to the airport, get him dropped off, and I'm driving back out to the highway when my phone rings. Some random number, and I'm not expecting any calls, so I answer it somewhat curiously. "Mrs. Acker? This is Melinda, the nurse at the elementary school. They were getting ready for the field trip and Ethan started to get really emotional, and so the counselor went in to talk to him, and he ended up having a little accident. She brought him up to the office, and he's in the bathroom right now." So, of course they don't want to send him on the field trip if he's getting sick. On the other hand, I'm pretty sure that he's just got himself worked up and worried enough that he's making himself sick. So I have the nurse talk to him and see if he thinks he can calm down and still go if he wants to. She talks to him, he's still in the bathroom, and says he doesn't want to go. So, I pick him up at the school, and he's crashed out on the nurses couch. He gets up, we go home, and he's fine.

After some talking about it, I finally get to the bottom of it. Ethan was not scared or upset at all. Not even a little bit. But, Ethan's TUMMY was scared and upset about the farm trip. "My tummy was scared of that cow. That cow was going to be mean and kick me." I think he was also a little upset about going on a trip away from the school, and not knowing what was exactly going to happen. He's such a kid for routines. He doesn't adapt quickly to new things. So, we missed the field trip, and I am so sad for him. HE, however, is happy and relieved that he missed it. Totally the opposite of what I had thought.

The next day, I walk him to school, and he has a meltdown when I try to drop him off. We do the usual thing, and he starts sobbing and clinging to my leg. He hasn't done this, EVER, this year. I end up having to walk him down the hall to his teacher, and let her peel him off of me and take him in the classroom. I leave and walk home feeling like the bad mommy of the year. I HATE that! I've learned that trying to soothe him just makes it worse, and extends the tantrum, so it's better to just leave him alone to calm down, but it makes me feel like an awful mother.

So, moving on to the following day, it's Parent/Teacher conference day. The kids get out on early release, which means Ethan only has school until 9:30. Really, why bother? We get ready for school, and about 10 minutes before we need to leave, Ethan doubles over and starts saying his tummy hurts.......AGAIN! Well, after a week of this every day without anything more, I've realized that this is just nerves. I tell him to sit down, and to tell me why his tummy is upset. "My tummy is afraid of that cow." What??? The field trip was 2 days ago. You missed it. You're still worrying about it? Well, it turns out he's still worried about it, and I guess he thinks they are still going to make him go. So I tell him, "Honey, you missed the field trip. It's over. You can't go even if you want to, because you missed it." Suddenly, everything is fine. No more tummy aches. A-ha!! So now I realize that the off and on tummy aches for the past week were all nerves about the trip! At the same time that he was excited about it and talking it up! Is it any wonder that it takes me a week to figure this kid out sometimes?

Finally, back at the parent conference, we're talking about the field trip, and about how he was upset and she had to peel him off of me the day before. He took a little while to calm down, she said, but then he was okay. In fact, she pulled out some new MATH activities, and she said he just perked up and got totally happy and enthusiastic. He was that way when I picked him up too. Not just in a good mood, but over the top, I-mean-HAPPY, about getting to do some math work at school! :) My little math guy!!

So, to recap, in Ethanese:
Fieldtrips? Noooo. Math? Yes!!!

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