Monday, December 5, 2011

Make Your Mistakes Count

I say it often... "It you're going to make a mistake.... at least make it count."

Today we put that into action.

Let me tell you the story.....

In an effort to save money and create AWESOME experiences for the kids... I decided to use the City Bus as a way to get around town for a few of our field trips.  Now I know that it's not smart to take a city bus to the pumpkin patch out of town or to the opposite end of the city.  But you'd think that a trip downtown to the public library should be pretty simple.  I assured our parents that it would be fun and they'd learn a lot.  I got the transit route map... we phoned to tell them that we were coming... we confirmed our times and our routes... I typed out a detailed (to the minute) itinerary for us... we went to the stop early and froze our butts off.

The kids had a wonderful time at the Public Library... John the Storytelling guy is so incredibly perfect for that job.  He has a gift, there's no doubt.

We met a few interesting characters on the bus.  Who knew that you could fit an entire social studies curriculum into one city bus ride?  One guy had a plastic bag of empties to take back to the recycle depot... maybe he works there too... I'm not sure.  The bag was leaking mystery liquids onto the bus floor.  The guy was practicing his stand-up comedy routine on us.  And telling me how he hopes none of the kids are his... ha ha ha... I assured him that they were all accounted for.  :)  When he stood up, the smells from his bag wafted the area... yucky rotten beer smell.  My little buddy B got SUPER excited and yelled out, "I SMELL BACON!!" Hahahahahahaahahaahahaah...  I think I peed my pants laughing... although nobody noticed because of all of the other liquids on the floor.

In the morning it worked perfectly.  Exactly as planned.

We have 2 classes.  22 morning kids.  16 afternoon kids.

The afternoon... well,  that's another story:

We went to the bus stop early (as indicated by the itinerary).  We stood outside, kindergarten popsicles.  We waited.... and waited... and waited.  Finally I called the Transit line.  My call was important to them. And they were experiencing a high volume of calls.  I hung up after 6 minutes.  I don't think my call was all that important to them.  I saw another bus on the other side of the road.... and I gave him the "what the heck?" signal.  He stopped and told me I just missed the bus.  I tell him that isn't possible... we had been standing out there for twenty minutes.  He says, "NO! you have not." I assure him that we had been and had the cold noses to prove it.  He says, "I tell you, flat out, NO, it is not possible."  I had all sorts of things I wanted to tell that man.... but out of respect for my school and the lovely children entrusted to me... I refrained.

We got onto his bus.  Going in the wrong direction.  But to a terminal that would take us downtown.

Well... Mr. slowpoke rude pants didn't tell me it would take us a whole hour to get downtown.

What do you think happened next?

I bet you're just dying to know.... or you're just dying for the Reader's Digest version.  Either way, you're still here.

We got to the mall.  Instead of transferring to another bus... we decided to make a field trip at the mall.  I called the Library and told John we couldn't join him.  :(  I called the school secretary to tell her that we weren't where we said we would be (that was responsible of me).

We had exactly 8 minutes to get to Santa's Workshop before he left for his afternoon nap.  We HUSTLED to see Santa.  Santa was THRILLED to see us!! We got into the line right before another school group... phew!  Mrs. Clause sang carols with the kids that were waiting.  1 kid sat on Santa's lap and said, "I have to go peeeeee."

It was awesome.  We were rolling with the punches.  We were going with the flow.  We were making lemonade when life handed us lemons.

Then... yes... there's more.... THE POWER WENT OUT AT THE MALL!! SERIOUSLY?!?!?!  It's like the whole day was some kind of joke.

Santa kept seeing kids.  Mrs. Clause kept singing.  The skylights provided just enough light to get the pictures.  Somehow, Mrs. S found a flashlight to take the "I have to go peeeee kids" (there were 3 of them by now) to the bathroom in the dark.

Again, we were rolling with the punches.

When it was all over we left.  Surprise, surprise.. Mr. Polite bus driver was the one taking us back to school.  We met more interesting bus friends.  It all worked out.

The moral of the story:  Do more fundraising.  Book less trips.  Whatever you do... don't take the city bus with a group of kindergarteners on a time limit.

The end.