I Chaperoned a School Field Trip to the Zoo


The Boy went on his first ever field trip recently. It happened later for him and his friends than it normally would thanks to Coronapalooza. One of the advantages of being a stay-at-home dad is being able to accompany the children on said field trips. Before I could prepare for this trip, however, I needed to complete yet another background check. Loyal daddies and mommies everywhere remember that momentous day I learned I had yet again passed.

There were many details to tend to before the big day. The Boy and I went to a local sandwich shop where we bought sandwiches, drinks and a special dessert.

The Boy and I were at the school on the day of our trip. Students and teachers took the bus. Parents lit a candle and said a prayer for the teachers. Five of the parents piled into a mommy’s minivan and made our way to the Franklin Park Zoo. It was a nice ride. There were adults, no kids, riding in a climate-controlled car. No kids yelling. Nothing being thrown.

Arriving at the Zoo

We get to the zoo and get out tickets from the teacher. It’s a small group for me, just The Boy and two of his friends. We are told there is a little time for us to check out some exhibits on our own before we are to meet for a presentation.

Walking around the zoo, I’m disappointed to see maybe half of the exhibits are closed. Animals are being moved, or at the vet, or maybe they’re just on vacation. I don’t know. What I do know is that after walking around the zoo for a little while, it’s time for us to attend a show put on by zookeepers. This is a welcome change for the grown-ups because it means someone else can deal with their questions and statements regarding zoology.

The zookeepers are very nice and patient with the children. That’s probably because they only have them for a few moments before they can dump them back on us and get out of there. We walk around for a couple of minutes. Some kids are hungry and start to eat their lunches. Kids eat while we walk. We see zebras. We walk into the bird sanctuary. No food is allowed in the sanctuary, and the kids put their snacks away while we are there.

This is when we get to the highlight of the day. There’s a playground at the zoo. The children’s eyes light up. We travelled miles to see this place, and the children stop at swings and slides that are at their school every day. I think there were some lions who were a little insulted at this.

Lunch on a Quiet Afternoon

I took advantage of the children’s distraction to eat my own lunch. In between bites, I survey the playground, making sure all three boys in my charge are still alive. There are normally six kids for me to check up on, so three is a nice little downgrade.

After expending some energy at the playground, I convince the boys to walk around the zoo and look for some more animals. We see some more, and then I check my phone. It’s time for the children to get back on the bus and head back to the school. The children board the bus. I board my minivan. We all go back to the school where I read a book and wait for the bell to dismiss the cherubs and I can bring home The Oppressed and The Boy.

We get home and they go upstairs to see Wife, who asks The Boy about the field trip and the fun he had. He said it was good and he did nothing. I fill in Wife on the animals who were on vacation (or break) and the playground, the highlight of the entire day. It was nice, but we can’t just hang around. The Boy needs to get changed. He has a baseball game.

Author: bravedaddy

I am a househusband and stay-at-home parent. I offer this sanctuary to any parent, new or otherwise, to let them know they are not alone in their daily struggles and challenges to their sanity.

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