In Michigan, all of the fourth graders are invited take a tour of the state capital. Apparently this has been going on for years - some of the moms that went along said that they remember going when they were in fourth grade. It's kind of a cool tradition. All of my kids have loved it.
Friday was Zane's field trip to Lansing, and i got to go along as a chaperon. Our group was the biggest group, and we had the worst kid (i can't prove that, but i'm fairly certain that i'm right), so there were parts of the trip that weren't ideal, but Zane loved it.
Our first stop was the Science museum. Zane was super, completely excited about this museum, because, "I want to be a scientist, so of course i'm excited!" There were a few really interesting things there that i'd have loved to play around with if i was there with only my kids. Every single exhibit we came to, Zane would have wanted to look at for a lot longer, but the rest of the kids in our group were not so excited. They were all, "Can we go to the next room? Can we go to the next room? Can we just go to the bubble room???" We'd been given very strict instructions that we needed to absolutely stay together as a group, so i couldn't just let some of the kids go on and others stay back. I tried to slow everyone down, but keeping six kids in one area when they are determined to leave it is nearly impossible. So we kind of flew through the first several rooms, got to the bubble room (where the kids realized that, oh. It's not actually that fun when you're not 4 years old), flew through the next several rooms, and then had still had lots of time left over...but the five kids that weren't Zane didn't want to go back to look at things they'd already seen. (Eye. Roll.)
(Side note: Worst kid ever - hereafter known as WKE - completely ignored my constant refrain of, "We NEED to stay together as a group. Do not go out of this area," and just ... intentionally walked off repeatedly. At one point, when i reminded him to stay with the group, he angrily told me, "I am not a kid!" To which i replied, "Um. Yes. You are. You're kind of the definition of 'a kid.'" He was not happy with me at all.)
Stop two was the History museum. I think it's just the history of Michigan, so it's not exactly the MOST thrilling of museums, but we had one of the kids in our group who was actually completely interested in looking closely at most of it. He was totally excited about the history and told me that this is what he was looking forward to the most.
We got there, walked into the first room, and there was a table with papers and instructions to "Draw what nature means to you." WKE turns to me and asks, "Can i draw something inappropriate?" Me: "NO!" He proceeded to write the F word in large letters, filling the paper. I was talking to another kid at the time, and one of the other kids called, "WKE is being inappropriate." WKE immediately ripped up the paper into about 6 pieces, and then was shocked - SHOCKED - when i could still tell what it said. (Apparently he doesn't yet realize that there aren't a lot of inappropriate words that start with fu?) I banned him from that area. He left for 30 seconds and then came back and started drawing on a giant paper on the wall.
Me: "You are not allowed in here."
Him: "I'm just drawing a picture."
Me: "I don't care. You lost the privilege of being in here when you disobeyed specific instructions and wrote inappropriate words."
Him: "You can't tell me what to do."
I sent him out of that area. He immediately walked out of the room to go across the hall to a different room. I called him back. He covered his ears (!) and ignored me. I ran to stand in front of him and told him that he needed to stay right next to me from now on. He walked away, grabbed a pole, and refused to move. At this point, i gave up and told him that we needed to find his teacher. He refused, continued to hold on to the pole, and told me, "It doesn't matter if you hate me. You still can't make me do anything." I heaved a deep sigh and sent the 2 girls in our group to go get their teacher and bring her to us. She took him away to call his mom, and the rest of us were free from him for most of the rest of the museum. I may have sighed a deep sigh of relief.
The rest of the time in the History museum was fairly typical. Most of the ran past every single exhibit in an effort to get to the next exhibit, which they would then run past. Except for the one boy who was SO interested. We had plenty of time (and that's what we were there for), so i totally made the other kids slow - much to their annoyance. WKE joined us again when we were in the last room of the museum, and immediately made me SO GLAD that he hadn't been with us the whole time.
The final stop of the trip was the capital building. It's my favorite part, partly because it's just a beautiful building, but also because it's all one giant group, and the tour guide is in charge. By the time we were walking around there, Zane was exhausted, but he was still quite captivated by everything. (May i just say that i love that Zane is so interested in learning and seeing new things? He was one of the most engaged kids for the entire trip.)
We rode on buses, and the trip home was quite quiet. Everyone else was obviously worn out too.
We got back to the school at about 6:15, and one of the other chaperons was nice enough to drive Zane home, so that i could go straight to the theater, which is about half a mile from the school. There was a Ladies Night event for "Allegiant," and it started at 6:30, so i was really grateful to not have to drive him home, turn around, and go straight back. Beth, Juanito (yep, he went to his first Ladies Night), Diana, Karla, and Stephanie (and several other people - we had a group of 10) all went as well. It's always fun when there's Ladies Night because they have food and desserts and usually everyone is extra excited. This time people were a lot less excited about the movie, i think. And with good reason - we knew it was going to be terrible, and we were not wrong. We giggled through large sections that were not actually supposed to be funny. It was just ridiculous. But fun!