Happy Thursday! I had something else planned for today, but then it became very clear this should be the post today. We are joined by my elder daughter, Charlotte, who is 14-years-old and nearing the end of her 8th grade year, but before she takes the wheel, let me set things up.
A couple of months ago we got a permission slip for the 8th Grade trip, which was slated as a trip to Six Flags. Let me clarify a couple of points here–
1) We live in New York City and Six Flags is in New Jersey. Not like, just across the river New Jersey, but instead in mid New Jersey probably 80 miles away. I mean…this wasn’t a trip to a local museum. This was a big trip. The plan was to put the entire 8th grade onto buses. This is probably a good time to point out that there were no additional chaperones, only the 8th grade teachers. So put that count at about 30 kids to every three adults.
2) Let’s be clear about the size of the 8th grade at her school. We’re talking nine 8th grade classes with about 30 kids per class (these statistics are coming from the 8th grader in my living room and are not official.) So, some quick math here, that is (roughly) 270 kids. To get a clear(er) picture, we’re talking FIVE Greyhound buses. Full of 8th graders. Heading to and from Six Flags. Please imagine the noise level. Actually, call in all your neighbors, have them bring their pots and pans, and everyone bang on the pots and pans while running into each other. That is probably about 1/3 of the noise level.
The call time for the bus was 7:45 AM (the usual start time for school is 8:40am). This meant Charlotte had to be up at 5:45 am and on the subway by 7 am.
Now just to paint the picture at our house this morning, let me tell you what was going on in my room. Beatrix suddenly developed a wicked sore throat and ear ache at about 5pm yesterday. I was in a meeting and didn’t know what was happening until I talked to Rob, who told me she fell asleep at 7 pm. I was immediately concerned–mostly because she goes to bed at 9 or 9:30 pm–and I was afraid she would wake up after a couple of hours refreshed and ready to go…at her normal bedtime. Which is, I might add, exactly what happened.
Cut to 1:00 am when Beatrix finally fell asleep in our bed, and thus began every parent’s favorite game of bed hop. She’d stay in her bed for a couple of hours, get in ours, get moved back, get moved to a makeshift bed at the bottom of our bed, and eventually, back in our bed. I’m fairly certain Rob spent over half of the night sleeping on the floor. Not like, in a sleeping bag on the floor, just on the floor. Rob and I slept through Charlotte getting ready for school (enter guilt) and I raced into her room to find her gone, because she is a responsible and reliable teenager (who doesn’t want to miss a moment of Six Flags). After a quick text assuring she made it, I didn’t see her again until pickup, which was at 7:15 pm at her school.
Let’s interview Charlotte and get the details. Ready?
Charlotte Meffe. Our readers understand that you had a field trip to Six Flags.
Question #1: How was your trip to school?
Um, interesting. See, the A train was out from 207 to 168. So, I get to the train station and everyone is saying, “Go back up, the train is out. Take the bus.” Great. For you out of New York people, the bus takes about a half hour longer because of all the stops. So, I hop on the bus not totally sure where I’m going. I wind up with a crowded bus of people who should be on a train. UGH. So, we get to 168 and I’m freaking out. My teachers said very clear, “If you come late you don’t come at all” *Paranoid* I run down to the downtown A at 168 and wait until a C (local) train shows up. The C does about 4 more stops then the express A does, so that freaked me out even more. Pretty soon I’m praying to get to school on time. I get out of the train and run up a giant hill to my school and I make it…
Question #2: What kind of conduct rules were you given to follow at Six Flags and on the bus trip?
Zip. On the bus we just had to be ‘quiet’ and act like ‘young adults’. But Ms. Merkel (My history teacher) was there and almost everyone is scared of her so the bus wasn’t so bad. I sat up front. At Six Flags we just had to obey the park rules (yawn) and that was pretty much it. The teachers wanted us to stay together, but most of us did anyway. We had to check in at 12:30 for lunch then at 4:30 so we could leave. Other then that, home free to roam as we please.
Question #3: A two part question, How was the bus ride and did anyone use the bathroom?
I was in the front of the bus. Let me explain. We did not have yellow cheese buses. We had the full deal buses with a bath room and felt seats. But, the front of the bus and the back of the bus were two different worlds. Ms. Merkel was in the front so that stopped pretty much everything in its tracks. Don’t get me wrong, Ms. Merkel’s my favorite teacher! Anyway, the back was a mad house. I never used the bathroom the entire time I was there so I don’t know what it was like.
Question # 4: Were you chaperoned during the day? Did you have to stay together?
We walked off the bus and we were free to do as we pleased. We had to come back and check in like I mentioned earlier, but other then that we were home free. We wanted to stay together, we didn’t have to though.
Question #5: I gave you $40 to blow. What did you spend it on?
Ummmm…… About that….. I added an extra $10 to the bunch you gave me (In all: $50) and most of it went to games and food. :D
Question #6: Is there any change?
Uh, let me count… 1, 2, 3, 4, bye!! :D Kidding! I have $9 left.
Question #7: Please tell us the highlights of your day, including best ride.
Best roller coaster: I forget the name of it but it was this all-wood coaster with amazing drops. I went on it twice. You go soo fast that you can’t put your arms up. Also, there are crazy steep slopes that you hammer down on. It’s crazy fun.
Best Food: Nathen’s Corndog. Yes. Just… Yes.
Best time with my friends: Ok, maybe not my favorite ride, but I loved watching my friends and I freak out. This tea cup ride where it spins you in large circles but then you can move your own cup as fast as you like. Crazy fun. We all wanted to barf. But my friends faces were soo funny!!
Question #8: Did you wear sunscreen? (A mother needs to know)
Question #9: Please describe the objects you had in your arms when I picked you up and talk about when you got them and where you kept them.
OMG so I was at this game right? And I saw this huge stuffed zebra across from me. I fell in love. I ran over and of course it is one of the hardest games ever. You have to hit a bouncy ball against a cardboard slate and get it to bounce back into a box on the floor below. Guess who got it in? This person. Who had a sick sister at home? This person. Who loved that zebra? This person. So I freak out saying “I want the giant zebra!!” The guy behind the desk is like “Talk to my manager, I don’t know if we have any in stock” So I run over to her and point comes to shoot, I got my zebra! His name is Fred the French Zebra Who Loves Cheese. He comes up to my waist and he is four times my head. This guy is huge. We had to store him under the bus because he didn’t fit through the doors. :D I also got a tweety bird from a water shoot game, but she’s small. But she has a huge head.
Question #10: Who were they for and what was that person’s reaction?
BEATRIX!!!! I walked in with the animals and she flipped out. The zebra is twice the size of her. Awesome big sister moment.
Question #11: Are you very sad that you missed Chinese class today?
If you call partying sad.
Question #12 (Final Question): Do you resent your mother for making you do all this work after a long day at Six Flags?
And thus ends this classic Charlotte Meffe moment, although I do have a video of the younger child getting her present. It’s pretty awesome. Be sure to listen to the end where she says, “That’s a wonderful present”.