Thursday, November 15, 2007

field trip

Yesterday I went on a field trip with Kaylie's fifth grade class (as a chaperone, ooooo!) to the California Science Center. We all trudged to South Central LA on big, yellow, exhaust-spewing school buses. I had a group of seven 10-year olds to supervise. We waited in the hot sun (it was 90 degrees today, the kind of weather you've heard me say I pay good money for to live in CA) for the IMAX movie, Prehistoric Sea Creatures or something. The movie was pretty neat; they sure don't make 3D like Captain Eo anymore, do they? The movie followed the life of this little penguin-dolphin type of animal called a dolly-something-saurus. (I'll look it up. (Better yet, you look it up by following the science center link above, deal?) It was so cool to feel like you were swimming in the middle of a school of fish, or to see the glassy layer of dimension on the aerial shot of the ocean. The kids couldn't help but reach out to try to touch the images; I caught myself wanting to do the same. HOWEVER! I was not in the mood for the whole circle of life spiel today. The cute little dolly-saurus saw her mom and her brother eaten over her lifetime and had a chunk of her fin bitten off by a shark-o-saurus, where the shark's tooth was embedded in her scarred flipper foreverandeveramen, until her bones were found somewhere in Colorado thousands of years later.

I cried at the fucking movie, okay? Is that what you wanted to hear? Is everyone happy now?

Cheerfully continuing on the day's theme of life and death, we (my group and I) noticed the teacher awkwardly standing over something near the side of the spiral staircase. It was a teeny little hummingbird that she said was dead, or at least in the throes of death. It was the saddest thing I've seen in a long time! I scooped it up with my museum papers and carried it over to the science center workers. They informed me that it was against their policy to pick up sick or injured animals. I looked around over the three flights of spiral stairs leading up and all the layers of bird crap under their favorite perches. Pigeons grow fat in the city, you know. (All I could think as we walked up was bird-flu-bird-flu with every step. Right-left-right-left. Bird-flu-bird-flu. Dear Lord, please let the kids have enough sense to step over it.) I said "Really? With all this crap around and things hanging from the ceiling, you don't have injured and dead birds all the time?" Nope. They pretended to call their "animal care department" to get me off their back, crazy lady in high heels at a freaking museum with a twitching bird (nearly) in her hand.

I couldn't stay until the fictional animal care team arrived, damned kids, so I tucked the bird, still on the paper, near the entrance and under a bench, then let the worker-people know where I'd put it. As I was doing this it made one last attempt at spreading its wings - literally. It didn't look fully grown to me, so maybe it was a fallen fledgling. I spent the rest of the day trying to convince myself that all it needed was some warmth and a quiet, safe place to recover and it would be fine, but I just don't know. I do know it was saved from death by stomping fifth grader, though.

Back home,we get Claire, have Big Sticks courtesy of Teresa and Jordan, change, get back on the road to go meet Nana. Sneeze and sniffle (them, not me) the entire way there. Shit. Meet Nana at Panda Express, eat dinner, kids pass out cold on the 90 minute drive home. Still sniffling and sneezing like faucets and whatever else sneezes a lot. Drag kids into Vons for fresh supply of Dimetapp and tissues, since they each went through two Puffs travel packs in the car. (those are my favorite travel tissues, just so you know) Get 'em home, shower 'em up, dose 'em up, herd 'em into bed. Hallelujah. There is hope for the to go to school tomorrow yet!

1:20AM. Someone is awake. Kaylie. She yells for me that she's nauseous and needs a bucket. I fly across the floors in my socks just in time to get a half-full trash can (for junk mail) under her face and she starts to hurl. Ahhh, partially digested Panda Express. Isn't it enough that I couldn't eat Chinese food when I was pregnant with her? I manage to not puke myself, clean Kaylie up, clean out the trash can and line the rest of them with plastic liners and placed at each kid's bedside. I'm ready.

(thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you Joshie for my flickr pro account! wheeeee!!!)

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