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CHOOSING THE WHINE LIST

May 4, 2010

When I was teaching at the After-school Program

We used to go on a lot of field trips. My favorite trip was the one where we walked to the McDonald’s up the street.

The McDonald’s location in Shasta Lake was fairly new and Ken, the owner, said that he did not mind if I wanted to bring a group of kids in for a tour so I started thinking about the logistics of the trip.

Our school was located a mile or two away.  We generally rode the city bus when we wanted to go somewhere so I checked the schedule.  Often our field trips were planned for the first thing in the morning during the Summer–or the end of the day.  Morning trips worked well because it is really HOT here in the Summer and we would ask that the kids be dropped off at the field trip location and then we would ride the city bus back to the school.  More often it would be an afternoon trip (a HOT ride on the bus and not much fun for anyone until we arrived).  We would tell parents to pick their kids up at the trip location at the end of the day.

A trip to McDonald’s did not fit our usual plan of early or late arrival.  The best time to go was around 11am. Another challenge was the bus route.  It stopped right across the street  from McDonald’s and then headed toward our school.  Once it passed our street, it continued south and then eventually swung down to the bus depot in Redding.  A transfer would be required in order to get on another bus, or you could wait a little bit and the same bus would head back to Shasta Lake again, and then once again–stop in front of McDonald’s.

The route was backwards and did not suit our needs.  I figured out that what we needed to do was to WALK to McDonald’s, have our tour and lunch–and then ride the bus back to our school.  Problem solved!

Oh.  Wait….

These were little kids…aged five to nine.  The WHINY years! HOW do you get 35 little kids to walk a mile or maybe two??

You can tell them:

YAY!!!  We are going on a FIELD TRIP! (good for 1/4 mile)

Whoopeeeeee!!!!!   We are going to have lunch at McDonald’s! (good for another 1/4 mile)

YEEEEEEEE-HAWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!  We are going to tour the kitchen (no, they don’t have a play area at this location)…..

Ok now they are sitting down…

En Masse………

IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD!!!!

oooh.  We can’t have THAT!

So….

I developed

The Whine List.

This was a list of ten items….expressions, to be more accurate.  I don’t remember exactly, but it was something like this:

1. I’M TIRED!

2. I’M HUNGRY!

3. MY FEET HURT!

4. ARE WE THERE YET?

5. ARE WE ALMOST THERE?

6. I’M THIRSTY!

7. EVERYONE THINKS MY SHOES ARE DUMB!

8. MY HAIR HURTS!

9. CARRY ME!

10. I WANNA GO HOME!!!!!!!

We started to practice the list for weeks before the trip.  The kids thought it was hilarious.  They memorized the list and could recite them by mere mention of a certain number.

I would yell, “OK KIDS! NUMBER ONE!” They would respond with, “I’M TIRED!”  And so on…

The day of the trip finally arrived.

We walked them all the way there.  We all laughed and joked on the way. Everyone was fresh!  Everyone was EXCITED!  We arrived at McDonald’s safely, and without incident.

We went on our tour of the facility.

We ate lunch.

We all visited the potty!

We walked across the street to wait for the bus.

Our wait was less than 5 minutes (Deb was meticulous in her Field Trip planning and itinerary!)  We rode the bus for less than three minutes!  It actually took a few minutes LONGER (to put everybody’s dime in the box) than the actual bus ride lasted.

THAT IS WHEN THE TROUBLE STARTED…

We only had three short little blocks to walk from the bus stop to our school site.  The kids were

EXHAUSTED!

They were dropping like flies. Tired, whiny crabby flies!

We started hearing the complaints…

The kids said,

“I’M TIRED”

I yelled,

“THAT’S NUMBER ONE!”

The kids whimpered,

“I’M THIRSTY!”

I yelled,

“That’s number SIX!”

The kids shrilled,

“CARRY ME!”

I yelled,

“That’s Number NINE!”

The kids cried,

“WE WANT TO GO HOME!”

I whispered quietly, “We’re here.”

Now that

BAY TO BREAKERS IS TWO WEEKS AWAY…

I have been thinking that Biggles and I will need to develop a new Whine List.

1. I’M TIRED!

2. MY FEET HURT!

3. MY SHOES ARE DUMB!

4. EVERYONE IS LOOKING AT ME!

5. NOBODY IS LOOKING AT ME!

6. THIS HILL IS TOO BIG!

7. I’M THIRSTY!

8. CARRY MEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!

9. I WANT MY MOMMY!!!!!

10. TAXI……!

OK well, we will see if the mere PRESENCE of a Whine List is helpful when dealing with a tired hungry angry CLOWN on Race day!

I ordered special shirts for Biggles and I to wear during the event.  Mine is just a plain old T-Shirt, but with a nice big

photo of Bonnie on it!

Biggles wanted his shirt to be mink-lined and with exactly 32 pockets on it, because he never likes his coin-change to be mixed together where they can

“compare stories”

….I don’t know.  Some sort of Clown Superstition maybe.  I am told that they never put more than

12 clowns

in each of those teeny little cars.

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