Poor Josh. He had been looking forward to chaperoning Ivo's preschool field trip to the local Nature Center ever since we first knew about it back in October. I know he was also excited for Ivo to show off his chops as a wildlife buff. If I can be perfectly honest, Ivo's not one of the more "advanced" kids in the preschool. He is, by all accounts, good-natured and nice to his classmates, but seems to have happily settled in with the underachievers who heckle the music and milk helpers and goof off in the bathroom. And he holds his pencil wrong, apparently. You know your kid is one of the quirky ones when everyone in class is supposed to decorate a little house shape to resemble their home and he draws his house with flames shooting out the windows. (Is it an economic class issue--hello?? We don't live in a house! hmph). Having a chance to shine in his own element could have given his preschool reputation a much-deserved shot in the arm. Could have, I say. It didn't really work out that way . . .
It all started off well enough, a sunny day, a special breakfast, riding the bus with all the kids and Papa, but as soon as Ivo realized that there would be a procedure and an order to the visit to the nature center, complete with "stations" that were to be visited in a pre-determined succession, he lost it. LOST. IT. The nature center is typically a free-for all with lots of animals and hands-on exhibits, and Ivo visits it regularly enough to have favorite furry (and scaly) friends and his own agenda for working the rooms. He must have thought the "stations" model of his preschool classroom was taking over the world. Devastating. His first tactic was to advocate for his own ideas . . then he moved on toward your basic civil disobedience tactics. . . and when that proved fruitless, a one-man riot ensued. Complete with threats, including, "I'm going to cut all the trees down! I'm going to burn the forest! I'm going to put cigarettes at the nature center!" ("Cigarettes" being a new and fascinating vocabulary word, made powerful by it's relationship to fire and smoke. oy.) This lasted nearly an hour, during which Josh wished several times that the Nature Center would indeed burn down.
According to Josh, Ivo finally calmed down just in time to watch a video with his classmates about how they (the three- and four-year-old Minnesotans in the viewing audience) are personally accountible for saving the rain forest. Now Ivo's talking about "All the forest is going to be over". Great. Wonderful. It's such fun to talk a three year old out of the idea that global politics are his responsibility.
Yup, Field Trip from Hell, that's what it will be known as from here on out. You know, sometimes all you can do is laugh.