Ben’s First Field Trip

Ben and Chloe

I volunteered this morning at Ben’s new school for a field trip they took to buy pumpkins.

Given Ben’s proclivity to up and run while he’s suppose to be in a line with a group of 30 other kids, I figured I’d better help chaperone.

All the other parents who volunteered were assigned 3 kids each. I was assigned one – Ben.

I did constantly have to remind him to stay up with the group and hold his hand quite sternly, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought. On the way back I even ended up with three kids too.

I already knew a lot of them, including the two I walked with later in the day. Jack used to go to the school Ben is at now so a lot of the younger siblings of Jack’s friends are in Ben’s class.

While with French people, even little ones, it’s a must to eat pastries!

I picked up Chloe. She is super cute and even speaks in a little French accent. She nicely held my hand the whole way. I had to stop myself from thinking about how pleasant it would be to have a girl. I’m sure if I ever had a girl she wouldn’t be this amenable anyway.

I also picked up Chase, another sibling that we play dated with all summer. The three of us played ‘I Spy’ for Halloween decorations, jumped over puddles and kicked leaves the whole way back.

Taking a long walk gave me a chance to see what all the teachers had been describing to me, that Ben will flop down at any second, (same as his older brother at that age) he will stop to look at something while you are holding hands, jerking you mid step and have a fit if you don’t stop too. Or he’ll just pull away from your hand and start running.

I realized on this trip that most other kids are pretty docile. They will walk next to you, staring out into space while continuously holding your hand.

The field trip came upon some music in the park.

In general, when Ben and I walk together he stops to pick things up, to point things out. We chat the whole time, sometimes running, sometimes walking along. He is never staring into space. He is high energy. And when I walk with him, I let him explore. I don’t try to push him along at every moment.

So, perhaps I created the problem?

I worried about it for a while, but then I realized it wasn’t me. Rules at school and rules at home aren’t the same.

The problem is that Ben can’t differentiate.

But I know he will it time. He’s a very clever kid. And I now know that all the flopping and pulling away is not, in fact, defiance. It’s simply curiosity, mixed with a bit of strong will.

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