Friday, February 22, 2013

Kids' school outings - I was that mom!

We've spoken before about pre-school and I remembered I touched on the fact that I'm not all that breezy about other people driving my kids around.

Anyway, so on Friday last week we get a note to say there's an outing on Thursday this week and on Monday we got indemnity forms.

So off I go to the school on Tuesday morning to "discuss" this matter :)

Can I just say again how much I love this school?!

I was open and honest (as I am) and said that no-one other than D and me, and on two occasions, his mom, has ever driven (sounds wrong?) my kids around and I'm nervous.

She told me it is literally to the next suburb (a whole 3 kms away) and that if I feel more comfortable, I can bring car seats for them.

Or one of us can come and drive them myself - not really a viable solution as we can't do this the whole year, now can we?

So I signed the indemnity forms with my proviso (!) and on Thursday, told D to drop off the car seats with the kids.

He phones me - "Marsh, they say it's not necessary" (which shows men don't listen properly because I told him the story after I visited the school).

I say, "D, I know it's not necessary but it's that or nothing" so off he went back to the school to drop it off.

Now I have no shame and I feel no shyness but D is not like me so I know it kind-of killed him to be that dad.

Of course, my kids were the only two in the WHOLE SCHOOL who had their car seats accompany them on the outing!

Again, I couldn't care less - as I said to D again last night, if anything were to happen, I don't want to have to deal with grief PLUS guilt.

Cat said before and it stuck with me... eventually you have to let go (and this is the thing I have the most trouble with) and TRUST that God will look after your kids. Um, yes. :)

However, I'm not the only parent who was freaked. My friend, C, emailed me on Thursday to say, äm I the only one stressed out by this outing?" and of course she wasn't.

I also emailed the principal to say could she please email me the minute my babies are back safe and sound and she did! She said it's really no worry when I apologised for being a nag.

When you wait 14 years for babies, I think it's okay to be a little paranoid. Right???

(that's the story I'm telling myself)

However, the kids had FUN, were back at school at 12:15 and are no worse off than before. Shew!

So how often do your kids go on school outings? And are you okay with letting go? Who drives your kids around?


  1. I actually can't remember the first time they went but the first big one - ie on the highway was when Cameron was in Grade 1 (or possibly 0) - they went to the JHB civic on a big bus!

    Cat's advice is good advice - you do just need to let go at some point :)

    We have to deal with camp next year - now that I am not ready for AT ALL!!!

  2. Katherine7:35 pm

    Thankfully, my kids have never been on an outing without me so fortunately not something I've had to deal with. My parents drive my kids quite often in their booster seats. I am also happy for my kids to drive with my friends for play dates or whatever as I know they always use car seats/booster seats and I drive their kids around so makes sense that they drive mine. Zoe has an outing this week and because my car is a 7 seater I can take 5 children (no kids allowed in front). We have 4 booster seats and my parents 2, so all the girls will be in booster seats which the school requires. Zoe is in Grade R. For Ava's outings all children must also be in car seats or booster seats and all the moms not driving send car seats/booster seats to school. Zoe is very tall for her age but Ava is average and while I'm happy for Zoe to not be in a booster seat on the odd occasion for a very short trip, Ava must always be in a booster seat

  3. Actually, I think you have every right to insist on a car seat considering their ages!!
    Can't believe that more parents didn't insist on it too.
    Glad they enjoyed the outing though.
    And BTW, you're actually not OTT... when my kids had an outing at nursery school, most of the moms insisted on going as well, and ferrying the kids in cars with car seats ;)I was one of the few moms who didn't make it... but I made sure they travelled with someone I trusted.

  4. I don't like them going and I'm the Mom that puts in a sick day on field trip days or I organise with MIL to babysit because of course I can't ALWAYS do that. I don't mind too much if the outing is close to home and the Moms do the transport, but if it's a distance and there are mini-bus taxi's involved then I keep him home. Last year Joel's school wanted to take them to St James pool for their end of year party. I know that he would have been fine and I know that he would have been taken care of. They have enough manpower around. However, they were going to do a train trip. There is apparently a process involved if a school wants to do this. The school needs to apply to Metrorail for their own carriage and Metrorail provides a few guides/helpers so it's quite an organised and secure affair. Needless to say I was NOT going to allow that. And I wasn't the only one. PLENTY of other parents made a noise about it and they had to cancel. Oh, and the only people who drive my kids around are us. And my parents. I have only just started to allow my sister to drive Child1. He's 12 now so she had to wait A LONG time for that privilege.

  5. I've never even thought about someone else driving the's never happened to date, and I am guessing (now that you say this), the first time will be their first field trip, which will be next year. I'll save my worry until then. ;)

    I try to relax here and there, but I also remind myself that it's OK to worry and be vigilant with things that are really important to me. After all, I am their mother. If I don't worry, who will??? That sounds like I'm making a joke, I know, but I say it in truth. Put another way, if I'm not looking out for my children's best interest, who will???

    Good for holding to your guns, Marcia...and finding a way for K&C to enjoy the outing AND you be comfortable. :) :)

  6. To be honest, the Crazies have had school trips every year that they've been in preschool and I've never considered it until I get on the bus with them and realize how unsafe school buses really are! They don't even belt up and then I get all paranoid! I think you need to do what makes you feel safe and what makes you have peace of mind.

    Yes, you have to let go eventually, but if there's something you CAN do, why not do it?

  7. Ha! Just saw that your word was TRUST...LOL!

  8. Lesley10:44 pm

    Well done to you for going into school and discussing your concerns, and well done in trusting someone else to drive them!

    I never really had problems in letting other people driving my children because when i had my first two i couldn't drive myself, lol. I only passed my test when i came to Ireland - late bloomer me!

    However, i do have a problem with the school bus that takes my oldest daughter to and from school ever day. There have been times when the company has provided a smaller bus and some children had to sit ON THE FLOOR, or share a seat!!

  9. I don't think that's strange at all. No one drives Nicola anywhere except myself or my parents. I would let my brother too, he's the most cautious driver I know but there's never been a reason to let him.

  10. Oh yes, meant to add: our school doesn't do outings. There are some extra murals that would get you off site once a week but I didn't enroll her for those.

    Hopefully by the time we need to deal with this in primary school I will be able to.

  11. My guys went to the firehouse on base on the bus once. The speed limit on base is 25-30 and they were so thrilled to be on the bus, so I let them go. If it was any farther, I probably wouldn't have.

    Your job is to protect them, go with your gut.

  12. I don't blame you for insisting on the car seats. They're still so small! My girls haven't been on a trip with school yet, but I think they will have one next year.

    I can't imagine if no one other than us had driven the girls, though! It's just been a necessity of life for us. Jeremy's mom drives them and all of my family does as well. (Everyone has car seats or takes our car, of course!) When they were tiny, I would freak about it sometimes--and I made sure everyone knew how the straps on their car seats should be--but yes, at some point you just have to trust that God is in charge of your children above all. The people my girls ride with are equally safe drivers as I am, but I still realize that anyone (including Jeremy or me!) can make a mistake at any time...or have something completely out of our control happen. God knows their days already. : )

    Still, I recognize that is hard to give up some of the control at times, for all of us!

  13. Wha! I was also the mom with the car seats! As you quote me, there comes a time.For L it was on Thursday and they went in a huge bus. And we let him go. And he loved it. ( they went to a small local zoo)

  14. You are not the only "that mom". When I chose little OL's day care last year my first questions was about their policy on School outings. They said they never held them as they did not want to be responsible for the kids off their school premises. That was the school I chose.....

    This year I asked the same question of her new school and got the same answe - again I chose that school. One of my work collegues takes the day off as she will not let anyone else drive her kids around.

  15. I am working on my holiday blog post - keep your eyes peeled ;)

    Re the car seat thing I would be EXACTLY the same. The only other people that drive Kade are my MIL & FIL (they have a car seat in their car full time), my mom (see comment re car seat) and my sister (who takes my mom's carseat when she needs to). If they don't have the car seat for whatever reason Kade WILL not drive with them. Simple as that.


  16. I would be "that" mom too :-) Since forever I have drilled it into my son and if yuo ask him he will tell you - No belt (means his carseat) No driving. Same goes for No helmet - No riding the motorbike/bike!!!! That's just how I am. Thankfully, he hasn't been on a field trip yet. But I'm not convinced that it'll stay that way for too long :-(


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