Friday, May 24, 2013
Live and Learn. And Eat Chicken.
Yesterday my 6th grader enjoyed a very exciting, very long trip to Washington D.C. with his class. When I woke him at 4:45am I expected grumpy man growls. Eye rubbing. I expected the very slow moving, wander-through-the-hall-in-the-dark to bathroom deal.
Instead, he sat up bright eyed and bushy tailed. He couldn't wait for his adventure to D.C.
The school gave us very clear instructions on what to pack. Lunches had to be disposable, not cold packs. A very small drawstring bag was allowed for money and valuables. Lunch would be eaten either on bus (rain) or in a grassy area near one of the museums.
Dinner would be on the way home, either KFC, McDonalds or Taco Bell.
We decided on $40 of spending money, telling our son that $10.00 should be more than enough for dinner at a fast food restaurant. This left $30 for souvenirs.
My oldest returned home at 11pm last night, very groggy and in need of sleep. He reached into his pockets, dumped $3 and some change on the counter and went to bed.
Where are the souvenirs? The shirt and the hat and funny keychains?
This morning, I asked my son why he didn't buy any souvenirs. He told me the other groups stopped at this store but his didn't, and blah blah blah.
You get the idea.
Then where is your money?
"I spent it."
Food? Did you feed the whole bus?!
I packed him a lunch. How did he spend $36.00 on dinner for one? He told me the lunch I packed was smushed so he bought lunch. And then he bought dinner at KFC on the way home.
What did you buy exactly?
"Dinner was, I don't know, a chicken meal. But I didn't know it came in a bucket!"
A bucket? As in family style? How much was it?
I answered with big mom eyes. No words.
He laughed. "I had no idea! I've never been to KFC!"
He told me he gave the leftovers out on the bus. I'm sure his classmates were thrilled with the free chicken tenders from KFC. I bet he even made a few new friends, since there is not better way to gain popularity than with fried chicken and biscuits.
Most importantly, he lived and learned. Not all fast food is created equal, and if something is $18.99, it's feeding more than one person.
Now that is a lesson I never thought to teach, so thank you Washington D.C. and the school. This is why kids need field trips, and other activities outside the classroom. But that's a whole 'nother post.