Field trip with the Grandkids

By:  Lily Prellezo

When in doubt, don’t wear your spanx to Disney on Ice. Preparing for my first field trip with my two year-old and four-year old grandsons, my greatest worry was whether my butt would look too big in my jeans. What would all the young mothers from daycare think of my outfit?
Who was I kidding? The first ones to arrive promptly to board the yellow bus were other grandparents. One grandfather was the organizer of the trip. His three year-old granddaughter sat with her hands folded on the front seat next to him, her glittery ballet slippers hanging a foot over the bus floor. Every fourth child was held in the arms of a grandparent. One grandmother was taking not only her own grandson, but someone else’s. She looked crisp and calm in her cotton button down shirt and pants. Although I was aware that school buses still do not require seatbelts (unbelievable), they also do not require air conditioning. In Florida. In September. In 95 degrees. I longed for my capris and a pony-tail holder. (Wearing my hair down was another attempt to look young.)
I don’t remember ever seeing a grandparent on a field trip when my daughters were in school. Nowadays, we are not only the chaperones, we are the organizers, like the grandfather on our journey to Disney on Ice. I was proud of my age group and how they handled their toddlers. While some young mothers—and fathers—were busy telling their kids that no, they could not buy a talking Buzz Lightyear, and no, they didn’t need a sword with spinning lights, and no, they couldn’t have a 64 ounce souvenir cup with Speed McQueen’s grill on it, we grandparents were prepared. Our toddlers were told in advance that there would be no “surprises” bought. In tow with our brood, we brought our own refreshments and snacks, both for the bus and for the show. We went to potty the minute we got there, not at the climax of Toy Story! We were prepared, probably because we’ve been there and done that.
As for my outfit, I really didn’t care if my butt looked big. After the sweltering bus ride downtown, my greatest desire was to sit on the ice. Thankfully my spanx stayed home with my other lingerie. I’ll get better use out of it with my little black dress, a staple item that makes us all ageless.

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