Thursday, September 14, 2006

You know what gets my goat?

My daughter has expressed dismay at how many field trips her teachers at the homeschool co-op want to do this year. She calls it "annoying." I'm not sure why, because we always liked field trips -- it meant you didn't have to do real work. Plus, we got to ride the bus, which was cool, considering most of us walked to school.

The first field trip I can remember was in kindergarten. I lived in St. Charles, Missouri, and my teacher was Mrs Denton, a nice lady with a good perm. I loved kindergarten except two things: naptime -- which I never understood, because we went for a half day -- and writing my name.

I know that most kids think that handwriting is tedious, but it REALLY annoyed me to write my name. Everyone else could write their names as Tommy, Delilah, or Cheryl, but I had to write Lisa M., because there were always at least three Lisas in my classes in school. The teachers couldn't keep us straight without those darn last initials, which seemed grossly unfair to this 6 year old.

Our first field trip was to Grant's Farm, near St. Louis. Grant's Farm is owned by the Busch Family, of Budweiser fame. It's a wonderful animal park -- and it's free. Grant's Farm features animals from six continents, including the Budweiser Clydesdales, and it's interactive. You can see the animals, touch the animals, feed the animals, take a tram to ride around the animals, and then have a free beer. There's something to be said for the park who realizes that parents (and maybe teachers) need a free beer after a day out with the kids.

We got our little nametags on, climbed on the bus, and arrived at Grant's Farm to see the sights. We ended up toward the back of the park, where they had about a bazillion baby goats that you could feed with little baby bottles. I'm not sure who was more excited: our class or those darn goats.

Being six, of course I wanted to feed one, so I angled my way up to the front, bottle in hand, and proceeded to empty the contents of said bottle into the first goat to grab it. That little zealot got so excited over that milk that he decided to see what else he could plunder -- and promptly came right over and ate my nametag right off the front of my dress, Lisa M and all.

I've never felt quite so violated as when that goat stole my identity.

About five years ago, we decided to take a trip to St Louis, and took the kids to Grant's Farm. Post Traumatic Identity Theft Disorder kicked in right around the goat pavilion. I searched in vain for a guilty looking goat, but never did find the offender -- he's probably long since gone to his grave, but I'll bet his progeny were there. Having a laugh, at my expense, I'm sure.

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