A little background on this retirement experience. Since retiring, I have been involved in the grandkids after school care. At first I was just an extra body with Mary Ann doing the heavy lifting. But as time has gone on, I have become more involved. I go along with Mary Ann to pick them up from school, help with their homework, read to them, sit and talk to them as they eat their snack, and play with them – sometimes ‘wrasslin’ to get their energy out. All in one hour a day. While I was still working, I was not involved at all.
One thing I had not done was go on a field trip with any of the grandkids. Even though I was not asked, I would have been petrified to be locked into an activity and have to be responsible for several kids. Normally, either Kristin, Chris, or Grammy (Mary Ann) would happily do the honors. However, a field trip bumped into a major scheduling conflict. Annie’s pre-school class was going on a field trip on 11/14/17 and none of the responsible, reliable adults (Kristin, Chris, or Grammy) were available. That left Papa (me). I was available. I was approached and after they explained it would only be an hour and I only had to watch one other kid besides Annie and we were only going a mile away from school, I accepted.
The field trip turned out to be a tour of Giant Foods, a local grocery store. Why a grocery store? To learn about nutritious foods. A few parents and a couple of teachers gathered up a group of 3 year olds, placed them in their car’s respective bulky car seats, and drove over to the grocery store.
I had two kids to watch. Annie and Mackenzie. We all held hands and they were on their best behavior. We made one loop around the store – produce section, dairy, deli, meats, seafood, and frozen foods. Out of all of those sections, it boiled down to see the fruits and vegetables, see the milk, eat a slice of cheese, learn meats are proteins, touch a live lobster, and see the massive amounts of ice cream in the frozen section. At the end of the tour they even had a demonstration of the checkout line. (Now, I think that was a bit much for 3 year olds to grasp.) They left with a goodie bag including an apple, water bottle, pencil, coloring book, and a wrist band. Whohoo. What Annie got out of it was wanting to go back with me to ‘Giant Food’ (not ‘the grocery store’) and buy her Lucky Charms and ice cream.
I survived this retirement experience with a promise to Annie that I would take her back to Giant Food to get Lucky Charms and ice cream. She did not let me forget it, either. In fact, the next week we (Mary Ann and I) took her grocery shopping. We got all the thing we needed in addition to, of course, Lucky Charms and ice cream.