Sunday, July 8, 2012

Once More Unto the Breach!

Well, friends, I am off on another adventure with Princess O’s Brownies troop. Tonight we spend the night with Shamu, actually with sea turtles, I believe, as a reward for cookie sales.

I know what you’re thinking. You are remembering my previouscamping adventure with these people and how opposite of fun that was. What could possibly persuade me to drive hours from home, sleep on a concrete floor surrounded by glassed-in water, and be subjected to the patronizing, controlling attitudes of these people? Oh, the things we will do for our children! If I don’t go, Princess O doesn’t go. I am not the type of parent who can send my 8-year-old off on a voyage without me, hours from home, overnight sleeping, and the environment of an amusement park in summer time. Uh, no way.

So here we are, barreling once more unto the breach!

Here is the history of this trip so far. First, while on our extended stay on vacation, we are informed that chaperones will have to pay over $100 to join the excursion to Sea World. No problem, we think, considering the trip is in August. In my absence, DH must fill out all paperwork, for me and for Princess O, a real-life nightmare for him, and send it in to the troop leader. He neglected to send the check. He also neglected to fully fill out the paperwork for me. In his defense, he said, “Well, you’re going to be there. Why do you need a medical release form?” (Um, in case I’m unconscious or something, hello!) So, a week after our return from vacation, the paperwork is all filled out and sent in. Except the check.

Now, the troop leader had told me, three times actually, that she paid for me to go and that my payment was to her personally. Get that? She covered me so I could go. She specifically called me while we were on vacation to explain to me that if I end up not going, I still have to pay her back since she paid for me already. We could just let someone else go since that spot was paid for. Get that? I was paid for. Right?

No worries. Except that DH flipped out a little that on top of all our vacation costs, here is another $100+ going out of the account. Hee, hee. Oops. My fault. I didn’t realize we had to pay right now. The trip is in August! Why should I pay right now?

So, I mailed the check a few days after I told her I would. Imagine my surprise when she called to tell me that because my payment was late, there was a possibility I wouldn’t be able to go. Really?! Because I thought you paid for me! Oh, the drama! Everything up in the air for a couple days while she gets it all taken care of. Seriously, my stress level this week has been atmospheric.

Because the trip isn’t in August. It’s this weekend. Which I found out on Monday when I got the email reminding everyone about the trip. What the?! I immediately called the troop leader and found out, why, yes, you didn’t know the trip was so soon? I guess all those meetings I “didn’t need to attend” were planning sessions or something. Nice.

Now the email barrage begins. First, there is the optional carpool spreadsheet, which I was left out of. On the surface, seems thoughtful, right? No one asked me what I preferred since I live so far away (30 minutes) it must be easier for me to drive my daughter and myself alone. Okay, but not as much for her. And, another expense, gas for the trip down and back. Wear and tear on the car which we just drove up to the Pacific Northwest and back, yikes! DH is outraged.

On the one hand, I don’t mind the drive. Would I prefer being stuck in a vehicle with these people for a couple hours? Hmm, maybe, if I had my knitting it wouldn’t be too bad. Certainly, Princess I would love it! Whatever. The decision has been made. We depart in a couple hours. God forbid we are late!

The second email contains the restaurant spreadsheet, listing every possible eating possibility in Sea World. Do I mark my preference, pick one or two? No. I mark each and every one, about ten, with a yes or no that my daughter and I would eat there. Apparently, the groups are being organized with this factored in to the equation. Really? We can’t just tell the children, “We are eating here. Pick something.” Aah! These ladies make things so difficult for themselves!

There was also a packing list email and an email listing the new rides with YouTube video attachments so you could see what they are like. I have to admit, the video of the rides was pretty smart. Princess O is pumped to get on the roller coasters! The final email was to inform the parents that we cannot all go on the behind the scenes tour. This is another additional charge. I’m going! I marked the spreadsheet that I was going. Then I got a text. Did I understand there was an additional charge? Did I understand I will have to have a check with me to cover this charge? Uh, yes. I read that on the email and marked it because I agreed to it. Really? Ugh.

Anyway, I have to leave soon. I’ve been dreading this trip all week. Let’s focus on the positive for a minute, shall we?

I will have quality time with my daughter on the drive.

I will have a new, once-in-a-lifetime experience with my daughter that we will always remember.

I have a break from home duties.

I will have a behind the scenes tour of Sea World and that’s pretty cool.

Stayed tuned for some pics and the conclusion of the tale!


  1. Good luck. You have more patience than I with these women
    . They seem very nutty. Keep your head down and keep knitting......the needles will save you

  2. Have a blast! I remember your other camping trip! I was a junior leader for years but stopped when the cookies and other fundraisers became soooo much work for me..Some people told me to get a "cookie" mom, but I couldn't pass that off... They were stressed already and since I had no kids, I took it on. The money we earned was just not worth all the paperwork and time. But the memories you are making will be priceless to the both of you. I have always wanted to see Seaworld...I can't wait to hear about it. Hope you have a good experience.