The Field Trip

We got off the bus holding hands, Archer and his classmates in their matching tee-shirts, and we followed each other down Santa Monica Blvd, past an old Russian couple playing chess and a transvestite hooker and a homeless man kicking dirt off his shoes. We filed into the West Hollywood Fire Station, Archer yanking my arm. Come on in, they said.

"Not many kids around here," one of them said.

"We don't get many schools," another fire fighter explained.

"Because, you know, it's West Hollywood."

"Yeah," the other firefighter chimed in. "You know..."

They didn't really know what to do with us, a dozen and a half kids from two classes, all in matching tee-shirts howling to get a better look at the fire-trucks.

"Cuck!" Archer shouted. "Reeeeeed. Cuck!"

I stood quietly with the several other parents in attendance. The teachers. Archer never letting go of my hand.

Finally one of the teachers suggested a firefighter go down the fireman's pole. The firefighters agreed and one of them disappeared into the station while we all gathered around, our heads upward, watching,


Staring at....


A ten foot poster of a topless Budweiser model, clutching her bare bosom, in a thong bikini bottom (circa 1994?). Her asscheeks were a good four feet across. A good luck charm for the firefighters as they went down the pole I figured. Some "go get 'em. boys" eye-candy for the road.

"Nice poster," I blurted out. "Really solid work, guys...."

I soon realized this was not the appropriate handling of such a situation. I was calling attention to something awful. Something unexpected on a field trip for preschoolers. Looks were flashed my way. I suddenly remembered where I was.

"I mean.... What? I don't see any poster..."

I was busted. I slumped against the back of the garage and waited to be carted off to detention, before remembering that I'm the disciplinarian, now. I'm the authority. Except for some reason, unable to grasp this reality, I got the giggles. The crazy kind of church giggles you get as a kid and you can't stop...

Of course, no one was as amused as I. I gave one of the fireman a nod. He smiled awkwardly back at me. I thought about what he said, about no kids in West Hollywood. I thought about the transvestite hooker we passed and the homeless man with the dirt in the shoes and how we all held hands and no one said anything. How there are so many explicit details of city living and yet, here we were under a half-naked model in the middle of a fire station and: Outrage.

The children continued to wait, their eyes searching the giant model ass-crack for some sign of a firefighter.

Until finally, he emerged, sliding down the pole, past the giant bare-woman-ass, landing with a "ta-dah!" on the oil-stained cement. Apparently he hadn't recognized the discomfort on all (save for one) the parent's faces

We were all directed to the other side of the station after that, and eventually, we joined hands again and made our way back to the bus-stop, passing another couple of tranny-hookers, little blue tee-shirts all in a tidy line. (Madeline meets Hedwig and the Angry Inch, what a mash-up that would be!)

The bus arrived and our blue line filed aboard. Archer climbed onto my lap and we moved together, swayed, over potholes, across intersections, me clutching my baby, who I am meant to protect, cover his eyes when naked posters cross his path, or at the very least, not call attention to them. Not laugh and point like some kind of child. Like the crazy-aunt the with wild hair and the rainbow tights who can't make a good first impression with mother-types to save her life.

"Look! A naked lady, kids! Ahahahahaha!"

I'm a grown-up! I'm a grown-up! I'm a grown-up! I'm a grown-up! I'm a grown-up! I whispered against the window, combing Archer's hair with my hands. Until...

"Cock!" Archer said, pointing at a dead sock on the floor of the bus by my feet.

"Sock," I corrected.


"Okay, fine. Yes. Cock. There's a cock on the floor."

Archer nodded. "Hi, Cock!" And I chuckled quietly to myself. Screw being a grown-up! Screw being a grown up! Screw being a grown-up! Screw being a grown-up!

Because the thing about it is? Life's too comedic to keep a straight face, even if 98% the time no one else thinks it's funny.



Anonymous | 11:21 PM

Thanks for the smile. I agree Screw being a grown-up! I think that is what helps us keep in touch with our kids!

meg | 12:43 AM

Oh My God I love the cock comment! Made me laugh hard and I really needed that after a long long day of being a mummy.

Anonymous | 2:24 AM

Oh, I'm so there with you on that. Always find myself the only amused 13YO among all the other grown-up parents.

motherbumper | 5:35 AM

High five for free-style parenting that doesn't involve turning into a fuddy-duddy *slap* :)

Anonymous | 7:20 AM

Every time we eat chinese my son (8 now) tells everyone "I'm a cock". He saw it once on one of those chinese year of horoscope placemats. I know I should correct him - but hot dam its too funny.

Anonymous | 7:52 AM

Screw being a grown-up, for sure. I occasionally find myself dangling a fork in front of Wito, just waiting for him to say "Fock! Fock!"

Anonymous | 7:55 AM

Oh, those prudish bags need to un-grow up. Screw it. Be yourself (which you always seem to do) and have a good time. Life's too short. In times like these, we need all the laughs we can get. I would've done the EXACT same thing and I'm 38 years old. Archer's got a loving, free-wheelin', creative, laugh a minute mama, which is all that matters. Rock on witcha bad self. Congrats on baby #2!


Anonymous | 8:28 AM

I so would have been there laughing with you. Being a grown-up is for when...well I don't know when exaclty. I certainly haven't reached that point--at least not with my kid.

Life is too short to be so tightasses. Let is hang out and teacher Archer to enjoy and laugh at life. It is much more fun.

Rock on...

Tiffany | 9:26 AM

Don't worry I tend to point out things that kids shouldn't be looking at either. Its a habit.

GoMommy | 9:31 AM

"The children continued to wait, their eyes searching the giant model ass-crack for some sign of a firefighter."

I laughed so hard I cried! I would have been right there with you, girl!

Anonymous | 10:03 AM

Take it from me (a mom of two teenage daughters) go with who and how you are. Don't change how you are for anybody. Being young and having fun is not illegal (yet).

Heather | 11:46 AM

I've always thought being grown-up was WAY over-rated. In fact, it's probably the most over-rated thing out there. All of the grown-up stuff like a job, paying taxes, balancing the checkbook. Bleck. And what DO we get as a grown up...smoking, drinking and cussing, only for those to be looked down upon too.

We can't win for losing, so do whatever makes you laugh.

Anonymous | 11:57 AM

i seriously just laughed so hard tears are rolling down my face. co-workers are staring. i think i need sleep. and also drugs.

thanks dude. i needed that.

kittenpie | 12:12 PM

Wait, the other moms didn't even smirk or snort or anything? Not even combined with an eye roll? Who are these people? I don't think I even know anyone so grown up they wouldn't want to comment, if only under their breath.

Mom101 | 12:51 PM

This would easily be me, saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, which would be funny only to me (even in the retelling).

Although thanks for the reminder that as much as I love West Hollywood, if/when we get our butts out there, we're best off, say...somewhere near the Paramount lot?

k.thedoula | 1:09 PM

Welcome to the land of the mom-bots.
Best wishes on that journey.
I've been pissing them off since 2001. yeah me!
my scrambled characters are
tbjvmfck... fck... ha! Even blogger is telling you to fuck growing up!
tee hee.

Unknown | 1:11 PM

Too funny.

I live in Washington DC, home of the uptight parent. I once said to a group of pre-K students on a field trip, "smoke 'em if you've got 'em."

Nobody saw the humor...(I mean, we were stopping for cheese sticks, not Chesterfield Kings. It was JUST a joke.)

If you can laugh with (and sometimes at) yourself and your kids, it's just no fun.

Love your blog!

Anonymous | 2:25 PM

Considering my age from a numerical point of view...I AM grown up... But...I am delighted to say, I ain't !!

Stimey | 3:39 PM

I agree with kittenpie. If that had been any of my childrens' preschool classes I think most (although not all) of the parents would have been giggling. (At least I hope so.) Because it's pretty hard to corrupt a preschooler. Even with a giant naked ass.

Anonymous | 4:12 PM

seriously, who wants to be that mom from when you were little who was never any fun? remember? we all thought she sucked and made fun of her? you always want to err on the side of being the cool mom, pretty much. except stop short of getting archer a stripper until he's like maybe 15.

and beyond the whole mom thing, seriously, who wants to be that lame in general?

the Lerro family | 5:52 PM

What a great field trip for Archer, and for you...I love me some firefighters...I'm a sucker for the uniform and of course, that they save lives and rescue babies from burning buildings. Sigh...what was my comment, again? Oh...I was going to point out how funny it is that they have the half-nekkid girl poster up where they'll see it as they slide down the pole on their way to put out a fire somewhere. Seems it would be hard to control your fire hose when your other "hose" is hard...I'm just sayin...

NH Yocal | 8:25 PM

Oh, I love it. That is something I would have done...draw attention to the naked lady poster. I can be a dunst around the kiddies sometimes... but I must admit, there are times when I just can't help but act like a silly teenager. I mean, why the hell not?

A Mom Two Boys | 10:24 AM

Gotta love SMB. And West Hollywood. And blurting out totally inappropriate things at inopportune times. If I'd been there, I would have high-fived you and giggled too. Love it.

Anonymous | 1:58 PM

i am the queen of those so called inappropriate comments. i have a friend at work who makes it her job to try to clean up my messes. stuff just flies out of my mouth and then she tries to make it better by giving some cockamamie explanation to whomever is in earshot. all the naysayers can kiss my four foot ass crack :)

Anonymous | 1:58 PM


Daisy | 2:50 PM

We used to walk our preschoolers to a neighborhood fire station, long ago when I worked in a not-so-great neighborhood. Those were some of the nicest (ok, and cutest) firefighters you could ever want to see. Never mind what we saw on the way there -- the kids saw it every day when they sat on their porches or walked to school.

Major Bedhead | 3:58 PM

Y'know, I'm 41 years old and I have four kids and I still constantly feel like I'm going to get sent to the Sister Pauline's office for giggling at inappropriate times. It doesn't really go away and I'm sort of fine with that.

Mamalang | 6:35 PM

My little monster found the word ass the other day...and he sang it and said it and I couldn't stifle the laughter any longer. My hubby was not amused. I still chuckle when I think about it.

Anonymous | 8:04 AM

I just had to read this to my hubby and we were both laughing SO hard. Tears. Thanks for the laugh!

AmyB | 8:20 AM

Holy crap! How could someone NOT think this is funny? I hope to God I don't lose my sense of humor when I have kids...I'd rather he the "inappropriate one" and be able to teach my children how to laugh at life (the very life that causes us all more than enough tears for a lifetime) than to have kids with lame senses of humor. Keep being in a kid, kid. You sure crack the hell out of me. :o)

And congrats on being pregnant again!

Anonymous | 12:00 PM

i love it when i find a cock on the floor of the bus. it just makes my day.

Jen | 6:12 PM

I missed whatever hormone injection they are supposed to give you in the delivery room that makes parents dislike crude jokes and foul language. I always feel so dorky and immature and out of place among the parents who clearly did get the appropriateness injection.

Glad I'm not the only one who opted out.