I went on another field trip with Thing 2's Grade 6 class today, and realized why I don't usually go on field trips: Her class makes me mental. I swear not one of those kids, (including my own) ever shuts up. NO thought goes unexpressed; each and every speculation, musing and whim is entirely worth voicing, no matter how inane or negligible. It's not so much of a stream of consciousness as a tsunami of consciousness. And they all do it at top volume, too.
The trip was to go see a samba drum band at a high school on the other end of town, so not only was it a half hour bus ride of bellowing children, we got to sit through an hour of non-stop drumming, as well. (On the way there, most of the boys entertained themselves by delivering "Nut Crunches" to each other, which involved using their elbows to whallop the genetalia of the boy sitting next to them. You can imagine how quiet that game is. Being the mother of girls, I was unaware of this particular past time, but the other mother on the trip airily assured me that it happens all the time.)
Anyway, the kids had a ball, as the band had them all up jumping and dancing and clapping and stomping. At one point, the band called for everyone to come up and dance in the 4 square feet of floor in front of the stage, and they 200 of them poured down there and had the elementary school equivalent of a mosh pit. I seriously thought the whole event was going to end up on the news. Especially after the conga lines broke out. It was like a frat party, but without the beer and togas. Honestly, you could feel that the whole thing was just inches away from a prison riot.
Finally, the concert ended, and we had to get the kids on the bus and the shreiked and squawked and yelled all during that too. At least they were tired on the way home, and the bus driver put a quick and deadly stop to the attempt by some of the kids to start up a round of "99 Bottles of Beer On the Wall", so it wasn't quite the bedlam as on the way there.
When I got home, it was blissfully, beautifully quiet. Until Toby realized that the Tuna Dispenser was here, and Thing 1 walked in the door and started to tell me about her day, and the phone rang. At least nobody tried to give me a Nut Crunch.