Tripped up

20th April 2007 at 01:00
Flying by the seat of your pants can be the best way to travel when it comes to school trips, Abigail Rowe finds

I have a confession," I say under my breath to the head, who is sitting in front of me on the coach. "I forgot to toilet them." I am whispering because I am literally surrounded by mums. They love coming on trips with us so much that we are on our second outing in two weeks and still haven't been able to accommodate all of our volunteers.

The head takes a deep breath and raises one eyebrow. We are already behind schedule and any stops would mean stumbling into a darkened theatre with 38 children when the performance has already started.

"I think I have got away with it, though," I say, as we see the beacon that is the theatre appearing in the distance.

"Go around the one-way system," instructs the head to the driver, "there is no way we are crossing that road."

Poor child D has started clutching his trousers and I don't mean at the ankle. I close my eyes for a good few seconds, it is my turn to take a deep breath.

We pull up. I don't think child D's feet touch the ground as we fly into the theatre, past a well-dressed school of girls queueing in an orderly fashion by the door.

With parents' evening the following week, I cannot risk an incident such as this, but we have made it. Rejoining our party as they arrive, I try to look calm and in control.

But this is nothing compared to the first outing when, on the coach, I tried to get a bucket under a child's chin before they were sick all over themselves (and their partner and the seat).

Unfortunately, I forgot that I had my seatbelt on and instead, I almost cut myself in half.

The driver didn't do cleaning up vomit so I had to use my emergency towel, packed in case a child fell into the moat surrounding the castle we were visiting.

Once we got there, it poured all day but it didn't dampen our spirits.

I love my job Abigail Rowe is a new teacher in Kent

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