Well today was very tiring, but lots of fun. I’d agreed to step in and help Paige’s school with a visit her year group were going on. In order for the visit to go ahead they required parents to volunteer to help and lead groups of children. Now I should pint out that I never knew this was happening in the first place and never saw either the permission slip or the letter asking for helpers (and as the trip was taking place on a Tuesday, which is my day with the kids, you’d have thought Id have known about it!). However someone else volunteered and then ended up with an appointment they needed to attend, so I was somewhat sheepishly asked if I could be free to go along in their stead. I should point out that Paige was very excited at this point and did the asking. I agreed to go, even though the details were scarce (because I hadn’t seen anything about as previously mentioned). So I went along this morning and Paige escorted me into class so that we could all go off to the East Midlands Airport for the day. All if the adult volunteers were given an instruction pack and told which groups of children they would be looking after. Rather nicely the school had paired parents and children together, there were about 8 of us volunteers and rather unsurprisingly I was the only Male in attendance. Also because it’s Paige’s year group I was of course ignored by a few of the other volunteers, but there were some very nice ones that were friendly and welcoming, as well as the Teaching staff. The teaching staff were very good and keen to make it a success because it’s the first time they have done this trip (the airport has only just opened an educational centre for schools to use).
My charges were Paige, 2 boys and another girl (I won’t name them for fear of legal issues though). As I was the only Dad/Male helping out I was somewhat of a novelty for the children, something my little charges seemed particular proud of. Also I really played up to the “cool dad” by insisting that my little group call me by my first name instead of Mr “Malinari” (artistic license applied to names tee hee), of course Paige called me Daddy πŸ™‚
During the activities at the airport there many times when us humble parent helpers were required to lead our little groups and actively take part, which I thoroughly enjoyed, in fact we had lots of fun, some of it I don’t think we were actually supposed to do πŸ˜‰
For instance one of the main activities was a walk around the terminal buildings answering a series of questions and asking people about the jobs they did at the airport. All the children had been issues with “toy” passports and I made sure my groups were passports were kept safe. All of the groups went near to the actual departures Passport Control area, but there were large formidable signs up stating that only people with tickets should proceed to passport control. No it is usually the case that passport control officers are very serious people and don’t respond well to joking around……………….. But today I was surprised to find out that one I particular was more than up for a laugh πŸ˜‰
I fearlessly led our little group right up to the passport desk and got them to hand over their passports, and attempted to secure them on a flight to an exotic location. The passport controller was great fun and had a laugh with the children, something only our group managed to do πŸ˜€
Other highlights of the day were getting our group to politely accost 2 pilots and asking then lots of questions about their job (again both pilots were up for the laugh). Everybody also got a presentation from the armed police (my question about ammunition type (about preventing “through & throughs”) was maybe a little advanced for the kids, but everyone enjoyed it, including the officers), and the trip finished with the airport Fire and Rescue showing off their impressive machinery.
It’s worth remember that I was the only adult Male in the group, so I did endure conversations from swooning middle aged ladies about “Firemen, Policemen & Pilots”, however being a comedian I was suitably armoured against hints of inadequacy, and of course my group were very protective of me, in fact one of the lads loudly proclaimed I was great because “I smell really nice” which made me chuckle πŸ˜‰
So that was the main part of the day. When got back from the trip it was home time, and Paige’s parents evening. As before this upset Aiden’s routine so the walk home wasn’t the easiest of journeys. Plus it was further complicated by the fact that Aiden had developed a runny nose at school which had caused an unpleasant rash around his nose (all sorted once we got home though).
Phew that was a lot of text, right time pass out from tiredness now, I think it’s safe to say my “stock” at the school has risen considerably, in fact after a great report at parents evening Paige’s teacher gave me some chocolates as a thank you for helping out today – just a shame they’re full of Gluten, so I can’t enjoy them, I did however accept then gracefully and without complaint πŸ˜€

Odi et amo………..Excrucior

Stay Slinky People,

Poisoner extraordinaire