Today, our daycare had its annual parent/child field trip for 3 years old and up. Normal kindergartens would have a field trip for just kids, but I think our daycare wants to give the parents some bonding time with their kids so we all have to take the day off from work and accompany our kids on this special field trip.
I knew that I would mess it up somehow though. I got the print quite a while ago but could not read all the details, so yesterday, I made sure to ask a few of the parents if there was anything special we should bring along. I also asked the teacher, AND I called up Yusuke at work to ask if he thought Japanese Field Trips (since they are inevitably all exactly the same!) required anything special.
I was told to of course bring a boxed lunch for me and my kid, some snacks, a small picnic sheet, a change of clothes, and that is about it. Nothing new as this was common sense, and I could pick that up from the print.
What I did not pick up was the following:
- Every kid should wear their P.E. uniform.
- Sugary and chocolate-ly snacks are perfectly acceptable for field trips (Bring enough to share with the people eating around you!).
- Fruit would be a nice addition to the already-amazing boxed lunch that you will have made for you child.
So, when Ailin showed to the daycare this morning in her cutest pink Cinderella skirt ensemble, and one of the parents said, "Oh, she's so cute today!" and I looked around, I noticed that EVERY KID was wearing their P.E. uniform. I told her I didn't know we were supposed to dress them in that, and she said, "Oh, I forgot to mention that yesterday. Anyway, it was on the print!"
"In case you have forgotten, I can't read every single kanji out there, and NO, my husband does not look at something and then read it to me, unless I force him to."
So, the teacher offered to lend Ailin an extra gym uniform belonging to the daycare, and they changed her clothes for me while I took Luka to his classroom.
The field trip itself was fun. We went to a huge park which has lots of athletic opportunities for kids, a small petting zoo area, a horse stable where you can let your kid experience riding a horse, great ice cream, a maze, etc.
It happens to be Field Trip season, so there were about 20 other kindergartens, daycares and elementary schools there for their annual field trip as well! And, YES, EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THE KIDS from each school was wearing their P.E. uniforms! So, in Japan, it simply must be common sense to send your kid on a field trip wearing their P.E. uniform, esp if they are going to a park for the day. Lesson learned!
I learned something else today too. Most of the parents who have kids in Ailin's class are actually not Chinese like I thought. Most are of Japanese origin. I am not sure why I came to the conclusion that they are Chinese. Our daycare has a lot of Chinese because it is located in a neighborhood where lots of Chinese families are living. This is neither here nor there, but even they have an advantage over me! They can read the kanji on the papers sent home with our kids.