You Get What You Pay For

I was once a spry and athletic girl. I was on the rugby team, the basketball team and was one of the stars on the track team. Then I grew older, had babies, got married (yes, in that order) and suddenly, the only time I seem to sweat is when the hubs wants to get physical on the marital mattress.

It's not like I have completely abandoned my fitness-loving ways. I still do aerobics, go for strenuous walks and when I'm really in the mood for punishment I like to strap on the cross-trainers and chase the wind. I bounce on my fitness ball, walk my dog, garden, and try to remember not to turn into a sloth. And let's not forget all the time I spend on my knees.

Washing the floor people. Sheesh. What else did you think I was referring to?

When I signed up to lead a pack of sugar-high kids amped up on excitement and soda pop, I honestly believed I was ready for the job. After all, how hard is it to lead a group of kids around a few gulleys and canyons? I squeezed three kids out of my pink bits, anything else should seem like cake in comparison.

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Hoodoos, Drumheller, Ab

It's hard to concentrate over all the snickers. Pipe down behind that screen, would ya?

I was a little naive. I did have the best of intentions. But those kids smelled "newbie" and grabbed hold of my nose ring and yanked me around. It was pathetic. Nothing more embarrassing than having your ass handed to you by a bunch of dirty faced imps who have a combined IQ of my dog. Which just leads me to wonder, how damn smart am I? (That was a rhetorical need to leave your answer in the comments.)

Between the heat, the mosquitoes, and the savage little buggers we call children, this trip kicked my ass. Add into the equation my out of shape body and a few treks up and down canyons looking for dinosaur fossils and I was sucking wind hard. I am still feeling decrepit.

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Tyrannosaurus Rex, Royal Tyrell Museum, Drumheller, Ab

(Remember the time when you had never-ending energy? When you seemed invincible? Yah, I don't either, but my son certainly has it down to a science.)

It wasn't all bad. When I was finally able to stand up straight and breathe without my head in between my knees and the world spinning, I was the cool mom. Between the nose ring and the tattoos, I kicked the other mommies ass. Not to mention my potty mouth. What is cooler than a mom who was constantly getting the hairy eyeball from the teachers? The more I was getting in trouble, the less they were. (Maybe their IQ's aren't so low after all...)

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Hoodoos, Drumheller, AB

The kids weren't the only ones who labelled me. I was also referred to as the Big Pain In The Ass. (That would be from the teacher. Apparently inciting young children to hoot and holler and refer to me as Queen of The Free World was not on the parental agenda.) I also acquired the moniker of S.D. (Shit Disturber.) But in all fairness to me, after busting my ass for three days the very last thing I wanted to do was be trapped on a school bus with 25 children in sweltering heat for three long hours. It seemed perfectly reasonable to me to approach the only dad who had his own vehicle (complete with air conditioning) and offer him sexual favours in return for a ride home. I think he would have taken the bait too if one of the other dad's hadn't told his wife about it. (Thanks York. Traitor.)

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Triceratops, Royal Tyrell Museum, Drumheller, Ab.

But by far, the best moment of the trip was when we took the kids to the local swimming pool. After a day of picking out cactus prickles, breathing in canyon dust, and praying to God that myself or the kids didn't fall into one of the many endless crevices, nothing felt better than jumping into a cool pool and washing off the day's grime. Even better was when a group of kids came up to me, took one look at my chest and asked why I had two nipples on each boob.After explaining to the group about my body piercings, their eyes lit up. I could see the wheels in their little brains turning. My job was complete. I had completely corrupted their innocent souls and encouraged them to walk on the wild side.

I don't want to be there on Monday when hordes of angry parents phone and demand to know why their kids are talking about getting tattoos and nipple rings when they grow up instead of becoming archaeologists.

It's hard to find good help these days.

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I'm almost as cool as my mom.