Usually when Kaitlyn has a field trip, I drop everything for the day, get a babysitter for my youngest daughter Lily, and attend the field trip as a chaperone. Once in a while, it doesn’t work out for me to get a babysitter, so I check Kaitlyn out of school and she rides to the field trip location with Lily and me. (Since our school district doesn’t allow younger children to ride on the bus, we drive separately to and from the field trip.) This usually works out great, but Kaitlyn misses out on riding with her friends on the bus, which for a 7-year-old is sometimes the best part! Personally, I would rather do just about anything than sit on a dirty school bus with 60 noisy second-graders, but Kaitlyn loves it.
It was for that reason that I let Kaitlyn ride on the field trip bus without me for the first time. The class was attending a dance performance at the high school, which was a five-minute bus ride away. Lily and I met the class over at the school before they left for the field trip and followed the bus over to the high school. The previous performance was running late, so we had plenty of time to check how Kaitlyn was doing. She just had a snack before they left school, and her blood sugar number was in range.
The show was great, and all the kids loved it, but it went really long. It was getting closer to lunchtime and naptime, so Lily got restless enough that I had to take her out to the foyer. The show kept going and going! I couldn’t believe how long we were waiting for them to finish and exit the theater. The school lunchtime had passed; and I knew Kaitlyn would be getting hungry and her blood sugar might be getting a little bit low. The music finally ended, and I waited for the flood of kids to come out of the theater.
I waited. And waited. And waited some more. Finally, I walked back into the theater, and the kids were gone! They had let them out of a special side entrance where the buses were parked, and the buses had left! Kaitlyn’s teacher must have assumed I had already left to go back to the school. I trudged back to where I parked my car, but when I tried to drive back to the school, it started and then quickly sputtered out. I had run out of gas! Not only did I have to get back to check Kaitlyn, my kindergartener Jonathan was getting out of school in 10 minutes, and I had to be there to pick him up. To make matters worse, the nurse’s aide called me from school; Kaitlyn had gotten off the bus and come to the office to get checked for lunch, and she was really low — and the nurse had already left because the bus was so late getting back! I was completely helpless!
I called my husband at work and quickly explained the situation. He cancelled his meetings and left everything he was doing to come to the rescue. He picked up Jonathan; helped Kaitlyn get her blood sugar up; picked up the gas can from home; and then came to pick up me and Lily over at the high school. I was so grateful to him that day! He truly earned the knight-in-shining-armor title. Next time I’ll think twice about driving separately from Kaitlyn on a field trip … or maybe I’ll just make sure I always have a full tank of gas!
Disclaimer: The experiences and suggestions recounted in these articles are not intended as medical advice, and they are not necessarily the “typical” experiences of families with a child who has type 1 diabetes. These situations are unique to the families depicted. Families should check with their healthcare professionals regarding the treatment of type 1 diabetes and the frequency of blood glucose monitoring. Jen and Kim are real moms of kids with type 1 diabetes and have been compensated for their contributions to this site.