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Friday, December 2, 2011

mama takes the kiddies to the zoo

Every now and then, mother guilt rears its head. I am a hermit. I dont mind (in this phase of life) being at home for three days in a row. Its easier. I can keep my pajamas on (no trying to fit into jeans, UGH, this is what they dont tell you about having a third child...the weight doesnt slide off like it any case...back to my point...which was....ummmm)

So, I think to myself, gee Sara, maybe the kids would LIKE to leave the house.

Little man says to me the other day, mama, when are we going to do stuff, like we used to do? Remember, like that place with all the books and they read to you? Or, what about the splash pad?

Ummm, ok, first, its called a library and two, its 25 degrees out. The splashpad is CLOSED.

So, yes, guilt.

So I think, where is the most ambitious (Free) place I could take the kids. Ah, the zoo. And yes it is free. Amazing, right?

So I gear myself up the night before. Run through worst case scenarios and prepare. Little man wets himself? Change of clothes, check. Snacks? Check. Extra socks for little miss? Check. Hats? Coats? Layers for baby? Three changes of clothes for baby?

The next morning I tell the kids the good news. Guess what?? Mama is going to let you LEAVE THE HOUSE. YIPPPEEEEEE!!! They dont even care where. HA. To the zoo?? YAAAAAAY. I can't WAIT to hug the monkeys! Says little miss. AND CAN WE SEE THE DRAGONS???

Um, ok. Lets explain how zoos work. And honey, dragons are just pretend, in Harry Potter. So little man consoles her, "We can see tigers though!" "No," she says "Tigers not real."

Clearly my parenting is off these days.

In any case. We bundle up, mount up. One last feed for baby. In the carseat. Stroller in the back. Shoes. Mom, what about YOUR shoes? Right. Check. Thanks buddy.

And we are off.

Upon arrival I first go to the most important spot, the cafeteria, for a latte. Ok. I can do this.

So we snap a picture. Ready to go.

Then the monkey house. Pushing the double stroller, which really is just a cupholder for said latte at this point (and our 3 ton diaper bag, water bottles, snacks, maps, etc. etc.) because baby dear must be in the ergo and little miss must walk. The stroller gets left behind at the monkey house. (Dont worry little man, we will come back for it, good grief.)

Monkeys, ooooooooh. SOOOOOOO CUUUUUUUTE, screeches little miss. I looooooove him!

Cue baby screaming. I whip out the milk (yes, as in my breast, to expose myself to the world) and try and get her back down....finally after flashing multiple families (I saw one guy cringe) she falls asleep, milk dripping down into her five layers of clothing.

On to the lions.

(See sister, they ARE real.)

And then little man spots the plastic please-we-want-your-money-this-place-is-free toy machine, which is when things start going downhill.

He whines, he begs, being desparate (not wanting to wake baby) I give in. Fine, but this is money for hot cocoa later so, no hot cocoa. FINE, he says.

Plastic toy much less impressive in his grubby little hands, but we move on.

And then the cute little arctic foxes. Then the reindeer (like Santa?? Yes, like Santa) Then we go to the polar bears, which live in the Arctic, little man informs the woman working there, but not penguins, they live in the Antarctic. (Umm, how did you know that? Not sure I knew that. PBS kids, he says. Oh, glad all that morning TV watching-while-mama-is-trying-to-get-baby-to-sleep is paying off for you. And I have to confess I just googled that to make sure I didnt get it backwards.)

The polar bears are sleeping. BORING.

Here is when little miss realizes brother got a toy and she didnt.


I think they have one in the penguin house. Lets go check. Quickly.

Penguin house has, not a penguin plastic toy machine, but a polar bear one. Little man likes it better. I WANT THAT ONE. The wailing begins. CANT WE TRADE???

Nope. Outta luck buddy.

Little miss lets her brother "look at" hers though, because she hated to see him cry, and we move on.

Giraffes. Check. Zebras. Check.

And here is when we start getting cold. Inside we go. Because this zoo is attached to an amazing - and amazingly warm and tropical - conservatory, where we frozen northerners can go to warm up in the winter months. It is divine. We breathe in the air. We find the snake. We see the birds and the tropical fish and then off to the other rooms where we visit beautiful flowers and again, breathe deeply. (I told my kids to do this and they clearly though I was nuts.)

And here is when I realize my latte is gone. And there goes my energy.

So we pack it up. And little man breaks down over not getting hot cocoa, which silly me, had mentioned as a possibility. YOU GOT YOUR LION, NOT COCOA. REMEMBER?? And oh, good grief. Need. To. Get. Home.

And little man remembers. And we wipe our tears. And we walk to the car. And it was okay. Not so great. But not so bad either. Really, on retrospect, three meltdowns and one screaming baby episode is quite successful. Although it took two days of being at home in my pajamas to come to this conclusion.

photos (mostly) by little man. i look like a bag lady

misty jungle

yo, ma, got any milk??

happy girl

breeeeeeathe! breathe it in my children!


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