I have a new addition to the list of funny things that have happened since we became a 4 person family.
1. anaphylactic shock during birth (birth story to come)
2. car accident our first day out of the house going to see our midwife
3. attacked by bees
4. our nanny shows up but needs to go to the ER
5. cats get into our car and pee all over via the sun roof
6. Ravyn in the ER for food poisoning
and now…THE ZOO FIASCO. number 7.
aka “how I brought 2 naked kids home from the zoo”.
We planned a trip to the austin zoo with our friends Lucas and Jenna. Amazingly we got up and got out the door only about 15 minutes later than planned! I have learned to pack a bag the night before.
We start out on what I know to be a long drive. By the time we’ve gone 2 miles I’ve pulled over 3 times to soothe Laila. Sufyan has asked me for “snug bug rug”, so I have wrapped him in a blanket for the ride. It’s 10:15 am and we’re almost there when I realize we’re lost. I look in the child mirror and notice Laila is asleep….AND SO IS SUFYAN! shoot, nap schedule blown already.
S has been extremely grumpy on wake ups lately and I can only imagine how he’ll be after a weirdly timed nap in the car. But so far this trip is still going well.
We pull up the long gravel road to the zoo. S is still asleep.
L wakes up. She needs to nurse. Perfect! He’ll wake as we nurse.
We nurse, and she pulls away making the telltale face of pooping…and blasts! a poop up out of her diaper and up to her shoulder blades.
I can’t change her outside, it’s too windy. I can’t open the door, the wind is kicking up some serious dust. So. I put her on the passenger seat and change her very awkwardly from the driver side. She keeps sliding down the bucket seat, waving poop covered cute little feet in the air. I am trying to contain it, but poop is everywhere. Thank goodness I brought extra clothes for her. yay me! we use beaucoup wipes.
anyway, we change her and she is fine. clean. dry. happy.
S is still asleep.
So we get into her carrier, and walk over to his door. Amazingly, he wakes up in a decent mood. And we go in.
He nods whenever I ask if he wants to see animals. We pay the $14 (I can’t bring myself to lie that he’s under 2 as this zoo rescues it’s animals and it’s a good cause)and I’m feeling like a great mom. The zoo, after all. I even bought animal feed.
No sooner have we stepped into the zoo than Laila begins to scream. is it the wind? the sun? the noise? is it that my stomach that is in knots hoping all goes well and I am transferring my stress to her? people begin to stare.
we make it as far as the first exhibit–the goats who circle like hungry sharks and butt the fence if you pass by. I try to help S feed them (because I am intent on being his supermom), but L needs my focus so Jenna takes over as I find a picnic table to sit at and nurse L again.
S joins us, as do our friends. We end up sitting there for at least 30 minutes as the boys snack and L poops again. the great thing was that sitting there we attracted the peacocks and I got these pics: (did you know peacock feathers have no pigment but get their color from sunlight?)
so when L is changed and S has fallen in the gravel, been comforted and has snacked we go to the train ride. It’s now noon. The train is great, and S is super quiet about it which means he’s pleased. L looks up at me from her nap with a face that says, “what are we doing here?”
we then head back to the zoo, up a trail which lands us… back at the goats. S doesn’t want to see any animals, he says. so we sit on a bench near some deer that sufyan will not even acknowledge and I nurse L again. Its no wonder she gains weight even though she spits up like a faucet. Sufyan settles into a very Sufyan groove: he finds a few pieces of grass and tree to bring home to baba and then quietly sits on a rock to look into the woods.
He says he’s happy there, and so I relax. Our friends take off for home.
In the next hour, as I struggle to get our show on the road, the following things:
S refuses to go see the monkeys, the tigers, the lions, or really anything. He is interested only in me singing verses of a song I made up about him and his nana. I am intent on the monkeys for some reason, and I sing as I stubbornly guide us to them anyway.
We get near, but S sees the vending machines. S wants to push buttons. I am starving. There are fried zoo concessions or…hostess cupcakes. My nostalgia wins, and I bribe S to the monkeys with cupcakes.
which was ultimately my downfall. I SHOULD HAVE QUIT WHILE AHEAD.
at the monkeys he only wants to climb on the fence, monkeys are not worth a glance. he meant what he said: “no monkeys.”
now its getting late. and L wakes up, cries, and has a major poop that reaches up to her hair and soaks her clothes AND our baby carrier. now we’ve got to leave. and here, of course, is where S decides he’s had enough. he is now also crying, my friend is gone, one poop covered hand is patting L and one is trying to get S to walk to the car (he’s hungry and tired). the wind kicks dust in our eyes, and just like that I am that mom with 2 screamers, dragging a toddler and looking at the judgmental eyes of the crowd for sympathy.
I change L in the trunk but have no clothes for her. I change S in the trunk and cannot get his pants back on. we get on the road, a car of stinky, hungry, grumpy, naked (2 of us, anyway) people. 6 miles later I’ve pulled over in a parking lot and am rocking a hysterical L and trying to convince S not to scream, “LAILA DOP!!! OH NOOOOO!” for 20 (20!) minutes.
AND THIS IS HOW A (well intentioned) TRIP TO THE ZOO ENDS WITH (supermom) BRINGING 2 NAKED KIDS HOME EXHAUSTED AND SICK OF ME.