Yesterday I took the kids to the zoo. Usually they love the zoo, and I guess for the most part they did yesterday, too. But from the time we left the house, there was a series of things that I could have done without…but I’m thankful they didn’t turn out worse.
I was 5 minutes into our hour drive to the zoo when I realized the kids’ lunch was still in the refrigerator. Now, I could have bought lunch there, but my toddler is a little picky when it comes to food, and he’s been cranky lately. Plus, I was meeting my dad and niece there, and I’d already told them I had a lunch packed for her. So I turned around and went home to get it.
When Monkey saw our house again he freaked out. I guess he thought we weren’t going to the zoo after all. He finally calmed down a few minutes back into our trip, after seeing a bunch of semi-trucks. (His latest joy in the car.)
About that time we came across some tractors, not unusual out here. The cars in front of us, though – they were stopped without brake lights on. I am thankful that the brakes in my car are good. There are black marks on the road now, but we stopped before hitting the car in front of us. Again, VERY THANKFUL.
It took a long time before my adrenalin was back to normal. About that time is when Monkey (toddler that he is) threw a little fit. I thought at first it was because his snack had spilled on his lap. “Just pick it up and put it back in your snack bowl,” I tried to tell him calmly. He just freaked out more. Big sister was trying to help calm him down, too.
Finally he stopped screaming long enough to say, “Snuggie!” That’s what he calls his little security object – a cloth diaper that we used to use as a burp cloth that he now snuggles with. He has become more attached to it lately. It seems he dropped it, and I certainly couldn’t get it while driving. He cried about 20 minutes. Usually he isn’t fussy in the car – but like I said, he’s been strangely fussy lately… I’m thinking teeth.
Anyway, the zoo was packed. It’s been so hot all summer, I guess everyone figured 85 degrees and less humidity was a good day to go. We had to park in one of the overflow lots, on the opposite side of the park where my dad and niece were waiting for us.
Since we were bringing them as guests on my pass that meant I had to pack the kids in their stroller and push them across the zoo to let their grandpa and cousin in. I TRIED to be fast, but boy – our zoo is full of hills! I was a sweaty, panting mess when I got to the gate they were waiting at.
The two year old was just not himself all day. He wouldn’t play on the little playground… and by lunch time he was a little crying lump. I gave up finding an actual table to sit at and planted the kids in a shady spot on the walkway. I FINALLY calmed him down with a little juice in his water cup. Thankfully all three kids ate lunch pretty well and didn’t complain about their “picnic”.
My dad had gone to get lunch for him and me, and I don’t think he was real keen on where we were sitting, but there was a rock nearby he could sit on. Hey, with kids I go with the theory of “if the kids are happy, that’s what’s matters”. Plus, our spot was next to the red panda so my preschooler and her cousin could go look at it while Grandpa and I ate lunch in peace.
We got to see one more exhibit after that, before Monkey completely lost it again. I wound up carrying him, almost laying in my arms, while my dad pushed the stroller. It was almost 2 hours before we’d normally leave the zoo, but by then I decided it was time to get the kids on the potty and head home; after all, the behavior of over-tired kids just gets worse, and he was acting tired.
Taking 3 kids into the handicapped stall normally wouldn’t be a challenge, but Monkey wasn’t a happy camper… Thankfully I was able to bring him out to Grandpa when he wouldn’t let me sit home down so I could help his sister on the potty. And thankfully, the line of people that had accumulated seemed to understand and be patient with us.
Then, my cell phone rang. It was my mother-in-law calling to tell me a water main had broken and we are under a boil advisory for the next couple days. Joy. But I am thankful she called to tell me since the water company didn’t leave a message on our machine and we don’t watch t.v. very often, so I would never have known. I really don’t need a family with stomach problems or whatever. And I’m thankful my husband got my message and came home with some bottled water because all my “emergency” water is in the downstairs freezer. (Going to change that!)
On our way to the car little guy started crying, “Merry-go-round!”, which we usually ride at the zoo. He tried to climb out of the double umbrella stroller and I wound up carrying him and pushing the stroller one handed. Thankfully he fell asleep almost before we were out of the lot.
I’m beginning to think our toddler doesn’t handle heat well, or maybe it is teeth, I don’t know. I just know he has been cranky pretty much all summer. At any rate, I think we will wait until it is a little cooler before venturing to the zoo again. (By then I’ll have forgotten some of this, right?)
So what are you thankful for this Thursday?