I have been so blessed to be a part of a mom’s group run by our church.  One of my close friend runs the group and I sort of co-run, help, etc. her with all events and such.  Today we went to the zoo!

Nathan was so excited as he loves the zoo!  I planned well and packed well, but set my expectations low as Levi was going with.  Levi doesn’t like to sit or be constrained and he’s an escape artist.  The kid could care less how far away from me he wanders.  He just wants to explore the world!  So with Levi in tow I just didn’t really expect that we would see or do very much.  That was a good choice on my part.  

Here’s how the day went:

9:45 – arrive at the zoo, kids in the wagon, and ready to go.  After a quick bathroom break we lube up on sunscreen and meet our friends.  It’s now 10:10.  We walk to the new Elephant Passage and wait outside for a few minutes as our tickets won’t let us in until 10:30.  Levi starts crying and fussing because he wants out of the wagon.  After entering the new area I see Nathan running in circles doing the “duck walk”.  Imagine tail feathers in the air.  The “duck walk” is his classic sign of having to poop.  I was already holding/chasing Levi during this so I whisk him up and grab Nathan and head to find the nearest bathroom.  I finally find someone to ask.  

Me:  Where’s the nearest bathroom?

Zoo employees:  Well, you have to go out of this new exhibit.  You can either head to Bird World or back over to the demo area.  

Me:  Which one is closer?

Zoo employees:  Well, I haven’t stepped it off so I’m not really sure.

Me:  Which one would you head to?

Zoo employees:  I’d probably go that way.  Oh, and don’t forget to get your hands stamped so you can get back in.  

I was toting a toddler and a 4 year old with major duck walk.  I didn’t have time to have this conversation.  We rush back the direction we came from and rush to the bathroom – about 5 minutes away.  While in the restroom I notice Levi’s eye is bright red and swollen.  I think with all the crying he’s rubbed sunscreen in his eye but who knows.  We head back to meet our friends again and see more animals.  We all make it through the new exhibit that is now loaded with summer camps of elementary aged kids.  Levi is trying to run away and is throwing fits because I want to hold his hand as he walks.  We decide to take the kids to an area where we can have a snack/lunch and let them run.  We find a nice shaded mulch area.  Again, I’m chasing Levi only to get him to sit down to eat.  Once he was done eating he was up again.  While yelling at Nathan to put down the massive stick he’s beating the rocks with (3 times I’ve had to ask which makes me one very not happy mama) Levi trucks away to the point of too far!  Levi’s joined a sidewalk full of zoo explorers and just keeps walking.  Seriously almost lost my child. More crying and tears about me stopping him from running away.  Since he won’t hold me hand while walking with him and his efforts to run away when I do let go I decide I’ve have as much fun and I can handle for one day, pack up the kids, and head toward the car.  

It’s only 11:30.  Nathan reminds me that he didn’t get his treat (I’d promised this yesterday to him) and that we really didn’t see many animals.  I buy some cotton candy and we walk past a few more animals on our way out just to try to make him happy.

12:00 – We are all loaded back in the car.

12:08 – Levi is already asleep in his car seat.  

Nathan was a good sport about having to leave early.  I suppose the cotton candy didn’t hurt the idea of leaving.  I’m not sure what would have helped our day other than to let Levi run wild.  He’s a busy boy and I love that about him but it sure can make some adventures even more adventurous.  I think we’ll head back in a few weeks – maybe with Matt in tow.

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Getting ready for our day at the zoo!

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Older kids jumping off the rocks on our lunch/snack break.

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The wagon brigade

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One fabulous fit! Sitting and crying for added emphasis.

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A moment of calm – Levi’s found a piece of mulch he likes.

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Heading home!