I think I’ve pretty much covered all the fun that happened on vacation, so now I’m a few weeks behind on what happened once we got back! The first weekend back from vacation was Mother’s Day and that Saturday was “Mommy & Me Day” at the Woodland Park Zoo.
It was actually a beautiful sunny day here in the greater Seattle area, so we joined what appeared to be every other mother in the general vicinity and tromped down to the zoo. We arrived only an hour after the zoo opened, and all five parking lots were already full – we managed to find some parking on one of the neighborhood side streets not to far from the north entrance, and congratulated ourselves on not having to pay for parking (we are good at turning a planning fail into a win!). We optimistically put Soapfi in the stroller, she had loved being pushed around in the doll stroller while on vacation, perhaps that would translate to the larger stroller (short answer – no!) and tromped off to join the faceless masses converging on the entrance.
As we waited in line under the bright shiny sun, we realized that we had our second planning failure. Sure, we packed sippy cups, a spare binky, diapers, wipes, even a few snacks, but since we’re so used to crappy Seattle weather we completely forgot things like sunglasses, hat, and sunscreen! So our first stop inside the gates was the gift shop to buy over priced sunscreen, hat and sunglasses. Soapfi was immediately enamored with a pair of tiger sunglasses, and promptly played at being a tiger, but didn’t seem all that interested in actually seeing real tigers.
Once we were inside the gates the crowds dispersed and it didn’t feel nearly as crowded as the parking lots and the line at the entrance had implied. We started to roam around and within five minutes Soapfi wanted to walk. Which lasted five more minutes and then she wanted up. But not back into the stroller up, she wanted to ride on mommy’s shoulders. (Ugh, I had hefted her onto my shoulders once on a walk because it was *slightly* more comfortable than having her on my hip, was trying to get back home fast, and was trying to sidestep a complete total meltdown in public – i.e. I created a freaking “carry me” monster.)
So since things come in threes, we naturally had a third fail – this one being parenting in nature instead of just planning – I caved and let Soapfi ride on my shoulders so we wouldn’t have to leave via a meltdown only ten minutes after dropping way too much money on sunscreen! We braved the creepy crawly house, Soapfi wasn’t all that keen on the actual bugs on display, but she did like the interactive part of the exhibit, in fact we spent about 15 minutes trying to coax her back out of that little cave!
In the spirit of a truly lazy parent, it was easier to continue to heft her onto my shoulders than do the whole “let’s give everybody a show with a complete and total meltdown in public” by trying to force her to walk or ride in the stroller. Because, lets face it, I lose either way. I either feed the carry me monster, or I get looked at as the most horrible mommy ever with a kid she can’t control because all they see is a kid crying about wanting to be picked up and I’m the mean bitch who leaves her kid sniveling on the ground. (Does having the same failure twice count as a total of four failures for the trip or just a really extended third failure?)
We managed to see about 1/3 of the zoo before it was nap time and she was too cranky to go on, no matter if she was up on my shoulders or in the stroller. We did manage to see a few fun animals like the giraffes and monkeys. Of course the phrase uttered most often by Soapfi was “more cow”, her favorite part of the zoo was the Family Farm, followed closely by the ice cream stand!
As we are prone to do, we still looked back on the day fondly during the ride home, because we were bound and determine to turn failures into wins and consider it an overall good day!