Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Oh Me of Little Faith


"Hey Hausfrau," said my friend Leeann, "let's meet up at the zoo on Thursday morning. It's supposed to be gorgeous."
"Umm, yeah...lemme see. Um, I think I have something going on that-"
"OK Hausfrau, you SUCK, d'you know that? I have asked you three times to come to the zoo with me and you always say you can't go. What's your deal?!"
"Deal?" I said, "I don't have any deal--it's just that I have to make sure that we don't have something going on that day. Let me call you right back."

I hung up the phone and groaned. Leeann is a new friend and I don't want to offend her. But how Un-American would it sound if I told her I don't like zoos? Actually, I would be quite dishonest if I told her that. The truth is, I love zoos. This one and this one are my favorites. It's just that, well, I like to go to zoos without my girls. That's even worse!

I think I have previously written that I am not a huge fan of summer, specifically heat and humidity. I like indoor activities in the summer. Now, the Aquarium? It freaking ROCKS! It is the best one I have ever attended. I would go there weekly had I purchased a family pass. But we're not talking about the aquarium, we're talking about the zoo. I never have that healthy glow when I am outside. Rather, I always look like I am having a heart attack because my face gets quite flushed if I even THINK about going outside. The thought of schlepping two children, a backpack full of crap, a stroller, and paying ungodly amounts of money to see smelly caged animals in the heat of the late morning is just not my idea of fun. Did I mention that Peaches HATES her stroller with an intense passion? Did I mention I have a 3 1/2 year old who waves and talks to any and all strangers? I just couldn't imagine anything less fun than going to the zoo. I also remembered our trip to the zoo last year the week we moved here. None of the animals we wanted to see showed up for work that day. The giraffes weren't there, the elephants were nowhere to be seen, in addition to several other animals. I was so pissed off I wanted to ask for a refund. I had no interest in going back.

After thinking about it, I felt REALLY bad. I felt that I was being really horrible to my kids by denying them the pleasure of going to the zoo. I was feeling like a miserable coward for not sucking it up and taking my kids there without Herr to monitor Baby Girl while I tend to the flailing and screaming Peaches in her stroller. I was also feeling bad for constantly turning Leeann down. So I called her up and told her that we would be there. I also told Baby Girl that we were going to the zoo so that I couldn't back out of it. Normally, I do not inform Baby Girl of our social calendar. If I do, she drives me apeshit with the constant questions.

You know what?


We had a blast!

Yes it was hot and humid. Yes I constantly slathered sunscreen on the three of us. I was a sweaty mess. But...

Peaches never once fussed in the stroller in the three hours we were there.
Baby Girl was wonderful and didn't run away from me.
The animals were cool--even though the giraffes yet again weren't there.
Baby Girl looks at the map of the zoo every single day and shows me the animals we saw.

16 comments:

MetroDad said...

Hahaha...I thought you were going to post about fabricating some outlandish story to get out of going to the zoo! Glad to see you went and had such a great time. You're a good momma, Misfit!

I love the photo of Peaches with her map. She looks so serious!

adria said...

I have ethical issues with the zoos, but Daria loves them so, and it is such fun for her to see the animals and learn lots of stuff.

I am glad it was funtimes for you and the kids. The pictures look great.

I, too, do not do well in the dead heat of summer. Too much to handle.

The June Cleaver Diaries said...

Your zoo is so much better than ours. Ours is only a mile away, though. It's great when you really need some quality, passive interaction with your children. All I have to say all day is "OH!". And "I see it!" And "Mmm-Hmm!!"

There's the inevitable meltdown at the snackbar, but with a little planning (much akin to the planning the Secret Service does before a parade), we can totally walk by without Alex suspecting a thing.

wordgirl said...

I LOVE the zoo. I could go every week. Even my oldest kid (17!!) loves the zoo. Maybe it's because it represents pure childhood memories of happy times. I could watch the primates all day long!

Mary P. said...

We had a zoo in the last city I lived in, but not here. I miss it. We used to go once a month, but as we moved before my youngest was born, she has never been to a zoo! Poor deprived child.

Yours looks gorgeous. I love those picture.

Stevo said...

So! All along it hasn't been these darling kids - these innocent cherubs!

It's been YOU! You who were the bad parent! YOU who were -

oh, never mind, I've hung out too many times with you guys to keep this up...

You guys are great parents with great, but sometimes inhabited by the devil, kids!

Looking forward to seeing them (and Herr) let loose at the beach!!!

Melissa said...

I don't mind the zoo, but I can't stand to go when it is hot. You are a brave, brave woman.

When Maya was 2 we went and took a ton of pictures and put them in a book for her. She still shows people her zoo book.

Candace said...

When were you there? It wasn't the same day we were there, I'm sure, because the weather *wasn't* gorgeous. It was fucking hot. Our zoo is pretty awesome, especially in the mornings and during Festival of Lights.

Jenette said...

We were at the zoo on Wednesday! It was terribly hot and we only stayed til 1 pm. The Hethan was sweating buckets and his poor pale face was all red. I'm thinking a membership to the Children's Museum might be a better route for us. It's air conditioned. :)

Kristen said...

Yay, a successful zoo trip!! I wrote about my fear of going to the zoo with both kids recently too - and I have the same flushing problem if my body detects any sun or humidity. My poor kids have it too. We all look like beets on outdoor activities...

L. said...

I love the zoo, as long as it`s not one of the zoos where the animals look miserable (like the one I went to in China -- SHUDDER...)

Loving zoos is like for some people what loving Jesus is -- others who don`t share the love tend to back slowly away, and then flee.

We ZOO people need a secret symbol or something...

Stefanie said...

All I have to say is, I'm so with you on the zoo. I forced myself to take the kid one time and although it was fun, it was HOT. LA hot. And I don't plan to do it again soon. Also, we have the same sippy cup.

Andie D. said...

SOOOOO glad I didn't read this post while my son was up! He'd want me to take him to our zoo. No freakin' way. It was about 112 today in Phoenix. Even though the zoo opens @ 7:00 AM, there is simply NO FREAKIN' WAY!

Glad you sucked it up and went though - sounds like it was a good time.

kimmyk said...

Glad to hear you went and had a great time!

I'm sure it will be something they will remember for a very long time.....very cool !

Susan said...

That picture with the map! So cute!

We go to the zoo all the time, but pretty much JUST to play at the playground. The kids play and I "supervise," which involves sitting on a bench. I'm starting to think about packing a book.

Would that be bad?

CroutonBoy said...

Fun! I love zoos, too! Can't wait to take my daughter. Personal favorite? The otters. Why? 'Cause all otters want to do is have fun. Wasn't that a song or something?

Glad you went and had a good time!