It doesn't take a math whiz to figure that out. 3 kids. 1 me. I decided to take the kids to the zoo this morning. It's been crappy weather all week, they've been stuck inside for most if it so now that the sun is out, why not.
It's not that I haven't done the zoo before with all three by myself, we did it all last year. I've done it myself with 8 kids in tow. No problem. The difference then was that Connor was content to sit in the stroller and Mary wasn't going through her impatient, I'm the center of the universe phase.
For years I quietly passed judgement on those parents who has their toddlers on leashes. How awful!! I mean who's the parent here. I said you need to stay in the stroller and if you are going to walk you will hold my hand. The joke is, I said it after I had kids. I never in a million years would have even considered the notion of putting Emily or Mary into one of those harness things. But then, they weren't Connor.
I've never known a kid who loves the outdoors as much as he does. He wasn't to touch everything, he wants to see everything and he sure as heck doesn't want to hold my hand when he's doing it. The problem then arises that I have two other kids who want to touch and see what they want, this does not include following Connor around and oh, let's not forget the stroller that is carrying the money, car keys, wallet and camera.
It's been raining for the past few days so there are a lot of puddles. I'm not opposed to puddles and splashing. We've often brought the kids out for that expressed purpose. But Connor managed to find the puddles that were riddled with goose poop (or was it peacock poop....either way, ew!) So tantrum 1 was me taking him out of the puddle and putting him in the stroller until we could get away from that area.
Tantrum 2 was all about not being able to touch the stingrays (which I would have otherwise allowed but there is an allergen alert sign posted about crustaceans and Connor is restricted)
Those two tantrums were the screaming, going stiff so I couldn't get him into the stroller and buckled in type of tantrums. They lasted until I could buckle him in and distract him with food or drink.
Tantrum 3 was the worst though. Though, it was more fear than anything. We went on the zoomobile. It's a 30 minute ride around the zoo. Last year he loved it. He'd fall asleep within a few minutes. Not this time. He screamed holy murder. The problem was that, as usual, we left the stroller at the main stop because our intent was to ride it all the way around. Getting off and walking all the way back was not really high on my list of appealing options.
Now, maybe this is just me but I see or hear a young kid like him crying and I feel bad for him. I want to hug him and hold him and soothe him. I know not everyone is like me and I get that some people just get irritated by kids crying. So not more than a minute into the ride the man sitting in front of me shot me a dirty look. Then he stuck his fingers in his ears and gave his wife a look (the kind of look that says "Some people!!") All I can say is that he's lucky I was occupied with trying to settle Connor because otherwise I would have had some carefully selected words for him about how wonderful it must be to live in a world where children don't cry and when they do you can wave a magic wand and make them stop. His luck (or perhaps, his choice) he got off at the first stop so he was spared my barrage (and Connors fit)
I felt awful for the poor little guy but the ironic part is that the kid who wanted nothing to do with his stroller earlier stopped crying the minute we got back to it.
And for all the animals we saw, the highlight of the trip for Connor was seeing the maintenance truck drive by on the service road.
So the lessons I've learned today. 1 me taking 3 thems to the zoo is doable....as long as the next time I go to WalMart I need to get me one of those stuffed animal, backpack leash thingies....
and stay off of the zoomobile.