Last Sunday, Jayden was out with Megan and Eric for his birthday. Greg was still trying to get over his bout with the flu. Claire and I didn't want to be stuck in the house with El sicko on such a beautiful day...so after church, we went to the zoo. We have a membership so we go to the zoo quite a bit. This was our first trip in 2009. The butterflies in the gardens were just beginning to emerge from their cocoons so we ventured over there as well.
It was crowded for a Sunday...filled with new parents eager to show their winter born babies the animals. This always cracks me up...as if a child under the age of one is actually going to have a clue. Most of the time, they end up crying because they are over stimulated and tired of being strapped in a stroller. I saw a lot of this that day.....My kids didn't go to zoo until they could walk most of the time and listened well enough to stay with me. Which was about 2 years ago. I didn't want to be stuck pushing them around all day nor did I want to have to change diapers at the zoo. I mean, if you have several kids, I know that a large stroller comes in handy. And I fully understand that the baby in the stroller may just be there because it's parents also brought older siblings to the zoo. THIS baby is just along for the ride or is being held hostage...depending on how you look at it.
I hated those GINORMOUS strollers and as soon as my kids could sit up well, they graduated to an umbrella stroller. What can I say? I am a minimalist. I also had the same issue with Diaper bags...never did like to carry everything with me at ALL TIMES....I mean, some parents pack one like they are preparing for a diaper shortage. I usually just threw a few diapers, some wipes and a change of clothes in a small cute bag and away we went. What I did do was keep extra of everything in my car...because rarely were we very far from my car.
Ah well...to each their own. Normally, such things would only make me laugh at their inexperience because new parents eventually learn to make things easier and how to adapt. However, I got tired of everywhere we went, we had to maneuver around a "travel system" with a first born baby in it too young to care and overly doting parents...
"SEEEEEEEEE the SSSSSHHHHHHHARRKKKKKSSSSS????"
Baby in stroller looks nonchalantly away from the sharks because they are dull and boring and stares at all the people with their different faces and clothing. The baby can, in fact, NOT see the sharks very well at all because he is strapped in that rolling monstrosity.
"Looook, Baby!!! SEEEEEEEEE the SSSSSHHHHHHARRRRKKKSSSS?
"Loook at the SSSSSHHHHHARRRKKKSSSS!"
Baby in stroller hiccups and then pukes on himself and still doesn't notice or care about those SHARKS!!!!!
I get frustrated and finally tell the parents that their precious little offspring puked on himself. (baby is about 5 or 6 months old) prompting a frenzy of searching for a burp cloth and wipes to clean JR up. Of course, doting parents don't move out of the way...off the main path and take their sweet time to wipe up a little curdled milk. NO way...must do it right here...while making a huge fuss over it.
It was only after Claire said..."When is it going to be our turn, Mommy" and I responded with "As soon as THESE people are finished" that they finally got a clue and moved. Then Claire was afraid to try to pet the sharks. OF COURSE she was. We only stood there for 10 minutes waiting our turn.
OY! New parents!!
I would like to say that it's only new parents that look stupid, however, it's not. Our children help us all look stupid from time to time. Take what happened to me, for instance.
After a few hours of walking around, we went to get our seats for the dolphin show. We were a few minutes early but we were eager to rest our feet for a bit. Now, if you have never been to the dolphin pavilion at the Indy Zoo, it's really cool but the stadium like seating is very steep and the narrow steps are made out of concrete. It's an accident waiting to happen. Hand in hand, we climb about half way up and make our way to the middle of the bleacher like seats. We sit for a while, singing songs, playing games and looking for the dolphins that are leisurely swimming around in the water. All of the sudden, Claire jumps up, looks at me and says.."Let's sit at the top, Momma" then in flash she is gone...climbing up the seats toward the top. I freak out, try to grab all our stuff and follow her. I didn't want her to fall and get hurt. I was trying to keep my balance on the bleacher seats and step up while carrying my purse, her drink, my camera and phone that were in my hand plus the maps we had been looking at and I was rushing ...it's hard to keep up with one very spry 5 year old.
Then it happened. I lost my balance and fell. Purse goes one way....camera and phone tumble down a few rows. I managed to hold on to Claire's drink and the maps. Down I went. To make matters worse, about 10 people came to help me up. Feeling stupid, I brushed them off because I was still trying to get to top and my daughter. Ignoring them, I turned and yelled at Claire in a very high screechy voice...making myself look even more mother of the year but there was a lot of adrenaline running through my veins at the moment.."STOP!! SIT DOWN NOW" She complied instantly, looking at me with wide frightened eyes. She has probably never heard her momma sound like that before.
I assured the concerned people that I was fine, took my belongings that they had so kindly collected for me and limped my way up to the top. Once at the top, I sat down and had to make myself not hyperventilate. I smacked my shin in several places and under my arm hit pretty hard as well. I was IN PAIN. Plus all the stuff that could have happened suddenly started flooding my mind. It took a good ten minutes of me fighting tears and breathing deeply before I could finally talk to Claire.....AND say a little prayer thanking God that it was me and not her that fell.
I still have the bruises on my shin..they look bad. Very bad. The bruises under my arm are just about gone.
See what I get for making fun of new parents and their travel systems?
Karma! She can be quite the witch.
4 days ago