Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Day at the Zoo

What does it say about me that I am always caught off guard when my children and I have a pleasant day together? I go in expecting the worst and every once in a rare while, I am pleasantly surprised. Sunday was one of those days. Ruanita and I decided to take the kids to the zoo on Sunday. We are members of the Minnesota Zoo....the best $80 we spend every year! We go pretty often, even through the winter months. There are plenty of exhibits that are indoors, so it is a great winter outing when we are feeling trapped in the house. Sunday, however, we were excited to be able to see the outdoor animals that we've been missing for the last five months. It was a gorgeous sunny day....still a little on the chilly side, but we threw on some sweatshirts and we were off!

Historically, the zoo has been kind of hit or miss for us. We have learned through trial and error that we should get there early to a.) avoid the crowds and b.) avoid the children getting too tired. If we don't get there early enough, the children begin to get tired by the time we are done and...for those of you who do not know my children...tired typically equals major melt-downs. There have been many occasions where we have had to drag Sophie and Nicky out of the zoo kicking and screaming. Most unpleasant....for their mommies and for the poor animals who, upon hearing Sophie's piercing wails, were probably convinced they had been returned to the jungle from whence they came.

Sunday, however, no one kicked. No one screamed. After a bit of early morning wrangling with our borderline agoraphobic son who wanted to stay home all day, the stars aligned in our favor and it was an entirely pleasant day at the zoo. We packed a picnic lunch. We took our time. We walked all of the outdoor trails...got in some good exercise. We played on the playground and took a lot of pictures. We soaked in a nice amount of vitamin D...got a bit of sun on our pale, pasty faces. I was happy the children were behaving. Ruanita was happy that were not spending a penny the entire day. Lucas was happy that he got to be pushed around in the twins' stroller (you can imagine how ridiculous he looked with his giraffe-like long legs.) Sophie was happy that we had packed plenty of snacks...she is "hungry" 24/7. Nicky was happy that...hmmm...Nicky is just always happy. All in all, it was a great day. Of course, within a few hours of arriving home, Lucas was sitting in the hallway in time-out throwing toys across the room and screaming that he hated me because I had made chicken parmesan and spaghetti for dinner instead of his old standby--hot dogs. Can we say extreme overreaction to pasta?! Oh well...it was good while it lasted.....


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