April 6, 2010

The Baby Zoo

Yesterday my kids didn't have school, so I took them to one of Philadelphia's many "quaint" and "unique" zoos.

That's real estate speak for "small" and "weird."

Half of the cages were empty; the other half contained animals that are found in abundance in my own backyard.

"Why would someone pay so much to see a raccoon?" my husband asked me later that night.

That is a good question, one that any mother of young children can readily answer.

The zoo in question is geared toward the preschool, but with a little creativity and a positive attitude, I figured that we'd be okay.

"This place is for babies!" squealed my seven-year-old daughter as I pulled into the parking lot.

"I'm definitely not getting out of the car," one of my six-year-olds stated defiantly. By the time I switched off the ignition, he was already curled into a tight ball on the floor of the back seat.

Twin B had a better idea. "Can we go home yet? Can we go home yet? Can we go home yet?" he asked in quick succession.

I lined them all up against the side of the car.

"For once, this isn't about you," I said. "It's about your little brother," I continued, pointing in the direction of Cameron, who was sound asleep in the stroller.

This earth shattering news was a tough pill for everyone to swallow. My older three spent the next thirty minutes whining, sulking, and accusing me of starving them to death. Whoever didn't succumb to hunger pains was sure to die of embarrassment.

"Look around!" shrieked my daughter. "I am the oldest kid here!"
"That makes us the next oldest kids here!" screamed my boys in unison.

It didn't help that a daycare group crossed our path at that very moment.

Ignoring the collective wailing about ruined and deprived lives, I took Cameron out of the stroller to get a better look at a dead rat being pecked to pieces by a trio of turkey vultures.

For unknown reasons, I felt a deep connection to the rodent.

I watched the gory event for an unreasonably long period of time. When I turned around, I found my twins throwing pebbles into a murky duck pond. My daughter was lying in Cameron's stroller. Fast asleep.

Ah. The irony.

20 comments

Jean said...

HAHA!!! I love this post.

Tom and Karen Mortensen said...

I love this. I liked the way you compared yourself to the rodent. I feel like that sometimes at work. I teach 2nd grade. Good for you for "making" your kids go to the zoo. I hope they remember this great teaching moment.LOL

Michelle said...

Oh man! Jana you are so funny! I hardly comment, but I always enjoy your posts! I love that you are funny and not just all adoring of your kids... because all kids are rascals at some point!

Emmy said...

Lol! Well hopefully Cameron had fun :)

Cindy said...

Oh so funny.

And real.

Casey said...

There is a place here called Bee City, it was touted at THE cool petting zoo/educational center to take your kids to on a day trip. It's a 2 hour drive into the middle of nowhere, and once you get close you drive through a trailer park and pay 3 bucks to basically walk through someones backyard and check out some goats they have. Creepy. There were lemurs in cages that for an extra 50 cents you could feed cheerios to. They did have Bee hives that apparently all the schools bring the kids to for field trips on how Bees pollinate flowers and make honey and such but it was pretty strange. We won't be going back soon. Despite the fact my daughter loved the goats following her around the entire time we were there.

Heather Fretz said...

Okay, I feel like I was there. The way you describe your kids makes me think maybe mine aren't so abnormal... that was hilarious!

Laura said...

Wait til they are teenagers and complain about the place you are at or going. They'll argue, roll their eyes. Then next thing you know they are laughing and having fun. *sigh*

Stef said...

That is so funny! My kids are like that, but then once they get there, they like it.

meghannamarie said...

A great saying I want hanging in my house..."Being a mom is like being pecked to death by chickens" It feels like that almost everyday at my house! Great post, thanks for making me laugh!

Megan said...

you are such a comfort to me...it is a daily event to try and teach my kids that A) there are other people in the house who deserve a choice and B) no, life isn't fair!!!

Please don't ever stop writing...I would feel all alone in the world :)

Amy said...

The rodent is most definitely a kindred spirit....

Lisa said...

Just too funny. So funny I was starting to itch with the memories... thank the good Lord above THEY DO GROW UP!! Haha!

craftyashley said...

I so feel pecked do death today! What a fitting image for my day!

ivoryspring said...

Hey, are those "the" shoes you had talk about?

Anonymous said...

I have 3 kids and the older 2 didn't see the value of going back to the hands on childrens exhibit at a childrens museum. As we pulled into the parking lot I thought about the whining vs cost. I decided it would cost way less to take them back home, call a sitter to make sure they were cleaning their rooms, while I went out for a mini facial/pedi for the exact same expense of spending "quality" time with the whiners. I got cleaned rooms, I didn't have to be in charge of it and I had great looking toes. They no longer whine when we are going out to do things for their younger silbing...wonder why?

Our Funny Little Family said...

Oh my goodness, I laughed so hard at this, you are hysterical :)

Kim Ginsberg said...

I haven't laughed this hard in a while... Thanks for the great post!

linda said...

I just snorted coffee up my nose!
Great post!

becky said...

peeing my pants laughing right now...i thought i was the only one who dragged their kids to "dumb" stuff.