Sep 3, 2008

oodles of zoo fun

...and we're talking oodles...

I went to the zoo with the kids, my dad, step-mom and step-sister today before they left to go home to Utah. I have never experienced a worse outing in my entire parental life....it was horrible.

Since we live in a city that has a zoo, it doesn't hold that same cool factor as it does when you have to actually put effort into going. Don't get me wrong, we love the zoo. But usually our trips consist of an hour (maybe hour and a half) of wandering around, going down the giraffe slide and general leisure time. If we don't see all the animals - oh well. Because with 4 kids, we really can't stay too long anywhere without someone having a meltdown.

Today, however, we saw all the animals, so it was starting to push that hour limit that I can usually expect. To start things off, Cheeks was indefinitely grumpy and it just got worse. So I started looking for a place to nurse her (hoping that would help.) And of course the zoo is just chucked full of private and immaculately clean lounges.

Uh-huh.

I went into the nearest restroom -the old restroom- built before they required a handicap stall. It was a smelly bathroom with two tiny stalls and a sink...oh joy. I started wishing that I didn't care who saw my nursing peep show...darn my modesty of a public display of boobage. But screaming Cheeks convinced me that we would just have to make it work.

The toilet seat looked....yeah...so I thought I would just sort of squat on the ground, in the tiny stall, and avoid touching any surface. Totally worked. no. I ended up sitting on the floor - in the tiny smelly stall. GROSS. (And yet somehow better than that toilet seat.) So now I'm really wishing I wasn't so modest and private.

And then it gets worse.

A lady brings her kids in to use the facilities....they can totally tell I'm sitting on the floor of the stall. And Cheeks is making those glugging nursing sounds that makes it COMPLETELY obvious to any mother what I'm doing....which would at least explain the sitting on the floor of the stall thing. So now I'm really trying to imagine a happier place, and hoping the kids get done soon. And they did....so their mother could use the toilet. And she wasn't in for a short pit stop. I won't go into detail, but lets just say it got a lot smellier.

So now I'm REALLY REALLY wishing I just had run through the zoo completely topless - which would have saved me from sitting on the floor in a nasty, even smellier, public restroom while the woman next to me added to my torment.

...it was a short feeding and then I dashed out of the bathroom before anyone could see who I was.

So Cheeks is still grumpy, not wanting to ride in the stroller and bursting into a new chorus of wails whenever the sun hits her. Splendid.

And then it gets worse.

Screamer decides that he doesn't want to come out of prairie dog house - - you know the tube thing where you can stick your head through like one of the "dogs." And I'm yelling, "Son, come out now...." in my best 'please don't stare at me while I yell at my child in a public place' voice.

...before I go on, I must explain that Screamer has been having some anger issues. The child has an amazing ability to feel emotions far and above the average person. The range of his moodiness kicks my mood scale's butt (even on my most pregnant and/or PMS days.) He can be exquisitely blissful...and then...well, think of the Incredible Hulk times 10. And lately I thought we had pretty much topped out on the "how can it possible get worse" thing.

Oh, it got worse.

Screamer finally comes out of the tube, and I say, "You need to listen next time. We almost left...." and that's when he punched me. A well plotted, close-fisted punch. Like I said...worse.

So then I'm trying to drag our little abuser away from the prairie dog tube and I plow into an old lady with our double stroller (which is actually empty due to crying babies.) Things just keep getting better.

And then my dad steps into help. And that's when Screamer punches him...yeah, his anger issues have definitely kicked it up yet another notch. (And are you keeping in mind screaming Cheeks and the fact that I have two other children...somehwere...loose in a zoo...) So my dad decides to spank Screamer for the punching. Not a good idea. Screamer then loses any control he had maintained up to this point and has a full scale, horrifyingly dramatic, screaming tantrum.

After unsuccessful attempts to quell the tantrum I finally had to end up buckling Screamer in the front of the stroller using brute force (with Cheeks in the back) and head to the car while everyone else finished up seeing the rest of the animals.

On the way out he was wailing and kicking. I took away his shoes so he wouldn't kick the stroller, but I coudln't do much about the screaming...I'm sure people thought I was abducting him, I'm not sure though because I made sure not to make eye contact with anyone on the way out. (I'm sure that didn't look suspicious.)

And after that, I think it may be awhile before we go ANYWHERE in public EVER AGAIN. And I left feeling like I should burn all of my clothing or atleast sanitize every part of me that touched that bathroom (including my nose.)

No comments: