Let's just say that deciding to go was our first mistake.
Our second mistake was not looking at the traffic report before we left. We ended up in a traffic jam on the highway as workers removed a bridge which meant that a normal one hour drive took us close to two and a half. We thought Kale would sleep on the way down, but he didn't (mistake #3 - never count on them sleeping when you want them to sleep. NEVER.). Kale actually did ok in the car, with only 30 minutes of screaming (otherwise known as torture). Kale did eventually pass out - when we saw the sign that said "Zoo - 800 metres." Awesome.
When we got there we decided to take the stroller since Kale was sleeping. This was my big mistake #4. I don't know why I agreed that this was a good idea. I knew that Kale would sleep longer if I wore him and knew that once he woke up he wouldn't want to be in the stroller. Twenty minutes after arriving at the zoo, Kale woke up, wanted out the stroller, I put him in the sling, and we spent the rest of the trip lugging a stroller full of "stuff" (where does this stuff come from????).
|Kale announcing he's done with the stroller.|
|Much happier being worn.|
|Catching a ride with Papa.|
For the most part, the zoo was fun. Kale got a kick out of looking at the animals, but was equally (if not more) interested in people watching. His favourite part of the zoo was the giant sandbox in the kid's area and the fake beaver damn.
|"I want to live with the beavers!!!"|
This is when things got interesting.
After being on the road for 10 minutes Kale started freaking out. We stopped for gas and I gave him some water and took him out of his seat and tried nursing him, hoping he'd fall asleep. As soon as he was out of his car seat he was all smiles and babbles. We put him back in and started driving again. After another twenty minutes of losing his mind, I told Kris to get off the highway ("I don't care where! HERE! Anywhere" - I was also losing my mind). We ended up pulling off the highway into an Ikea so we decided to go in and walk around - CONVINCED that Kale would fall asleep.
Then Ikea closed.
There was a few restaurants and a hotel surrounding a field and so we all took our shoes off and ran around in the grass for awhile. None of us wanted to get back in that car if it meant listening to Kale scream. So we played. We changed diapers. We changed Kale's clothes. Kris practiced throwing dirty diapers from the field to the garbage bin. And then for no good reason, Kris threw the car keys in the air and they landed on my head.
The entire time Kale refused to fall asleep.
We contemplated checking into the hotel and raiding the mini fridge. We took the cheaper route and ordered some pints from one of the restaurants and got some take-out. We got back in the car, we buckled Kale in, we fed him grilled cheese. And three hours after leaving the zoo and halfway through a grilled cheese....
That night, after we got Kale tucked into bed, Kris and I enjoyed a good laugh about the whole day. Yes, it was incredibly long and the parts with Kale freaking out were awful - but there were lots of fun parts too. We got to spend time together as a family, in a random field, enjoying the moment - and this made all the mistakes worth it.