So when I saw the forecast for this beautiful long weekend, I thought "we should relive that time we went to the zoo and ended up hating life." Well, kind of. At the time I was thinking more along the lines of "we should try the zoo again because now Kale is two and he's going to get it and it's going to awesome and I can get a tan." Except I really should have been thinking the first thing because the only truth that came from the second thing was a slight tan.
We did everything right. I mean, we did learn a couple things the first time around. We brought lots of snacks. We left early so we could in plenty of zoo time before Kale's nap. We listened to the traffic on the way down. We minimized our stuff into a small backpack and my camera bag so we didn't have to lug around a ton. And most important of all -
We made a pact that we'd move at Kale's pace. We wouldn't lose our patience like every other parent seemed to be doing. We entered the gates with zero expectations.
Oh, it wasn't all horrible - but we did end up joining the ranks and losing our patience. We did end up make a beeline for the exit with a two year old under our arm like a football - sweaty, tired and exasperated. Why?
Kale had ZERO interest in sitting in the wagon. Kale has ALWAYS hated any form of restraint - we know this well. The stroller, the car seat, etc. Hates 'em all. We don't mind carrying him. We're used to it. We don't mind slowing things down to let him walk and explore. We're used to it. But when it's deadly hot out and there are seemingly 60,000 people with 12,000 strollers NOT WATCHING WHERE THEY'RE GOING, letting Kale lead the way is, uh, impossible.
Besides, Kale was way more interested in leading the way toward a weedy patch of land behind a random service station or into the shelter of a makeshift beaver damn than toward anything remotely cool. Like, say an ORANGOUTANG or a BABY POLAR BEAR. Seriously people, there were cute funny monkey's right in front of us and Kale totally ignored them. Instead he spent 30 minutes laughing hysterically at the dust clouds he was making my picking up dirt and clapping his hands.
We did, however, manage to see a few animals...
After four hours of chasing Kale through throngs of people and bribing him with snacks to get him to sit in the wagon for more than four minutes, we made it official: Kale is not a zoo kid.
We beelined for the car and he napped the whole way home. When we got there, we filled his small pool up in the backyard, he stripped off all his clothes, covered himself in mud and dug holes in the sand. I opened a beer and laid out on the deck, lazily watching our son have the best afternoon ever.
Maybe next year, friends, maybe next year.....