This past Sunday, Alex, Zach and I headed over to the train station at the zoo for Dinosaur Train day. We were all looking for something to do and when I mentioned I had spotted the event on my new go-to-Houston kids blog Alex almost shoved me into the bathroom to put in my contacts and get ready.
There were about 50,000 people there but we did not care. Zach got to dig for a mini-dino, which meant that he touched it with the tip of his finger, I scraped off the sand and Alex picked up the dino and shook out the sand before our precious would dain to touch it. Zach also got to get stamps on his hand and to color a dino fan. We were done with the Dinosaur Train day in 10 minutes. That is how we roll. We were not rushing him at all, that is just how fast our child is done with activities. And we refused to wait in the line for face painting.
Alex told Zach we would then walk to where we could get in the water. I looked eskance and we had this convo:
Me: “There is a wading pool here?”
Him: “Yes, on the steps of the reflecting pool”
Me: “Ummmmm I am pretty sure that is not for wading.” (I am such a buzz-kill)
Him: “Sure it is, I did it last time. There were a bunch of people doing it.”
So off we hiked to the steps of the reflecting pool. About halfway down we realized we are idiots and did not bring the stroller. It is back at the train station and Zach is on Alex’s shoulders. How have we not learned in 2+ years of parenting?? We get to the steps and Alex and Zach get in and walk back and forth, stomping and splashing, throwing mini-dino and having a grand time. I walk over to offer juice and this convo happens:
Me: “You are really not supposed to be in here.” (again, total buzz-kill)
Him: “Why? There are no signs.”
Me – as I point to a sign: “That sign says no wading or swimming and I would like to note that there are only dads in here.”
Him: “Would it help to point out that we were the first in here and no one was in until we got in?”
Me: “Negative. I will be sitting over here in the shade pretending not to know you when the park police arrive.”
Then, of course, the inevitable happens. Zach falls down on the slippery rocks and is hysterical. And wet. So we start to make the loooooong walk back. A tired and hungry 2 year old, an 8 months pregnant woman and a man with a bad back. Just for reference, here is a map of our issue:
Alex carries him on his shoulders for a while but that is killing his back and technically, TECHNICALLY, Zachary can walk so we put him down. Again, total and complete hysterics. He cannot calm down. We try stopping and hugging, we try leaving him and running. Nothing is working. Finally when we make it back to the big pond I am at my wits end and leave my family to go get the stroller and come back. The second he is in the stroller he is fine. Stops crying, drinks his juice and just looks beat.
We decide to head to the car as it is noon and he needs to eat. What we forgot is that we told him he could see the seals. Again, we should totally know bettter. As we get to the car he says “Seals, Mommy? I see the seals?” I explain that all his crying took so long that we have to go home at eat lunch, we can’t see the seals.
We are about 5 minutes from home and he says “I calm, Mommy. I ready to see the seals. I no cry anymore.” I wanted. to. die. If it had just been me I would have turned that car around, parked illegally and ran my baby into the zoo to see the seals. It still breaks my heart thinking about it. But calmer heads (aka Alex) prevailed and we proceeded home.
But I did tell Zach that I would take him the next day after work. That is the best thing about working part time – if you screw up on Sunday you can make it up on Monday! And that morning he told me, “Mommy, I no cry at the zoo.” And Mommy will not forget your stroller, my sweet boy.