I find myself at the zoo once a year.
This is usually when a friend from out-of-town with children is coming to Denver and it has been a year since I have been to the zoo so I have forgotten what the zoo is actually like.
Here are some reasons why the zoo sucks:
1. Sunscreen Mosh Pit Hell. This is the place where Moms are punished for not putting sunscreen on their children before walking out of the house. The Moms then have to pay for this sin by being forced to lotion the bodies of drunken Orangutans, otherwise knows as their very excited children.
2. It’s hot. I usually only go to the zoo when it’s 1000 degrees out. I’m sure there’s a psychological reason behind this.
3. At least one person is going to give your frantically excited kid the stink-eye for going against traffic in the doorway, nudging their kid out of the way to see the humping bears, or generally being a menace to the zoo-going society. It’s okay, you will return the favor.
4. The stroller situation. I am in stroller purgatory right now. My littlest is still too little to not bring one for all of the crap and snacks and water, but she is too big to actually use the stroller for anything other than a jungle gym.
5. Most of the pictures look like this:
6. Or after 15 minutes of bribing them with ice cream, a future trip to the gift shop, and a college education, I can get them to smile about this big:
7. I am with my friend who I haven’t seen forever, but I don’t ever actually get to talk to her because toddlers are crazy, and the big kids want cotton candy and a carousel ride and to see whatever is around the next corner because this animal isn’t doing ANYTHING.
8. And that’s because most of the animals are nocturnal (and hot!) so they all look about like this:
9. The gift shop that you bribed them with is its own version of hell, especially after a full day of crazy.
10. Your kids are so exhausted that they have to sit in time-out 4 times at dinner.
And here are some reasons why it can be sorta fun:
1. Humping bears. This happened last year and it was actually pretty entertaining.
Kids: Look Mommy, that big bear is hugging that littler one from behind!
Moms: Cough. Snort. Giggle.
Kids: What are they doing?
Kids: I think that little one is mad at the big one! Look how she is biting at him!
Moms: Yep. I see that. Okay! Lets go see the lemurs!
2.The Flamingos, despite being smelly. One particular Flamingo stepped it up this year by having a baby and getting super bent out of shape whenever any other flamingo even looked in the general direction of her baby.
3.The actual Orangutans, not the drunken ones I am chasing around. The Denver Zoo has a small family of Orangutans and they often remind me of my own family. Last year we watched as the baby Orangutan kept bothering his Dad who finally ran away and hid under a blanket. So then the baby wandered over and started jumping on his Mom and she finally got so annoyed that she climbed to the top of tree where the baby couldn’t reach her. I felt then that we were kindred spirits.
4. We all actually have a pretty good time.
5.And…my kids are so exhausted that they fall asleep before we leave the parking lot.