This past Sunday, my two daughters, mother-in-law and I celebrated Mother’s Day at our local zoo. My husband works Sundays so it was just us four. It’s a small, quaint zoo which is perfect to walk through for a few hours on a beautiful sunny day. While walking up a hill to the black bear exhibit, I noticed a woman “walking” her toddler. Literally, she had her little girl on a leash which seemed appropriate as the little girl was trying to run away. As her mom yanked her back several times, I got to thinking about my own crazy toddler. Surely she could benefit from being restrained, right? I had witnessed some disturbing behavior from her while on our outing and since a straight jacket in public seems a bit rash, I may have to invest in a leash.
Playing chicken in the parking lot
When we pulled into the zoo parking lot, I got her out of the car while I got her sister’s stroller out of the trunk and packed our stuff into it. Maybe because I’m new at being a mom to two kids and this was our first real outing, but I sort of wasn’t paying attention and there was my daughter, playing in the middle of the parking lot. Luckily for us both the car that was coming toward her (and by coming toward her I mean at least 100 feet from her) was driving very slow. A leash would have been very helpful.
Keep her away from the penguin exhibit
The first exhibit we came upon was the penguins which is equally fun and scary because you can walk up a set of stairs and look down into their tank. Unbeknownst to me, she had the head of a little Sofia the First figure in her hand from the car. She walked up the stairs to get a better look at the penguins and tossed poor Sofia’s head right down into their tank. She then had the balls to throw a fit when I said she was gone forever. Leash, please.
She prefers eating lunch off of the ground
When it was time for lunch, all she wanted was popcorn. Which is probably the healthiest thing she at that day (popcorn = corn, corn = vegetable, vegetable = healthy). The small box, which was anything but small, of course made its way to the floor and there she sat, eating it off of the floor. At least she was eating, right? She’s a very picky eater, so I consider this a win.
In my opinion, you should always like the name you pick for your child. But when they hit the toddler years, you better really love it. I probably yelled my daughter’s name 200 times while at the zoo (four hours total). Every two minutes I was asking her not to do this or that and to come here or stop walking ahead of us. By the end of the day I wanted to rename her Jerkface.
The hills have eyes
What’s fun about a hilly landscape is your toddler trying to roll down those hills. Unless they’re very steep and have pools of water and sharp rocks at the bottom of them. I had to stop her from tumbling down a handful of times and then listen to the tantrum that ensued because I wouldn’t let her throw herself down the hills to mangle her pretty little face.
My little kleptomaniac
The zoo is smart. To exit, you have to go through the gift shop. How genius is that? To leave you have to either buy useless shit for your kids or you have to drag them out kicking and screaming because you don’t need anymore useless crap in your house. Because I was tired, I didn’t want to fight her so I told her she could have a little pink octopus stuffed animal and a squishy little frog. That little klepto tried walking out with said toys because she’s impatient and didn’t want to wait in line. If I had a leash I could have yanked her back instead of chasing her thieving self down.
Mother’s Day at the zoo was a blast, don’t get me wrong. Toddlers are nuts so I expected her to be a little wild. But I’m guessing that mom with her little girl on the leash was laughing at me as she saw me chasing my daughter around. I mean she was the smart one, she just had to give a little tug on that leash to bring her daughter back. One should be running for only 3 reasons: someone’s trying to kill you, something is on fire or someone said free food. Not because your child is insane when in public.