I thought maybe Delilah would join me. When I
invited her tried to rope her into being my second set of hands, I reminded her of my NO FLIP FLOPS ALLOWED rule.
*I can't locate the post about Delilah coming with me to the zoo 2 yrs ago wearing flip flops. Before we left the parking lot one broke. I was like I'M JUGGLING A MILLION KIDS AND THE WORLD'S BIGGEST STROLLER AND YOU CAN'T EVEN WALK INTO THE ZOO? Zoo staff stapled her flip flop. Day saved. I wasn't really angry, it was more of a cry-laughing incident.
Delilah texted that she hoped to come, but alas that day ended up being too busy for her.
Let's pretend I'm offering special, front row seats to a fabulous event . . . when in reality we'd chat but it'd be lots of "Do you wanna buckle that kid into the stroller or hold this one up to see the rhino?" Hmm, why don't I have more friends?
Anyway, I needed to be on my A game- my time stamped entry was for 10:40 am. Running late is my special talent. I had to be there on time.
I was shooting for an earlier entry, but even when planning in advance -time slots were taken. I wanted to be back for naps. I have a NO SLEEPING IN MY VAN rule that is fairly hard to enforce from my perch in the front seat. (sleeping in the car can give a toddler a dreaded 2nd wind). Nothing like steering with my toes as I stretch into the back seat to tickle/gently slap/lick kids in the face to keep them awake as I grumble about Delilah's absence under my breath. Kidding.
Driving with knees is safer than toes, and I'd never grumble about Delilah's real life responsibilities. Oh, and I don't lick the babies . . . duh, covid.
I may've focused more on my rearview mirror than the road driving home as I called to the guys, begging them to stay with me as if they were about to lose consciousness after losing a lot of blood.
The night before the zoo, I was drafting yesterday's post. I was dissatisfied with it, thus grouchy. It was a hodge podge of stuff I'd written a while ago and never posted. (I am seeing those of you who didn't read it making a mental note not to bother, it's not THAT bad). My hands were tied though. Tank needed me to proof some of his scholarship essays that are due soon. Ed needed me to do something for him via email too.
So, now that I have a few minutes I'm redeeming myself with my zoo adventure.
The morning went off without a hitch. I didn't initially plan to attend Mini's college planning zoom at 8:15 am unshowered and sweaty. I rolled with it though, as a tradeoff for squeezing in a workout. Then I fed/bottled a tot and a baby. Hopped up and down off the couch next to Mini as needed to deal with littles, dirty diapers, and listen/give my two cents to her counselor. I put the baby down for a nap, and went out to the garage to load carseats in the Great White. I could write a whole post on these new fangled carseats but I won't - just know that my kids are lucky they didn't later find me tangled up in straps in the very back of my van unable to free myself.
That's it. It's official. I've turned into my mother incorporating 'new fangled' into my vocab.
I showered, packed food, diapers, cups, jackets, zoo pass, and started loading tots 15 minutes before go-time. That is my new secret: load 'em early.
We arrived at exactly 10:40. I knew they'd have a grace period, but still. Who's proud of me? I unloaded my quadruple beast of a stroller, got three tots and one baby buckled, clipped lunch sacks to the handle, stuffed a bag of diapers in the weak excuse for storage. Tucked extra coats into the huge visor thing. I heard upper 60s but it's hard to convince oneself that it's going to actually BE that warm.
What I'm saying is, I haven't lost my 'get out and do things' touch.
A woman stopped me before the beast's momentum reached the no-turning back point.
Parking lot lady: Are you doing this on your own? Wow, you're amazing.
Me: (Looking over my shoulder, who me?) Oh, um. Thanks. We won't stay long. (famous last words). The big stroller helps. It's an adventure.
We chatted. She lives near me. Her husband used to teach at my kids' high school. Her house backs up to the golf course where my kids caddy. She wished me luck and started to walk away. Then she came back.
Parking lot lady: Do you mind if I take your picture? I'd like to put it on my little Facebook group - just my neighborhood friends. I think it's the month of the woman. I want to share you as a strong woman.
Me: Well, in that case I guess I should flex.
She snapped a photo of me flexing next to my monster stroller and my four littles. Poor Delilah missed a chance to be famous on someone else's FB page. I pointed out to her that the word across my sweatshirt (synonymous with fierce) happens to be my last name. She enjoyed that nugget of info.
The day continued to be wonderful. A couple asked me if the 3 boys were my triplets. Translation: they thought I was young enough to have given birth two years ago. Day made. The animals seemed to know we'd arrived, showing us all their special moves. Like the rhino who stood near the edge of his enclosure (such a close view) and chewed on a stick.
I pulled my usual . . . stayed longer than intended because we were having a great time. Pushed the envelope. The dolphins were the last stop and strollers weren't allowed in. I released my guys and held the baby. We waited in line to get in. To innocent bystanders I was a completely sane person who enjoys herding cats. Only we know the truth.
I count having just one guy fall asleep in the car a success. He still napped at home . . . and I laid in the sun for a bit on my deck in shorts and a tank top during nap time.
What's your recent life-is-good day? Or who's wrestled with a carseat lately? Has anyone randomly asked to post your photo to their FB page? How much better is this post than yesterday's?