hot times at the zoo (and a little ramble)

We go to the Zoo a lot. More often, perhaps, before Adelaide was born, but it's close by and we have a membership (a bargain at $50/year) so it's easy to stop in for an hour or three. During the Winter it's particularly fun since there aren't many visitors and we can just sit in the monkey house watching the gorillas and orangutans or in the 'aquarium' building watching the turtles swim around and the spiders spin webs. With daddio out of town, though, and the lovely weather we've been having (um, usually) Monday seemed like a good day to go. We waited until after naptime, got our sunblock, hats, stroller, water, snacks, and baby ready to go....but the wind had picked up and the temperature had dropped. I tried to convince the kids to go to Ben and Jerry's for a banana split with me but it was a no-go. Once I told them we were going...we were going. By the time we parked it was getting chilly, but we persevered (note that I didn't pack sweaters, oops!). By the time we got there it was cold. Okay, not freezing, but the wind made it pretty chilly.

It may have been the changing weather or the fact that the weather's starting to warm up more consistently, but the animals were restless. The leopard was prowling about and roaring at us (bringing back Josie's fearful dreams of tigers eating her toes--here she is pretending to have ears like a serval), the zebras were chasing around the enclosure, even the polar bear was up and sniffing through the glass at us. The peacocks had grown their tails back for Spring and were strutting around and crowing from the tops of the enclosures to show off for the peahens.

Inevitably the children get really excited over the, uh, less-exotic residents of the zoo and spotted a mother goose walking with her tiny goslings, then Josie found nests with sitting geese along the camel habitat. On our way out we spotted a bunny peeking out from his warren in the grass.

Even Adelaide had a good time. Can't you tell?

As an aside, people often remark that I "must be a busy lady" or wonder aloud to my face how I could possibly "get it all done." With the three kids. Now, I may well wonder that myself about families with six kids, but honest to goodness it's just not that bad. Sure, in the time between naptime and bedtime on our zoo day Jasper did manage to drink nearly my entire 24 oz Camelbak bottle of water and manage to overflow his pull-ups on our way to dinner when I had no spare shorts, Adelaide refused to fall asleep in the car for her much-needed third nap, Josie contracted a mysterious stomachache between dinner and dessert, and I inadvertently left my wallet in the parking lot trying to get everyone hustled into the car between the raindrops on the way home (they kept it in the safe and we're going back out to dinner again this evening to pick it up). It feels like three kids just means more opportunity for disaster, a few more arguments (I'm sure we're in early days on this one), and a lot more laundry. It may be more work, but it's not necessarily harder, if you can feel the distinction. It also means a little more freedom for me when Josie and Jasper play together during Adelaide's nap or when they've woken up a bit too early, and the opportunity for them to just fall in love with each other. They may not get as much of me as I wish they did, but they've got each other, which is worth the extra labor (ha, ha).

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