I spent the day at the zoo. We chose to go today because we thought the crowds wouldn’t be too bad. I don’t know what we were thinking. A children’s attraction on a weekday during the summer? It was swarming with people. Over the course of the day we crossed paths with three separate school groups. Forget about petting the shark. I’m not sure why the overly enthusiastic woman outside the ocean exhibit made us put up our two shark touching fingers. After fighting our way through the horde huddled around the rather small tank, only one of us succeeded in getting our fingers near a shark. While for most people this would be ok, the tiny sharks around for petting could probably nibble my fingers at best. I actually couldn’t get near the tank because I had a stroller and no matter how I patiently waited, the second the person I was directly behind moved, five small kids appeared out of nowhere and took his place. I’m not actually complaining. I realize the zoo is place of wonder for kids and really more for them than for me, but I had this crazy idea my son might want to see some of the animals. Most of the parents, however, were pushing just as hard as their kids to get to the front of the exhibit, so I was essentially out of luck.
Strollers are cumbersome things. Much needed for maneuvering a place like the zoo. Especially since my sweet little boy actually weighs nearly 17 pounds. His diaper bag is also quite hefty, so without the stroller, I would have keeled over about ten minutes into the trip. Unfortunately, I have yet to learn the amazing stroller techniques many of my fellow parents seem to have mastered. I watched with fascination as other people pounced on tiny cracks in the wall of people to get their stroller (usually without an actual kid in it) right up next to the exhibit glass. Eee joked I should get some spikes around mine to help push people out of the way. I kept looking at the other strollers to see if they actually had them, because they got in some tight spaces.
After awhile, the heat and lack of hydration started to wear on me. The fact that my son seemed just as happy to stare at me, a random tree or his fingers might have contributed to the fight draining right out of me. If he didn’t care, there was no way I could. Besides, I’m tall. I could see most of the animals standing in the back. I’m sure when he’s older, I’ll have to learn the secret stroller tricks that will catapult me to the front of every display glass, but at four months, I’m not sure he could actually focus on any animal. Although he did seem to see the seals. They were also the first animals we encountered. For all I know, he was just watching the water ripple.
The point of my story…well, I don’t really have one. I spent nearly five hours in the hot July sun with only dipping dots and frozen lemonade to cool me down. I have a headache, a slight sunburn and my eyes are drooping as I type. It was a good day though. He didn’t cry until we hit the gift shop. I’m sure the same won’t be true of future trips, when he’ll want ice cream, toys and to get close enough to pet the shark. Right now though, he’s easy to entertain.