It was another quiet Tuesday morning…until the kids woke up. I thought I’d be a nice Honeydaddy and fix the kids some slow-cooked homemade apple cinnamon oatmeal with the apples we picked last weekend. (That post hasn’t been written yet! Oops!) That was my first mistake…making a nice breakfast, not writing the apple picking post. Cooking oatmeal means being able to stand over the stove and making sure it doesn’t burn. The little apes ones were on full throttle as soon as they opened their eyes. Once set free from their pens, neither would stay anywhere within eye and earshot of me. Since Mushie is a magnet for trouble, I kept having to run back into the bedrooms to drag her out (kicking and screaming) to the living room, where I could better gauge her wandering curiosity.  (There is a reason why some parents, such as myself, love and cherish highchairs with chains, er..constraints, I mean…safety buckles…)

After 45 minutes of this type of multitasking, the food was done. I was not-quite-so-happy to be able to corral the feral chickens sweeties and give them a tasty, healthy meal. And before he even got the first spoonful, Worm wailed about how much he didn’t like it. I’d never made this apple cinnamon version before, but Worm was certain that my oatmeal was disgusting and worthy of a bucket full of tears. He refused to sample it and thwarted my attempts to pry his raptor claws hands from over his mouth. It was only after I distracted him with moving pictures on the TV, that I was able to shovel some gruel into him. He then asked for more and gobbled up the rest of his serving. Ridiculous. After filling his belly, I asked Worm if he had learned anything from his folly.  I drew a blank stare.

In an effort to cheer up the children, I thought to myself “Hey, wouldn’t it be a great idea to take the kids to the zoo?  We could discuss how eerily similar raising children are to keeping wild animals!” So we tried to get dressed and leave.  Now in our house, it takes anywhere from 20 to 45 minutes to get the kids and myself ready to go anywhere.  This time it was bordering on 60. Lots of whining about putting on clothes.  Mushie didn’t want a clean diaper. Worm forgot how to dress himself. No one wanted to wear shoes. I wrangled one slippery weasel child to get it clothed while the other one paraded around the house leaving a trail of toys behind. (A stun gun would really help maintain the order. My guess it that with a couple of short, but powerful zaps, I could dress the kids, pack snacks, and pile everything in the car in less than 20 minutes.)

The trip to the zoo was less than lovely. I’d hate to give the impression that toddlers cry for no reason whatsoever. So, I believe Mushie was overwhelmed by the whole ISIS crisis. She cried until she was out of tears…which just so coincided with the entire ride there…

I buckle Mushie and Worm to the wagon and by the time we get inside the zoo, it was hot!  So, more whining and crying ensued. I explained to the kids that when it takes almost 3 hours to eat breakfast, get dressed and leave the house that the day doesn’t wait for us. I drew two blank stares.

The third mistake was entirely mine. We had a brief moment of proverbial sunshine when Worm told me he loved me and that he wanted to ride the Skycar. I fell for it hook, line, and sinker. I thought it was a breakthrough and that the tides were turning! We rode the Skycar and it was actually a smiling, 3 minute event for all of us. But then we landed.

I can summarize the rest of the zoo trip below. This is immediately after we landed the Skycar on the other side of the zoo:

  • Worm screamed in tears “Hold me! Hold me!” until I carried him. There was no other choice.
  • Mushie screamed “Ho we! Ho we!” which means the same as “Hey, lanky asshat! I’m not interested in walking around anymore. Hold me now!” So now I was carrying both kids and the diaper bag. (In case you were wondering, the kiddie wagon was parked at the other side of the zoo, where we got on the Skycar. It was too big to fit inside.)
  • We stopped to see the elephants. I put both kids down. Tears. “Hold me! Ho we!” played in the background as I mentally twisted the words into a lovely melody. The song lasted until other people started staring. I picked them up and walked on.
  • We stopped to see the tapirs. I put the kids down. I could barely feel my biceps, but the Worm didn’t care. More tears. “I’m hungry! Eat! Eat! I don’t want that! Noooo!” I explain to Worm that I left my magic wand at home and couldn’t make his requested foods jump out of the diaper bag.
  • We stopped to see the camel. I ask Worm to walk a bit because my arms needed a break. He said HIS legs were tired and proceeded to scream, cry, and jump around me in circles to get me to carry him further. It was the oddest display of toddler fatigue I’d ever witnessed. I picked him up again and trudged on.
  • I decided to go for the trump card and offered both children lollipops, but ONLY IF THEY WALKED PART OF THE WAY back to the wagon. It worked for the Worm. But I spoke too soon and retrieved only a single pop from the diaper bag. Smushter felt like she got the short end of the stick. So now it was her turn to scream and cry.
  • I flipped that damn diaper bag inside out hunting for a second lollipop all while questioning why I left the house, why I try to care for children without my liquor flask, and why I had children in the first place…
  • I found a second lollipop and all became right in the world with each of them…and I began to feel the sensation in my arms coming back to me.

Children have a way of ruining experiences that leave an indelible mark on your psyche. Now when I hear the words “Do you want to go to the zoo?”, I cringe and think to myself “I wake up inside the zoo every day. I just open my eyes and I’m smack dab in the middle of the chimpanzee exhibit.”

I can’t believe you read this far…or maybe you just scrolled down to see the pictures. (Mom, I’m talking to you.)

A Picture of the Beau...Um...Special Children in My Life.

A Picture of the Beau…Um…Special Children in My Life.

Gavin – 35; Honeydaddy – 21 (Why do you want me to suffer, Worm? Why?)