I have written (many, many times) already about my love/hate relationship with the zoo. Here's the Tl;dr summary...
THINGS I LOVE ABOUT GOING TO THE ZOO:
1) The idea of going to the zoo.
THINGS I HATE ABOUT GOING TO THE ZOO:
2) Everything else.
But today I am happy to report that I have done it. I have SOLVED THE ZOO.
I solved the zoo by not actually going to the zoo, but instead getting my hair cut (and various patches of body hair forcibly yanked out, because TREAT YO SELF) while my crazy husband took our children to the zoo.
All three of them.
By himself, alone, with just his two measly arms and two puny eyeballs.
I dunno. He just woke up Saturday morning and decided to take them to the zoo. He took our double stroller, some bug spray, two diapers, half a package of baby wipes, one sippy cup and three baggies of Goldfish.
He said he took them because he needed to prove to himself that he COULD take them.
(Similar to the time he texted me a picture of Noah, Ezra and six-week-old Baby Ike at a restaurant while I was at BlogHer, with the added note that they'd just gone to see a movie in the movie theater. I believe that was the fatherly equivalent to ripping off his shirt and beating his chest in public.)
I get that, though. I am — and always have been — irrationally intimidated by the idea of being out solo with all of them. Even back when there were only two of them. Hell, probably even back when there was only one of them.
It just feels like an anxiety dream waiting to happen: Someone will misbehave or run away. Someone else will throw a tantrum or have a massive diaper blow-out and oh my God, I've forgotten to pack the wipes and where's your brother? No, I mean where's your other brother?
And all it takes is ONE of those things actually happening to convince me that my fears are justified, that my children really are a pack of feral, slippery eels who can not and should not be taken anywhere without at least two adult chaperones. (Ask me about the time I lost a toddler at Toys R Us! Or the time I had to wash a butt in the sink of a crowded public restoom! Or the time that shall forever be known simply as "the parking lot incident.")
But there Jason was: one dude, three kids and a zoo.
Everyone behaved, save for some whining/disagreement over the order of exhibit visiting (Noah wanted snakes; Ezra wanted PANDAS PANDAS PANDAS), and you can't take strollers into some of the buildings (which GAH SYMPATHY HIVES). It was fine, kids had fun and we met up for pizza and ping pong afterwards. And while we both hate that whole thing people do when they see dads out with their children ("Babysitting the kids today, huh? Giving poor mom a break, huh?")...fuck it. I was really proud of him.
Not proud enough to aim for the same level of ambition yesterday, however, when Jason announced that yeah...you know what? He was gonna go fishing.
My turn. And as tempting as it sounded to just stay at home all day...he took them to the zoo. I couldn't let him show me up like that, making me — professional mommyblogger-type person — look all incompetent and stuff. Are you calling me chicken? Because bawk bawk ROAR.
First, we went out for pancakes. There were balloon animals.
Or more accurately, towering balloon hats and giant balloon swords...
...which was a FABULOUS combination, particularly in such close vicinity to water glasses and lots of maple syrup.
Ike got a giant...Elmo-type thing.
(Which is currently far less "Elmo" and much more "demented nightmare fuel" now that all the arms and legs popped, leaving just the head and torso. Ike still loves it, but I am counting the ever-deflating minutes before I can justifiably toss it because I swear it's moving around the house just to constantly stay right in my peripheral OH SHIT WHAT'S THAT THING eyesight.)
Our brunch went so well, sword-fighting aside, that I decided to up the difficulty level and take them all grocery shopping. Jason had offered to stop at the store on his way back from the fishing trip because he knows I consider grocery shopping with the children to be on par with one of Dante's circles of hell. But again...HE took them to the ZOO. Surely I could handle buying some damn milk and broccoli florets.
(If Jason's master plan was to spin three hours of zoo-time into days of me not bitching about having to do things, then...well played, sir. WELL PLAYED.)
Dad took them to the zoo. Mom took them to Trader Joe's. Guess which outing ended with a giant package of peanut butter cups, and therefore won the entire weekend?
Z snaps, fellow adults. Z SNAPS.