A Million Tiny Updates

Things I Would Have Twittered On Saturday If I Hadn't Left My Phone At Home

(But I did! So today you get a whole bunch of sentences I thought of at the time but had no way to immediately share them with the world, the horror. Lucky you.)

amalah is going to the aquarium today. It's like the fucking zoo, but with fish.

(That last tweet goes out to anybody who did not know what an "aquarium" is. I'm just here to help.)

Humbling Parenting Moment of the Day: just threatened to NOT go to the aquarium unless Noah took one single bite of a goddamn McNugget.

Before I had any babies I thought kids would eat sushi if you just never fed them junk like McNuggets. I was one smug-ass piece of crap.

Ezra, on the other hand, just ate an entire jar of carrots, then tried to eat the paper towel I wiped his face with.

Jason is unimpressed by my rendition of "Good Morning Baltimore." Points out that it's the afternoon, and dangerously close to naptime. Pffft.

Oh, my God. Is that the line to get in?

Oh, my God. That's just the line to get tickets. THAT'S the line to get in.

What's the deal with that members-only entrance? Overpriced season passes? Do we get jackets?


Aaaaaaand. The camera. Is at home. Probably getting it on with my slut phone.

Just explained "hold hands or ride in the stroller" rule to Noah. Just realized you can't take strollers inside. This trip is made of fail.

(Thank God I brought the Ergo. Just saw another mother lugging huge non-walking baby in arms, cursing Stroller Check to the skies.)

Noah wants to go swimming in the sting ray tank. I told him to ask me in an hour or so.



According to Noah, every fish in here is either a Nemo or a Dorrie. Take THAT, marine biology!

Ezra likes the fish too. Likes the boobs more.

Seriously though, this place has a lot of ramps. Confusing, curly, circle-ly ramps.


Just changed cloth diaper in public restroom, got compliments on Cuteness, Earth Saveitude. Am smug piece of crap once again. Aaahh.

Aaaaaand. Ramps ultimately proved irresistible to three-year-old. He's off and running.

Would it be wrong to tell him that they feed lost children to the sharks?

Re: right or wrongness of Shark Threat: TOO LATE.

Aaaaaand. 90 minutes later, we're back in the car. Took us 45 minutes to drive here. Hooray for math!

Everybody is crying. EVERYBODY.

Sooooo happy we bought those memberships and can go back as often as we want! I think we'll alternate weekends: Aquarium, Zoo, IKEA.




Aquarium, zoo, IKEA - heh.


Sounds like fun?
We had a similar experience at the museum, though thanks to the weird acoustics in one exhibit, nobody OUTSIDE the exhibit could hear us all crying. Awesome.


Are you a glutton for punishment?


Yep, that sounds about right! Good times, good times.

Stupid rule about no strollers.


Wow, uh, can't wait to do this with my kids...? (including the "AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH SHARKS AAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH"because it's just not the same without that.)


Am now re-thinking comment to husband last night that we should take 3yo to aquarium this year and possibly buy membership to! go! often!
No stroller + ramps = lost child + frantic mom


My daughter will eat both sushi and McNuggets w/ the same toddler zeal - i.e., when and only when she wants and where's the GD soy sauce and/or ketchup! And yes, she prefers to drink/lick the soy sauce or ketchup over said sushi or McNuggets.


I have a close friend whose son calls the aquarium the fish zoo, so there you go.

Sprite's Keeper

Funny, I feel the same way about IKEA when they run sales. And I think they DO have a shark tank!


I cannot count the times we have went somewhere FUN with our children, only to look at each other about 15 minutes into said FUN! activity and proclaim, "Who the heck had this bright idea?"


Missie: I know, right? Every weekend we get compelled to do something! fun! and different! and enriching! This is gonna be great! Yay!

And then we all cry, and then we go home and drink.


Good Lord! The things we do to provide FUN for our children. When they'd probably be happy with a box or Elmo video.

I can't talk-I just did Disneyland with a toddler. Or is she a preschooler-WHATEVER-a 2 1/2 yr old.


It's amazing the number of things we parents do that leave us weepy, exhausted, and going "For FUCK'S sake don't ever let me convince myself that that's a good idea again!!"

Like last weekend, when I thought my son would like to go with me while I got the oil in my car changed. That ended up being 1.27 hours of PURE-T-HELL. Ever tried entertaining your toddler at a car dealership for that long? Oh my GOD.

Tina C.

may i recommend going during the week?? so unbusy. also there's a 'guest relations room' just beyond the bubble tubes where you can nurse in peace. there's a tv in there too for the 3 year old. we have a membership too and go like every other week. can meet if you want to???


You are a brave, brave woman. I never went near zoos or aquariums with my infant and preschool unless Daddy came too. Clearly I was (am) a total wuss.


"Fun" with a pre-schooler is totally fucking overrated. And I refuse to go back to the Baltimore Aquarium because of all the reasons you mentioned. It costs as much as Disneyworld and you can only stretch it out maybe a couple of hours. No thanks.

Michelle Smiles

*Snort* I thought the same thing about sushi. LOL My girl has never had a McNugget but every drive thru (bank and pharmacy included) prompts a little voice from the back seat "Please fries. Please fries."

Mommy Joy

I'm a new mom of a 9 month old and I wanted to send some special thanks to you for helping me build a list of things to NOT do with my child till they are old enough to pay for the tickets themselves. OK, maybe not that old but old enough to wipe their own behinds.

Parsing Nonsense

"This afternoon is made of fail" made me laugh. I'm curious about whether Noah bought the line about lost children getting fed to sharks. My nieces never listen to me when I make ominous threats.


"Aquarium, zoo, IKEA..."

You forgot one: Costco. Where you will buy 7,000 frozen taquitos under the guise of "saving money by buying in bulk."

Ashlie- Mommycosm

Holy, Crap. You are a brave, brave woman! My kids are 6 and 3 and haven't seen an aquarium. Nor have they been to Disney, but that's a whole other story.


Parsing Nonsense: I'd say it was just as effective as when I threaten to turn my dog into a mitten.


"Would it be wrong to tell him that they feed lost children to the sharks?"

Bwahahaha...that ranks up there with Santa eats a reindeer everytime you tell a lie.


No strollers? WTH??? Aren't aquariums supposed to be for children??? I don't get it.

And Jason cried? Dear Lord, please let me remember this post when I suggest we should all go somewhere "fun" and "educational."


NO strollers at the zoo.
OMFG! are you kidding me?


At least you have three Ikeas within driving distance. And they have Smaland. You can shop without children, if you wish.

Yeah, I learned the Aquarium is a WEEKDAY only proposition in Baltimore. (and Port Discovery is a madhouse on weekdays with the home schoolers)

Undomestic Diva

Now *I'm* crying and I didn't even go... Does living vicariously through your torment also mean I've kinda sorta taken my kids (albeit vicariously) to the aquarium like a good parent too? So I'm good? No? WTF?


I bought memberships to there specifically BECAUSE of the 45 minute each way drive. Can you say strapped down in their seats? Plus, then when your kids freak out and you have to leave after 10 minutes you don't want to die because you mortgaged your house to pay for the entrance fee.


I'm surprised you haven't made it to Disney World yet...


This is pretty much my favorite blog ever. Just saying...



I did not see the inside of a zoo until I was 11. Never saw an aquarium until I was in my twenties. Only went to Disney once at eight and don't really remember that trip. (have since waaay made up for all of those deficiencies.) And yet somehow, I have made it to 38 without killing someone or knocking over a bank.

I think we put too much emphasis (me so included) on DOING things with the kids to EXPOSE them to new things and give them FANTASTIC childhood memories, when really? They'd have just as much fun at a park or a McD's playland. I would rather my kids' memories of our outings not end with me saying, "Where in the heck is my Advil?!"

die Frau

We did go to Disney World: FOUR KIDS under the age of eight. My parents must have been insane. I think that was the year we all got lice, too. Wheeeee.

Thanks for the heads-up: Once I have kids I'll either a) have Grandma do the aquarium or b) take 'em over to the baseball diamond and have them run around fifteen times, then walk their tired little butts home. For a nap. And a drink for me.

I, too, loved the line "This trip is made of fail." It's like one of my favorite Simpsons lines: "It tastes like burning!"

die Frau

Lice WHILE IN Disney World, mind you.


I have given up Twitter for Lent, so this was awesome and totally doesn't count as breaking the rules. I think.


Back in the days before digital cameras (in other words, when I was a teenager), my parents took us to that aquarium on our way home from vacation in North Carolina. I leaned over the sting ray tank, my camera knocked into the railing and my lens cap fell in. One of the staff had to swim out and get it. AWESOME.


Oh, much was the literal LOLing. Friggin hilarious. Thanks!


What kind of place that small children frequent does NOT allow strollers? Sounds like a special kind of hell.


We go to the aquarium an hour before closing on Sunday afternoons when the place is deserted for the express purpose of letting our Noah run up and down the ramps. Not enriching, but a whole lot warmer than a snow covered playground.


Wonderful. I've been to all the places you mention with small children. You say it so much better.


No strollers? Umm. Why?

Mrs. Q.

IKEA sounds much easier than that hell. I think you could have been in Boston. Are they all anti-stroller but full of ramps? WTF? I kept freaking every time the little guy let go of my hand. I looked over at a couple with their toddler daughter on a leash. They all looked happy. And relaxed. Go leashes.

Mrs. Q.

Oh, and my take on why they don't allow strollers? One too many parent forgetting to stomp on the stroller brake + curving ramps = chum for the shark tanks.


ahhahaha. i never comment, i'm a creeper, but i loved this one.


so why aren't you on "momversation"?


thanks for making me laugh time and time again. seriously. (also no strollers allowed in cincy aquarium either - must be an aquarium thing. wheels are scary for fish?)

Fairly Odd Mother

We took three kids to the Aquarium on a holiday Monday ONCE. I've never hated penguins and people equally so much in my entire life.

Catherine S

Holy Bejeezus, that is a seriously fucking bad day.


I read your blog every day and this is my most favorite post ever. Between your phone/camera and your deodorants, you have a busy, ahem, house.


totally wonderfully hilarious, all the way from start to finish, almost a stand-up comedy routine. a classic and/or "best of" amalah post, to be sure.

Amy H

you are always good for a laugh.


I just spent today at the aquarium carrying a baby around in an ergo. makes life so much easier!! mom and dad got to enjoy the exhibits and the baby got to take a nap :-)


Been there, done that. I think we've all had that "Wouldn't it be wonderful if we took the little fella to ? It would be so fun/educational/enriching!" only to have it turn into the ninth level of Hell (Hi Nimrod! Mind if we visit?). We've had more success as he gets older and we get wiser. Lots of social story prep beforehand, contingency plans, special snacks, toys, exit strategies....we're better prepared than the average military assault. We did Disneyland for Thanksgiving thinking we were insane, but he managed it quite well, as in he stayed in the park happily for 9 frakkin' hours the first day! We didn't fare as well but he was ecstatic.


Please tell me you have been asked to star in your own reality show. Or they are making a sitcom based on the comedy of Amalah.


Ikea has free entry AND you can bring strollers... it wins hands down!



Sounds a lot like the time we took my son there when he was 3. In and out in under an hour. I like to joke that at least my wallet wasn't so heavy for that 45 mins, having handed over, oh, a billion dollars in admission fees for those 45 mins.


My son is 4, and I still find that most of the "fun for kids" places I take him are really intended for older kids. This definitely includes the aquarium and Port Discovery. But, if you're dying to drive to Baltimore, and you want to try another expensive kid-friendly attraction, the Science Center is actually awesome for small kids.

Cheryl S.

Too funny. Love the McNugget stuff. I think everyone was a smug a**hole before they had kids. Now we live in reality.

I haven't tried Ikea yet. Hmmm. We do have an annual membership to the zoo, though!


That "no strollers" rule is EXACTLY why I let our family membership to the aquarium lapse. They can invite me back when bringing two kids through their fine establishment no longer causes me sore arms from carrying an 18 month old and a crook in my neck from looking for my five year old who has run off yet again. Until then, Bass Pro Shops' fish tank is the only aquarium I go to.


I always start off those family trips feeling like the Best Mom Ever and finish them by trying to deliberately leave my kids behind in the gift shop and make a break for it. :)


I always start off those family trips feeling like the Best Mom Ever and finish them by trying to deliberately leave my kids behind in the gift shop and make a break for it. :)

Lisa M

@ stimey,
I'm with you. short trips only to aquarium or zoo. I've also been known to cram crackers into mouths (preschooler and baby) to get them to JUST SHUT UP. What?! They take away my stroller, I keep the crackers with me. Gotz to keep the peace somehow.


So painful. Everyone has these stories - not everyone can tell them so well! Thanks for sharing :)

Andrea C

I cannot believe you were not previously warned of the hell the aquarium is! It's notorious for long waits to get in & being so expenstive.... My parents flat out refused to take us there on weekends growing up.


Aaaah, memories. And yes, it is funny ten years later.


My son (2 1/2) LOVES sushi, but doesn't exactly frown on McNuggets either, although it was Daddy that gave him those..to Mommy's disapproval but eventual resignation. We try to stay away froam that place, but sometimes there is desperation.
Found out there is aspartame in the sushi at the grocery store (california rolls), presumably also at the sushi restaurant, so now we're screwed for this once healthy treat. Dammit! What exactly can we eat that's healthy when we go out?!


I feel so guilty that I laugh at your pain. So guilty.


Oh, does this sound familiar! Before we had our son we decided to take an outing to the aquarium and ended up with a membership. To an aquarium. That we went to. Once.

Best part of the day was an early dinner at McCormick & Schmick and a bottle of J Pinot Gris~~this was 4 years ago and husband and I still rave about that wine. :)

Dawn B

You braved the "Bmore Aquarium"?
That's like a badge of honor I tell ya. LOL I'm still trying to re-cooperate from going like over a month ago.


Sounds like every trip to 6 Flags we've ever taken. It's just *right there*, only takes 10 minutes to drive! All I can say is f'ing Thomas Town where stupid Annie and stupid Clarabel empty out right into the stupid gift shop with the train table of woe. Dragging our oldest out by the collar of his shirt kicking and screaming is sure to leave some scars on a few people. Maybe now that he's 5, he's matured enough to handle it? Will I give it another try? OF COURSE I WILL BECAUSE I AM STUPID!!

I also think it's funny that your two kids have comepletely different eating habits. Ours are exactly the same way. Our oldest has grown out of a lot of his quirky issues, and we sometimes wonder if his younger brother even has tastebuds. He just shovels it in.

Wacky Mommy

"HOLY FUCKING EEL" = my new cussword


No strollers? NO STROLLERS? ARE THEY CRAZY?? What other educational institutions/destinations/museums/whatevertheyarecalled are like that? I want a list!


SO glad you posted this BEFORE I got around to taking the fam to the New Orleans aquarium.

Also, seriously? No strollers in a building made of ramps? What the hell for?


slut phone...

This post was freaking hilarious; please do more of these.


Mystic Aquarium - Best aquarium ever!! One-strollers Two-it's inside and outside which for some reason just makes it work. Three-its a manageable size with young kids.

BTW: I think you can rent baby carries at the Baltimore Aquarium if you do not bring one with you. Strollers just would not work in there anyway. Lines are always long (at least whenever I'm there). We went one time and your ticket had an entrance time on it. So we could not go right in...let's just say we ate a very early "lunch" that day.


Best. Post. Ever. I also have a yearly membership for one visit to the Children's Museum in Baltimore. Have yet to brave the Aquarium because I heard a rumor about that "no stroller" torture.


What kind of place that caters to families won't let you take a stroller in? That's silly. I haven't been to the aquarium in yeeears.


Visited the Baltimore Aquarium about a year ago when we were in town visiting my sister (she lives in Bowie - we live in Metro Detroit). I thought it was wonderful. My boys (almost 3 and almost 1 at the time) loved it. Thank god for baby carriers though. Such a unique layout with all the ramps, etc. The boys will love the membership.


haha! sounds like a fun filled day! thanks for some laughs!

parenting BY dummies

You just named the three places that make me sick a little (zoo, aquarium, Ikea). Actually, if you visit those particular places you might just find a picture of me and my dudes by the entrances to alert the securities that we are not allowed on the property for the next 18 months. We are pretty much a menace in the DC Metro area.


This is easily one of my favorite amalah post of all time.

I read it a few days ago and I keep thinking about it. creepy, yes?
you, comic gold.

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