Crazy People Take Toddlers to the Zoo


This weekend I was feeling rather ambitious and desperately wanted to GO and DO something. I love staying home, but some days I just want an adventure! So Monday my wonderful husband loaded the car and drove our little family over 2 hours to the Little Rock zoo.  

Honestly, I'm pretty sure we were crazy. Our kids are a lot of work, but they are even more work when they are outside, at a park, with a lot of strangers, and no naps. 

Just sayin. Crazy people take toddlers to the zoo.

But we made it and we did end up having fun! Here are just a few pictures from our trip. We started the day with three smiling faces. 

Okay, well actually there were only two smiling faces. Rooster was rather impatient to see the "ahmills" and taking pictures wasn't high on his priority list. 

We took a double stroller and a baby carrier for the kids. The toddlers loved the sit and stand option on our stroller. They liked not being strapped in and being able to get on and off whenever they wanted.

And yes, Little Bear is wearing a girl hat. This is Cupcake's hat (she's wearing it in the first picture), but I needed something to cover his head while he wasn't in the stroller. I did turn in inside out so there was no pink flower. He didn't seem to mind too much. 

Spending the day out and about with the kids really helped me get a good sense of their personalities. Cupcake is my independent Cheetah (much like her mother actually!). She moves as fast as her little legs can go and doesn't want to stop for anything, but she is still the one bringing up the rear. I turn around to see her arms swinging, feet moving, and her little red cheeks puffing, but I don't dare suggest she ride in the stroller! She's wants to walk! 

Rooster on the other hand is singularly focused on whatever is in front of him. He would run ahead of us, desperate to get wherever he thought he was going. He is so social and has no fear. He'd run up to the exhibits and crowd in among perfect strangers just to get a better view. And then it was off to the next thing! We were moving fast all day long. 

My husband and I used to love going to the zoo together. We would walk around for hours, holding hands, looking at the animals, reading signs, talking about the exhibits and waiting patiently for something to happen. It was so relaxing and educational.

But now trips to the zoo are anything but relaxing. I kept reminding myself all day that this trip was about them. Not me. I love taking pictures of the animals, but yesterday I only had time to take one (and I don't even like birds!).

I was just too busy chasing toddlers and pushing the stroller, and trying to keep Little Bear from eating my camera. I constantly had to tell myself to just let them play. If they want to spend 15 minutes spinning these triangles in the Cheetah exhibit, let them! At least it's air conditioned!!! 

Letting go of the things I enjoy and focusing all my time and energy on helping my kids have fun is hard. But that's what motherhood is all about, letting go of the selfish desires of my heart and embracing who my children are and what they need. I could have been a grouch at the zoo yesterday, complaining about the heat, or the constant running after toddlers, or the fact that I was so busy trying to keep them safe, I didn't get to enjoy any of the exhibits myself. But what's the use in that? 

As moms it's easy to fall into the complaining mindset. We go through pregnancy complaining about our aches and pains and the loss of our ability to move freely and comfortably. We go through the baby years complaining about lost sleep, no free time, and how expensive diapers are. We go through the toddler years complaining about the terrible twos (and threes!), mourning the loss of our clean houses and peaceful dinners.

We get so caught up complaining about what we've lost, that we forget to find joy in what we've gained! 

So I've decided to embrace the fact that zoo trips are no longer easy, or convenient, or relaxing. Instead, they are action packed, and crazy fun, and worth every bit of hard work!

This is my life and I love it. I love them. 

Yes, Cupcake's head fits through the bars.
Thank the Lord her belly does not.

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