E left for a trip to LA early Friday morning and didn’t return until late Sunday night, which left me, myself, and I to look after the boys for three days. I’ll put it all out there now and say the first two days were unusually ROUGH. I don’t know if they knew their dad was gone, or if they just wanted to play tricks on me, but both decided not to sleep Friday night. Eli was up from about 1-2am on and off; Oliver woke at 3am thinking it was time to play and refused to go back to sleep until at least 4:30. Of course it didn’t change that they were awake rearin’ to go at 7:30am.
Suffice to say, my Saturday did not go well at all. The boys both fell asleep during lunch and I was a zombie.
However, I wanted to make up for it on Sunday, so I packed a picnic dinner and stuffed the boys in the car as soon as they woke up from their nap at 3pm.
The last time we were there, E and I decided to become FONZ members; we love walking the ‘trails’ and went often even before the boys were born. Now that we’re wielding a double wide (stroller), we realized it was due time to support the zoo… and garner free parking for our visits.
After enduring screeching for the entirety of what turned into a half hour drive (I truly hate driving in DC. It should be simple, but one wrong turn in a construction zone can land you 20 one-way-street blocks away in the opposite direction), I wanted entertainment from other screeching, roaring, and furry animals.
It turned into a complete work-out for me as a lot of the animals had gone in and the ones that were visible could not be seen from their stroller vantage point. Therefore, to stave off their boredom, I hoofed it up the hill and around the exhibits at a breakneck pace. In fact, I nearly ran over a few people as they stopped suddenly in the middle of the walkway. Sidenote: Why do people do that? If you’re walking in public and you’d like to stop… could you please veer to the edge or at least glance behind to see if there’s someone on your tail??
This photo is what you get when you ask a stranger using the camera on their flip phone, to take a picture of you with your SLR. He seriously didn’t know what a viewfinder was…
Thankfully the bird exhibits are wire fence from top to bottom (instead of a concrete half-wall), so the boys got their first glimpses of cranes, emus, and other winged things. I think they’re already in love with flamingos, which is a noteworthy nod at The Time Traveler’s Wife for me (the main character’s favorite bird is the flamingo), especially since that’s where Oliver’s middle name comes from. Both boys were excited watching the birds and as I walked on, they started trying to get out of the stroller to turn around. I think they would have been happy sitting there all day.
By the time I made it all the way to the top of the hill and back, it was dinner time; I spread a blanket out and let them have at it.
I’ve never packed a picnic for toddlers before, but we made do with cold grilled chicken, carrots and flatbread (it’s one of the only breads I’ve found so far without milk and eggs).
And this is what you get when you just take the damn photo yourself using a timer…
Of course, they got easily distracted (People! Grass! Mum’s camera!) and it wasn’t very long before this happened:
It was a pretty spectacular day hanging with my boys; we made it back into the car mere seconds before a summer rainstorm hit. Hopefully we’ll head back for a longer adventure soon and I plan on remembering their shoes next time (oops), so they can play in the kids area near the petting zoo.