8:00 am Wake up super excited about the zoo if only to see the Asian elephant exhibit. Try to rally kids to my level of excitement. Fail.
8:30 am Argue with kids about the value of a good breakfast bringing up the excellent point that I don’t want to start buying expensive snacks at the zoo as soon as we get there since it defeats the purpose of using free passes.
9:00 Give 5 minute warning that we are leaving for the zoo.
9:05 “Please put your shoes on.”
9:06 “Please put your shoes on.”
9:07 “Please put your shoes on.”
9:08 “Put your shoes on.”
9:09 “Put. Your. Shoes. On.”
9:40 Leave for the zoo.
10:30 Arrive at the zoo with clenched jaw and sore neck from listening to kids argue about whether or not orangutans are monkeys. I settle the argument by letting them know orangutans are indeed monkeys. After Googling it in the parking lot find out I’m wrong. Orangutans are apes. I do not share this.
10:45 After waiting in long line to get into the zoo, realize passes are expired and we must pay full price.
10:48 Kids say they are starving. We head to the nearest snack stand.
10:55 Pay $67 for 3 hotdogs one order of onion rings a pretzel and three lemonades. One four dollar lemonade spills on the way to the table. Shed my first tear of the day.
11: 20 Throw away most of the food and listen to kids yell that they want ice cream. Think about wanting a beer. Remember I don’t drink anymore and shed a second tear. Begin to suspect this may have been a bad idea.
11:22 Head to flamingos. After making it 20 ft. six-year-old claims she’s too tired to walk. Carry her for two minutes before deciding that it would be best to rent a stroller. Other six-year-old doesn’t want to walk either. Pay $11 for a double stroller.
11:35 Heave double stroller weighed down by ninety pounds of the combined weight of two six-year-olds in the general uphill direction of the flamingos.
11:45 Stop at flamingos. Kids can’t see through the fence. Suggest that getting out of the stroller might provide access to a better vantage point. Get met with dead stares.
11:47 Begin hyping the Elephants of Asia exhibit.
12:00 Attempt to bypass the insects due to intense dislike of bugs. Fail. Spend next ten long excruciating minutes in front of a Madagascar Hissing Cockroach. Find out against my will that female Madagascar cockroaches give birth to live young. Know in my heart of hearts that there won’t be enough Tylenol PM in the world to help me sleep that night.
12:15 Head in general direction of elephants, which seem to be at the farthest point of the zoo.
12:17 Kids spot playground and insist on stopping to play.
12:58 Explain that we really must move on to see some animals since if the kids were just going to want to play on a playground for an hour we could have just walked to the park.
1:15 Move at snail’s pace toward elephants. Nine-year-old wants to stop and rest. Sit down on bench. Kids decide they are ready to go home.
1:25 Insist that we stop at Bat-Eared Fox exhibit because we are going to see some goddamned animals if it fucking kills us!
1:27 Start questioning parenting ability.
1:39 Generate a small amount of interest in stopping to see the apes.
1:50 Maneuver all kids out of stroller, through throngs of unruly kids and adults and finally get them positioned right smack in front of the apes. Success. Feel secretly smug about being a great mom.
1:51 Look up at where people are pointing to see the biggest ape standing front and center furiously masturbating.
1:51:30 Remember thirty seconds too late that most apes unlike humans have zero sexual modesty. Begin trying to explain about how apes sometimes can get a very very itchy penis.
1:52 Six-year-old wonders if ape’s penis got poison ivy since it seems so extremely itchy.
2:00 Push on toward Asian elephants while answering question after question about itchy penises.
2:10 Promise ice cream just as soon as we see the elephants.
2:11 Stop at ice cream cart and spend $16 dollars on 4 glorified popsicles. Curse life.
2:20 Ask kids to please stop saying the word penis.
2:30 Arrive at the elephants which are all sleeping. Feel like crying. But then start joining children in yelling to elephants to “Wake up!” “Wake up, you lazy elephants! You have a job to do! You are asleep on the job! Start giggling. When six-year-old yells “Hey, they don’t pay you the big bucks to lay around all day!” Start laughing.
2:32 See elderly couple gives kids and me a dirty look. Laugh harder. Think to self that some people take the zoo way too seriously.
2:40 Return the stroller.
2:45 Carry six-year-old through the parking lot because her “legs hurt from walking so much!”
3: Drive home while mentally tallying the cost of the day which including entrance comes out to $157 dollars. Look in rear view mirror and see two out of three kids fast asleep one of whom is covered in chocolate popsicle. Admit to self that in the end, it actually was totally worth it.