After I had packed up the car with the double stroller, a cooler filled with snacks, my camera bag, my diaper bag packed to the brim, and two little boys under the age of two, I thought to myself: You must be insane. What kind of person thinks it’s a good idea to take a 22 month old and a 2 month old to the National Zoo on a sweltering Friday? After a wonderful visit marred only by the refusal of the hummus sandwiches that were the boy’s favorite food just a week ago, I looked at my two sleeping boys in the rear view mirror while successfully navigating my way out of the city and back into suburbia and thought, “This was a brilliant idea.”
I credit my Friday playgroup with giving me the courage to attempt the trip. I met up with several other moms and their kiddos at the zoo, so only the car trip there and back were solo missions.
Interestingly, the big animals that I thought would be a big hit were too scary for the little boy (I thought the fact that the elephant was headed right for us was exciting; he found it terrifying) and the kind of stuff we could see if we just walked into our backyard was thrilling (He loved the little turtles in the pond). All in all, it was a fun trip for all. We saw an elephant, turtles, anemone, starfish, an octopus, apes, a zebra, and pandas, in that order.
When we got home, we picked out the animals we saw from Xav’s pile of stuffed animals and lined them up. We also read From Head to Toe several times and acted out all of the animal sounds and motions. Two animal masks I picked up on consignment came in handy for elephant and gorilla impressions and, at long last, Xav called the orange octopus we made together (thank to instructions from the wonderful Rhythm of the Home) an “octopus” rather than a “monster.” (It helped that the octopus we saw at the zoo was also orange. I love it when a plan comes together.)
I officially declare yesterday another successful day at home with the boys. And as I’m still getting used to being a Mom with Kids as opposed to a Mom with a Little Boy, I’ll take as many of those days as I can get.