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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Long days make for great bedtimes

Today was one of those days that just seemed to go on forever. Not in a bad way, we had a lot of fun. Instead of rushing through the day and feeling like there just wasn't enough time, I was able to slow down, take my time and enjoy all of the fun things and somehow still had time to get the not so fun stuff done too.

In my week long quest to get out of the house and find some fun, I decided that today was going to be Rainforest day. Whenever we go to the zoo we always leave the rainforest for last, I don't know why, that's just always how it works. And by the end of the trip we are either so tired we are rushing through dragging crying children through the rainstorm simulation, or we just walk right on past the building and straight to the car. Since I was alone with all 3 I though we would just do the Rainforest today, and no zoo.

The boys had fun, for the first time they took their time and searched for the animals in each exhibit, and some rainforest animals really like to hide!

By the end of the 45 minutes we spent in the rainforest, the boys were still in a great mood, the baby was nearly asleep on my chest and it just seemed like a shame to drive back home when we were having so much fun.

So I got a crazy idea. Let's go to the zoo!

No matter how many times I try to just make a quick trip to the zoo it's impossible. I always just want to see *one* more thing, and the next thing you know we are at the Cats and Aquatics building or the Northern Trek (which is a HUGE trek back to the car) and someone (or two, or three) is too tired to walk back. Today was no different.

We started off taking a good look at the elephant crossing exhibit, the last time we were at the zoo it was 91 degrees and we were all in some sort of heat induced zombie like state and didn't get a great look at it. I LOVE elephants. A lot. When I was a kid I had an imaginary friend named Coco the elephant, my mom still teases me talking in Coco's deep voice that I used when he was speaking. I don't care, elephants are freaking awesome.

Things were going great, the boys were still pretty chipper. Then Nathan saw the tram, which in his mind was a train, which meant we HAD to ride it. Alright fine, we'll ride the tram up to the Cats and Aquatic building, walk around for 10 minutes, catch the next tram back down and be on our way home in less than 30 minutes.

So we rode up, walked into the building, and not 2 minutes had gone by before both boys announced they were tired and wanted to go home.


There was no way I was convincing them to wait 15 minutes for the next tram, and they were NOT going to walk around that building. Noah was practically in tears looking at the one exhibit we stopped at. So I made sort of a crazy decision. We were going to walk all the way back down.

Now if you have been to the Cleveland zoo before, you know what a crazy idea this is. There are 2 ways back to the main entrance from here.

Way #1: walk down the road we came up on with the tram in the sun, no sidewalk.

Way #2: walk down a huge ramp/platform/stair thing.

Neither one is a great option with tired kids. There is just no easy way to get back (except the tram).

The platform was in the shade, and I hate the sun, so the platform/ramp won.

Before we even got to the ramp Noah was crying that he wanted me to hold him (he was actually crying "hold you" which would be awesome if that were an option, because I was getting kind of tired myself, but he really just wanted me to hold him). So I did what any desperate mom would do in this sort of situation. I distracted them by bribing them.

When we got to the bottom, I was going to buy them something from McDonald's.

We don't eat out much, but man do they love McDonald's when it happens. Nathan had fries for the first time when we were on vacation when he was about 10 months old, he couldn't talk yet, but months later he would cry and ask for fries every time we drove past a McDonalds...which was nearly every day since it was practically across the street.

Anyway, it worked wonderfully. We talked about what sorts of things we liked to eat the entire way down and we all had some fries as a reward for surviving at the bottom.

But this was only half of our day! I am telling you it just went on forever.

I finally got around to (mostly) cleaning and organizing the playroom with the boys. Elise wasn't having nearly as much fun as we were, so we have to finish up tomorrow.

The kids all got baths, the boys got haircuts and it was still only 7pm! On a normal day I feel rushed just making sure we all eat and take naps, I honestly didn't even know what to do at this point because we had pajamas on and had read books and everyone just sort of seemed ready for bed. So I put them to bed.

And wouldn't you know it, my kids who stall and come out for drinks and to be covered up, and to tell me something, and get their nighty-night (Nathan's bear) or to get another book haven't made a sound since then.

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