The Non-Event

I don't think I have been this frustrated with Peter before. Today trumps any other hard experience I've had with him so far. And no fault of his own, just poor planning and unforeseeable events.

So, the plan was to hit the zoo in the early morning, before the crowds come and the sun gets too hot. I figure Peter should be happy until 12:30 or so, when he'll be ready for a nap. I tried to envision what going to the zoo with a toddler might be like. I decided to buy one of those backpack leashes just in case he wanted to walk instead of ride in the stroller.

All was well until I let Peter get out of the stroller. He wanted to get a closer look at the sheep and goats, so I strapped on his backpack and we took off. Have you ever tried to hang onto a toddler and push a BIG stroller at the same time? If I had taken the umbrella stroller instead of the Chariot, that might have been easier. Most of the time my wings were open wide, trying to get the stroller going in the same direction as my child, failing miserably as I cut off other families around me and accidentally pull my babe backwards onto his canoodle.

I can laugh about it now, but at the time I was pretty distressed. I decided, after much trial and error, to take the Chariot back to the car and try doing without my purse/camera/diaper bag/other paraphernalia. After finally finding the car in that huge parking lot, I got to work disassembling the monster. There's one part that often gets stuck and did it ever stick today. It was a losing battle and made me ever more frustrated. I finally decided to leave that part on and try to shove the whole thing in the back of the car. I had to take the backseat headrests out to get it in and finally closed the back gate in triumph. Or exhaustion. I was ready to leave that thing on the side of the road. Sorry Pam.

I went to retrieve Peter who was standing on the driver's seat with the emergency flashers on, turning the lights on and off. His favorite place to be. I soon realized that he had a dirty diaper. Good thing it was then and not back in the zoo sans diaper bag. But I didn't think that at the time. I was stressed and this was adding to my level. My patience was at an all time low. Peter obviously hadn't figured that out, because he flipped right over, *almost* spilling his poop all over my seat. OOOOOOH, I was getting mad. I managed to wipe off his bottom and put a clean diaper on while he stood, pulled up his pants and away we went.

It was much easier to deal with just a child and not a child and a behemoth stroller, but I can't say Peter had much interest in the ZOO. He banged on railings and lampposts, ducked under the rails to check out the foliage, climbed up as many stairs as possible (going in circles to do so), and soon I was DONE! The sea lions were dancing right in front of us through the glass and Peter was dragging me away to go touch the wall or point to the lights. Guess I'm not raising a marine biologist.

I'm not sure what could have made this adventure more fun, but I have no desire to go back to the zoo today or tomorrow. I hope Sea World turns out better.