Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Field Trip

This summer I’ve found that the only way for me to keep the big boys from destroying my house, killing each other and driving me insane is to keep them as busy as possible -- usually out of the house.
So the 5 of us take lots of trips.  To the pool, to the park, to the mall, to the Teeter, to the library, you name it.
Yesterday we took a trip to hell.
It started with a Groupon to a place I’d never heard of called Zootastic.  Advertised as kind of a mini-zoo, full of exotic animals, about 45 minutes away.  Sounded like the perfect way for 3 4-year-olds and a 7-month-old to spend a morning.
I should have turned the van around about 20 miles from home when Charlie started shrieking for me to “TURN IT OFF TURN IT OFF TURN IT OFF…” --- referring to the DVD I checked out from the library about clowns, which apparently scared the crap out of him.  Damn clowns.  Charlie was traumatized 20 minutes into our field trip and never fully recovered.  
At about 9:15 we arrived at Zootastic.
There was nothing tastic about this place, at least, not to the group of 4-year-olds I was traveling with.
The “zoo” was basically a large piece of farmland, with a bunch of random, fenced-in animals.  You get assigned to a group with tour guide to take you past each animal.   It wasn’t one of those places you could simply wander around in on your own.
And let me tell you.  Four-year-olds love guided tours. 
In the heat.
With swarming bees.
Cooper was stung about 5 minutes into the tour.   This trauma, compounded with the clown trauma, made Charlie a basket case.  (Perhaps he overheard the helpful gentleman who was worried that Cooper would go into anaphylactic shock and die).  Charlie really needed a Band-Aid too.
After we rejoined the tour, the boys were patient (for about 5 minutes) because I   promised them that (at some point) our tour guide (who was actually very sweet) would let us feed some animals.  After all, I’d paid $6 for them each to have a huge cup of foul-smelling animal feed, which they dutifully carried.  Until the bee sting incident.  After which Charlie and Cooper abandoned their cups (to me).  Zach insisted on carrying his and dropped it about every 100 feet.  Each time he dropped it, he was devastated beyond belief, and I had to bend over (with Michael attached to my back, mind you) to scoop the foul-smelling stuff with my hands. 
At 9:30 a.m., just as we were entering the barnyard animal portion of our tour, Charlie demanded lunch.  And Zach needed SOMPHING TO DWINK MOMMY SOMPHING TO DWINK. Cooper just kept on the lookout for bees.
And so it went for the next 45 minutes, as we continued our tour down “safari row” (which contained fenced-in cows, goats, donkeys, and other assorted safari animals).  When is lunch?  Can we leave? What DVDs do we have in the car? What are we doing after quiet time?  This is not fun.  Bees!?! Somphing to dwiiiiiink. Somphing to dwiiink.
At about 10:15, when Zach collapsed and claimed he could no longer walk because of the volume of wood chips (and animal feed) that had gotten into his sandals, I gave up.  We abandoned the tour.
I tried to give the boys a snack and feed Michael some pureed sweet potatoes at a picnic table, but when the bees started to swarm, we made a beeline to the car.
And poor little Michael had been so good, so patient the entire trip that he decided to scream the ENTIRE 45 minute drive home.

And the boys (despite being terribly unhappy by the selection of DVDs I’d chosen for the field trip) complained the whole way home that they couldn’t hear said unsatisfactory DVDs because of the constant screaming.
All in all, a great day.  Can't wait to go back.  I think Zach still has some feed in his shoes we need to return.  Next time, though, I'll find some extra preschoolers to bring with me, just to make the experience that much more delightful.  

[This incident aside, we've had a really wonderful summer.  Will post some pics of the gang and an update in the next day or so!]


Danyel said...

hilarious raizel. love the pic of michael!

Honest Convo Gal said...

One word--school. It's not long now.

I do love your blog posts. -Amy