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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I got this.

First of all, those of you who are readers of one of my ABSOLUTE favorite blogs, 'Enjoying the Small Things', YES, I straight up stole the title of her last post. But there was just no more appropriate title than it. So the least you can do is stop on by and read her post. (But prepare to be sucked in...)

Now back to me.  

What do you do the weather is absolutely perfect outside-- cool, but not cold, overcast but not gloomy,  and your kids, who've been sick for a week, are all suddenly looking almost normal? You eat cinnamon rolls for breakfast and excitedly announce to everyone, "We're going to the zoo today!" (I'm not usually one for last minute trips like these, but the mood struck me just right and I felt like the kids had been cooped up inside for far too long.)

So Brian and I did the whirlwind-tag-team-get-5-people-ready-as-quick-as-possible dance and were making our way to the garage all in under an hour. Great planning, eh? Well, I bet I don't need to tell you... Even the best laid plans can go awry. Cuz that's when the phone rang and Brian got called out for work. 

Say it with me now, "Awwwww crap."

Not immediately wanting to go as the 'solo adulto', I contemplated making up some lame excuse about how ALL the animals at the zoo were sleeping right now and that we couldn't go, but the little faces looking up at me, completely unaware of my predicament, continued as they had for the past hour with, "I'm ready to go the animal zoo, mommy" and "I'm ready to go in the car to see the giwaffes," And though I may be mean from time to time, on THIS day, I was not ABOUT to break those little hearts. 

'I got this,' I kept telling myself. 

Triple Choo-Choo Wagon? Check!
One diaper/food bag? Check! 
My new camera? Check!
3 kids? Check! 

And we were off. Typically, anytime I go anywhere with the kids alone, whether it's Target, Walgreens, the park, etc. I spend the drive time playing the 'what-if' game, so that regardless of what happens, I will not be caught off guard and unprepared. Oh no, I want to look cool and collected when my kid pees his pants in front of the otters.  :)

Here's just a sampling of what goes through my mind...
'What if one gets sick and throws up?' 
(Leave and go home)

'What if one gets mad and throws a tantrum in the middle of the zoo?' 
(Too bad, so sad. Get to a less public area and wait it out. DON'T yell back like a lunatic parent.) 

'What if one runs this direction and the other two run in that direction?'  
(Don't forget that you're faster than they are. Ditch the wagon if need be. You've got the bag with the important stuff, now RUN.)

'What if I lose one?' 
(I honestly did not consider this one to be a likely option, but you just never know.) Sooo, tell the zoo people, call 911 if need be, show them the picture you took when you arrived. Yes, whether on a cell phone or camera, I always take a photo of all kids when we arrive, so I can show authorities exactly how they look that day. I do this on Kindergarten Field Trips too!) 

'What if I don't have enough food? 
(You have your wallet and they have a snack bar.)

'Where can I fill up sippy cups?' 
(They're called water fountains and they're oh, I don't know, everywhere.)

'What if we lose a sippy cup?' 
(See snack bar comment above. Better yet, see water fountain comment above.)

'What if everyone is cranky and crying and wants to go in different directions? 
(Leave and go home)

What if they won't stay in the wagon and want to walk on their own. 
(Play this one by ear....if they stay close enough for comfort, then fine. Let 'em walk. If they refuse to stay close to you, then in the wagon they go, then refer to TANTRUM comment above.)

So anyhoo, now that I've given you the lead up, I'll just tell you that this trip was hands-down the BEST trip they've ever had to the zoo. No joke. We went around the entire zoo 3 times they were so cooperative. We pulled up to an exhibit and I'd say, "Okay, you can get out if you want to." They'd all get out, hang on the bars, look at the animal for a while, and then somebody would say, "Okay, bye, bye _____ (fill in the blank with an animal name). See you soon! I love you ______."  And they would climb back in to their seats and we'd move on.

It was eerily enjoyable and remarkably stress free....

I fed them sandwiches and strawberries as we strolled through the zoo and towards the end of our 2nd round, I stopped to get 3 flavors of 'Dippin Dots' ice cream as a reward for their awesomeness. We took our ice cream to the central park area within the zoo and sat in a little circle to enjoy a sweet treat.

Now, this next story I tell you for 2 reasons-
1. It's a testament as to how meaningful it is when people go out of their way to do something kind, and
2. Everyone needs a little pat on the back and for me, this was that pat and it came on a good day.

As we sat in the grass, I could see a couple approaching us. I tried not to stare, but it was soon apparent that they were coming right for us. I assumed they wanted to know about our wagon or something, since it would seem it was pretty much the greatest thing going. Next to the 84 times I said, "Yes, they're triplets and yes, I have my hands full", I probably said, "It's called the Choo Choo wagon and it's made by Step 2. Yes, it's the coolest invention ever" no less than 63 times.

As they got right up to us, the man knelt down beside me and the woman said, we just wanted to tell you that this is the best exhibit at the entire zoo." (Insert my eye rolling here...another comment about what a zoo we are.) But then I realized they had an entirely different message.

They proceeded to tell me how they'd seen us all around the zoo and just wanted to come and tell me what a great job I was doing. (What? For REAL?) They continued with how they were so impressed with how well behaved my kids were and how refreshing it was so hear a mother speak to her 3 young children in such a calm and positive manner.

His words, as he patted me on the shoulder were, "You got this, Mama! You're doing a great job and we just wanted to tell you."

All parents deserve recognition. They do. But unfortunately there isn't always someone to offer it. So when someone goes out of their way to tell you you're doing something right, it really means a lot. It's appreciated and it just lets you know you're doin all right.

So 'thank you' to that couple, for making my day. The day I contemplated canceling. :)

And now, the photos....(taken with my new camera that I still mostly know nothing about.)


Yes, it's the Choo Choo Wagon. It's made by Step 2.  It's a must-have for triplets.  :) 

Sir Colton

Lady Hunter

Master Ethan
 First Stop? The Otters. 


Watchin the 'Otter in the Water! '

Yes, she's also an Otter Fan. 

Aside from the slitty eyes, I love how angelic he looks. 


Otter Watchers 



"Yook at the Pea Pocks Mommy!" (Peacocks)


Das the effant. 


Hey, don't everyone have too much fun, now! lol...

Finally! The Giwaffes!



Perhaps more interesting than any of the animals were these sculptures with giant leaf filled holes ...
 

"Hello, ello, ello, ello....."


Looking for the hummingbird. 



Moving on to the Duck Pond. Disappointed that the Fish Food Feeder Machine was empty.  :(
Cuz seriously, it's a highlight for them usually. 






"S'all gone, mommy?"


Love. 


Time for Dippin Dots! 








And a breakdown because I tried to help him scoop some ice cream. 
(I know. How DARE I?)



And I'll leave you with that. 

Let that couple be a reminder to us all. 
Go out of your way once in a while. 
Make someone's day. 
Tell them what a great job they're doing.

14 comments:

The Alexanders said...

Wow! I am beyond impressed with you tackling the zoo on your own with the kiddos, and with your pics! Love them!

Chelsea L said...

What a great day! And how sweet of that couple :)

Dad said...

"You've got this, Ami." From day one ... Love you.

Mrs. Lofgren said...

What a wonderful memory...for you and the Bunchkins!!!

Sarah said...

You are gonna LOVE the Choo Choo Wagon!

Just Jen said...

This makes me want to go to the zoo! We haven't been in almost 7 years. It seems like you got this on the new camera, too. Your pictures are really good!

Anabelle said...

Your new camera isTOTALLY making you the East Coast Kelle Hampton!

And, good thing you gave props to her blog post title, cause I was totally going to call you out! :) (what are friends for?)

Lawson and Ians' mum said...

You went the same day as us! We were going to let the boys feed the ducks as there were very few people there at 9am. yup, no food. Your little cherubs are delightful.

A. Valerie said...

Ami Leigh....You've definitely got this! We were just telling our friends tonight about how well behaved and fun the Bunchkins are and how calm you are with them. How sweet of that couple to stop to tell you what a great job you are doing with your children. Ditto that! You are amazing. Colton, Hunter and Ethan have so many beautiful childhood memories ahead. Love how you cherish each moment.Love you!

Susan said...

How proud you must have felt when those two told you how impressed they were with you. I'm sure its not that easy all the time but its good when it does happen.

Abbey said...

What a great time! I love that story, gave me chills. As always, your pictures makes me so excited for our fun adventures ahead! I also love the idea of taking their picture that day...so smart!

Kalle said...

What an awesome day for you and a well deserved pat on the back! You definitely "got this"

Gold On Runescape said...

As a result myself desire to see a zoo! We haven't experienced practically Several years. It seems like you got this specific around the brand-new digital camera, too. The photos are really good!Gold For Runescape

Rocelle R. N. Henke said...

Wow nice picture. Thanks.

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