I will go into the zoo. I want to see it. Yes, I do.
Or, at the very least, I love Thing Two, so I will go to the zoo with his class for their field trip, just as I did for his older brother a few years ago.
I have nothing against the zoo itself, please note. Just the concept of chasing energetic elementary schoolers around it for the better part of a day in the blazing sun, trying to keep them off the statues, off the fences, and out of the pens! And I was even grateful for the sun and heat that followed this morning's showers, since it was 50 degrees outside and raining sideways there the year I went with Thing One.
I've always attributed the beginning of one of my particularly good friendships to that first trip, actually: once you hit the point where you are too wet to need an umbrella anymore and cold enough to shiver, you either become a grumpy, miserable piece of work or you give up and recognize the humor in the situation. My now-friend B and I bonded permanently while hiding from the frigid rain with our older kids in the zoo's ice cream shop and laughing like a pair of fools! The animals had all had the sense to take cover from the downpour, anyway--we were just following suit.
B happens to have daughters the same ages as both of my sons, so this time around we made a point of signing up to chaperone together again. We were assigned three children to watch: her daughter, my son, and the birthday boy of last summer's Mexican fiesta. These three have been in school together since preschool and get along well, which is handy. As chaperones, B and I were carrying the group's lunches, water bottles, umbrellas, jackets, sunblock, etc, etc. I had a backpack; she'd brought a portable cooler thing, which she pushed around the zoo in a rented stroller! She is nothing if not practical.
We were at the zoo for about four hours, the highlights of which (in the kids' opinion) were watching a gorilla poop, eating lunch, and getting to ride a camel. Oh, and the umpteen-foot python and screaming peacock. B and I were more impressed with the big cats, the polar bears, and the sky-high stilettos and hoochie skirt worn by another chaperone.
The kids' bus didn't get back to school until about 4:50. Having made that mistake the last time, there was no way in hell I was going on the bus with the kids again...B and I and another mom drove together in my car in blessed tranquility. And I needed the temporary peace and quiet, since Thing Two also had a baseball game tonight! He needed to be at the field by 5:30.
About half the kids on each team had also been to the zoo and were exhausted. The game was a nightmare of zombie fielding and very slow base running. One outfielder actually sat down mid-inning to tie his shoe and never quite got up again! When the coach suggested tacking one more inning of play onto the end of the game--at 7:45!--there was a popular rebellion in the parent section of the bleachers.
All told, I was home today for about half an hour between 8:30AM and 8PM. Good thing Himself worked from home today. And Thing Two is lucky that he's cute!