I want to make sure my posts are not just about expert parenting experiences. I have to say that today’s trip to the zoo was bitter sweet to say the least! It was definitely one of the trying times as a parent.
I was looking forward to taking the kids to the zoo as soon as we had a nice sunny day! When I looked online yesterday, Sunday was shaping up just the way I wanted it to! We got up early to get a jump start on the crowd. We packed up some great snacks and a little picnic lunch. Mackenzie loves that fact that we turn our ordinary peanut butter sandwiches into a fabulous picnic! We were up dressed and out the door right on schedule to be at the doors when they opened!
Stroller was loaded and we were off! The plan was to do the Asia Quest and North America side of the park! By the way, the part for me that was going to be most exciting was seeing Zach really be able to enjoy the zoo for the first time. He went a lot last year, but he was just too little to take it all in. Now that we had made it through the winter he was at the perfect age to start really enjoying the animals!
Mackenzie made it through the first 30 minutes fine, and then it all started. She wanted to eat! She just kept saying “I want to eat” over and over again! Did I mention that she said it a lot, because what I mean by that is she said it for about 30 more minutes. I kept telling her it was too early and lunch would be after the polar bears! I was at my wits end and we had just started.
Zach was being great he was loving every last minute and was wanting to stay at each area and just check things out. All the while there was this little voice saying “I want to eat!”
So somewhere between the tigers and the petting zoo Mackenzie fell deep into a tailspin. This turned into one of the worst fits I have even seen from her! There was no talking to her as she was not going to listen. I felt I had no choice but to back the stroller into the corner and let her cry it out! Zach and I were very happy to sit and look at the swans in the pond. She was trying to push every last one of my buttons and it was working. At this point it was a battle of the wills, and I could not give into this very stubborn 3 1/2 year old. She played a tough game, and she started to come around in about 45 minutes! O-yeah I said it a 45 minute fit in the stroller at the zoo! I can’t even tell you how many parents walked by and commented…..been there, sorry!
So after she had pulled it together we were able to go to the petting zoo and have a great time. Zach loved chasing the goats and brushing them! At this point, my sister-in-law, niece, and nephew met up to join the party. We went to the polar bears, and then had our all important lunch.
This is what she had been waiting for since we arrived. She crushed it in just a few minutes and was ready to finish up North America. After the train ride we were going to go to one last stop and then call it a day. Nap time was drawing close for both Mackenzie and Zach.
This is when she decided to try my patience once again. She got that exact same look in her eyes. I think all parents know that look that they get! She wanted to take her coat off and it was just too chilly for her to run around in her T-shirt. I turned to her and said very clearly “Do not take your coat off, or we will have to go home!” She clearly heard me and was going to see how far she could push me. She let her jacket roll down to her shoulders, then to her elbows, one arm came out, and then finally her other arm was out. She stopped and looked right at me, basically saying what are you going to do about it?
So that was it, she was sat onto the stroller and we turned to head right home. We just gave a quick “bye” to the family! Mackenzie had a look of shock at first. It then quickly turned to a crying fit similar to the earlier one. She cried and yelled at me all the way to the car. Thank goodness Zachary was very understanding of all the extra drama!
Once we got to the car and she finally put together that I was serious and not letting her out of this one. She said “Mom I stop.” She did. Those tears dried up as quickly as they started. There was no turning back though at this point and we were packed into the car!
Zach was asleep by the time we were out of the parking spot, and Mackenzie was asleep in about 5 minutes. Finally peace and quiet! I felt like I needed a nap as well, I was exhausted!
As hard as the morning had been, I think she will think twice about seeing how far she can push mommy. Being a parent can be very hard some times. Don’t get me wrong, I want to give her everything. I just also want her to know when to listen and follow what her parents are telling her. A very tough lesson for just about everyone.
I just really hope our next visit can be a happy one from beginning to end!