Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Back home again (sorta)

No sooner are we back in town than I was basically FORCED to take the kids on a stellar outing today. Why forced? Because my article is due to the magazine on the 15th, and that's this Saturday! This deadline thing is so good for me, plus, it makes us get out there and do stuff when it would be easy to "wait for a better day," like when my husband could come with me.

Truly, because I'm a wimp, I was leery of taking all three of them by myself on an hour-plus drive to be among wild animals. We went to one of those exotic resort zoos where you get to ride around and feel the buffalo and gazelles and ostriches and whatnot. And truly, we had a blast! There's just something about turning your head to find a pair of insistent, slobbering camel lips of dimensions that could put Angelina Jolie to shame, just waiting to gobble up whatever's in your hand, that gives you the giggles. And have you ever seen a buffalo tongue up close? I'll just tell you, it's enormous. Caroline spent most of the ride huddled against me after deciding that being basically nose to nose with a large antlered creature was a bit concerning, but she warmed right up when we got to actually get down into an enclosure and mingle with a a bunch of pettable goats after the ride. All in all, if you don't count the fact that Ian's impulse-control skills have sort of been at an ebb these last few days ("No! You cannot ride that baby goat!"), a successful outing.

I do have to add this caveat, however, which I will not share with the magazine audience. This was the scene just as my timepiece began to alert me that in order to get to my afternoon job on time (I tutor Korean children once a week, more on that another time), I needed to start shepherding my flock toward the van:
1- We wash our hands, having petted all sorts of four-legged creatures.
2- Caroline decides she needs to go to the potty. We go. Note: she has insisted on wearing a swimsuit over her underwear and under her clothes. We do the full strip. (Not really "we.") We wash our hands again.
3- I round up Ian and Eliza and tell them they need to wash their hands before we head out. They do so.
4- Eliza decides she needs to go the bathroom, and she needs me to go with her. I tell her that I will wait outside for her, where Ian can see me if he reappears from going to ogle plastic stuff in the gift shop.
5 - Eliza comes out and once again, washes her hands. The soap bottles falls into the giant sink. I fish it out and rinse my hands. Caroline splashes her arms in the sink.
6- Caroline decides she needs to go potty again. Full strip. After two seconds on the potty, she doesn't need to go after all. She redresses, disdainful of my help. She touches the potty. We go wash hands again.
7 - Eliza discovers mud on the bottom of her flip-flops and kicks them off in horror. She fetches gobs of paper towels which she drops on the ground beside the sink so she can wash her shoes. The ablutions continue for another five minutes.
8- We was hands again, round up the missing children, and finally, FINALLY! make it ... to the gift shop. Hurrah for the 50-cent pencils, the cheapskate parent's delight.

Oh, and one more thing. Last night, Caroline found a pair of shorts that my friend Vanessa had so generously bought for Eliza at a consignment shop (along with a few other things; thank you Vanessa!) Claiming them, naturally, for herself, she pulled them all the way up to her armpits, where they of course swam on her. Then, with a sudden look of alarm on her face, she looked down and whimpered, "Uh ... uh ... where did I put my bottom???"


Jenny said...

OMG, I have sooooo been there on the hundreds of handwashing iterations...LOL!

Tracee said...

Ha! Where did i put my bottom, so cute!!