Thursday, October 22, 2009
Last Saturday, at the very last minute (isn't that always how it works?), we decided to go to Boo at the Zoo, an annual Halloween event here in town. We hadn't told Eleanore anything about it, for fear that something might come up (like the H1N1 virus), so when we woke her up from her nap and told that we needed to get ready to go, she freaked out. Have you ever seen a 3 year old flip out with joy? Its the best.
While she was sleeping, I had run to town to pick up some last minute costume accessories, my first time leaving the house in days (thanks, flu). I ended up paying for and walking out with some cat ears, and a mullet wig? We can make it work, right? I didn't want to spend more than a couple of dollars, but I remember when I was little, I always thought parents that dressed up on Halloween were the coolest. And if you haven't noticed by now, Christopher and I are really trying to be the coolest.
As we were unloading the kids out of the car, we noticed that Charlie's Peter Pan hat wasn't in the back seat. And neither were Eleanore's fairy wings. We had left the costume part of our kids costumes at home, really? Yeah that sounds about right. We felt weird being more dressed up than our own children, but the awkwardness soon passed. And wait a minute, had we seriously not been to the zoo since last years Boo at the Zoo?? Parenting fail.
So much had changed.
A white tiger, red wolves, a beautiful new duck pond with walking bridge trails. And dinosaurs? Wait no, Elie, that's a rhino. Or, a rhino-saur (and a good view of him too, hah).
Eleanore was in candy gettin' heaven. Running this way and that way, forgetting how to say "trick or treat" (there were so many kids that the people handing out the candy didn't care if they said it or not), falling and scraping her knees and then getting up and throwing dirt into the air because it was so much cooler than the dirt that we have at home. It was insane.
Last year she was shorter... slower... innocent. Now shes- well, shes three. Climbing on things, ignoring our instructions, eating candy off of the ground that's been stepped on by at least 10 pairs of feet in the last minute. Simply, exhausting. Exhausting, but oh so lovable.
Sometimes I feel like I'm yelling at her for everything. When I look back at my childhood, I don't remember any of the yelling that must have happened at events and outings like this one, or the demands made by my parents, who I'm sure would have been trying to keep me safe in the same way that we're trying to keep our kids safe, I only remember the event itself, and all of the amazingness that went along with it. So hopefully, she won't look back and think "what a mean old mommy I had", and I'll be off the hook. I hope that she'll look back and see the smiles and painted whiskers on our faces instead.
And little Charlie! This was Charlie's first trip (ever!) to the zoo! Poor guy, he still wasn't feeling 100% recovered from the swine flu, so he kept quiet, and spent most of his time resting on my hip. I knew he was having a good time though, because whenever I tried to put him back down in the stroller, not only did he voice his opinion in the form of crying, but he kicked his feet and reached out to grab branches and rock walls that we passed. Or maybe he was just mad that we left his Peter Pan hat at home.
By the time the sun was setting and zoo was closing, we were on our way back home. The baby fell asleep as soon as his head hit the padding on his car seat pillow. The night definitely had its flaws (Christopher driving off of a curb, Starbucks being out of pumpkin spice latte mix the one time we go to buy store bought instead of just making our own, us forgetting the costumes), but all in all, I'm so glad we went. Last minute decisions always seem to make the very best memories.