Thursday, August 16, 2012

Taking the monkeys to the zoo

Today, I finally managed to take all seven kids out by myself - to the zoo of all places. 

The morning was unseasonably cool (cough, cough... 88 degrees... we consider that almost winter here), though muggy from all the rain we have been having. Seriously, the entire nation is in a drought, and Arizona has had more rain than I have ever seen it have? It's been nice for us.

Of course, we had not been in the zoo for but 5 minutes when Becky did a face-plant into the asphalt right in front of some zoo workers. I put a bottle of ice water on the big lump forming on her forehead, but the workers suggested calling the ranger in charge of first aid. 

When he arrived, he tried talking to Becky to see if she had a concussion or seemed confused. By then, she was back to her mischievous self, so when he asked her what her name was, she just smiled and said "My head hurts!" Little stinker, I know she was intentionally messing with the guy. I asked her if she remembered the name of her baby sister, at which point she thankfully decided to start reciting everyone's names. 

The rest of our three hours there were uneventful. Besides riding the safari train around the entire zoo, we spent a long time at the little splash pad they have. 

 The water came on right as Anna was standing over it - something she did NOT like!

I brought a ton of snacks for the kids, even though we left right after breakfast and were going to be home by lunch. It's an unwritten law that they must be chewing on something the entire time they are gone from home. Turns out, this was a good idea, because all the other kids there kept asking for our snacks, or just plain getting into the food in the stroller - it was funny, really. It reminded me of the warnings at Yosemite, to hide your ice-chest out of view if leaving it in a parked car, because bears will zero in on anything that looks like it might have food in it, and break the vehicle open.

Just like that, we went through a pound and a half of raspberries, two boxes of crackers, a jar of peanut butter, and a half-dozen banana muffins. 

I was chatting with the lady next to me when a guy near us jumped up and started yelling rudely at someone else's kid: "Hey, kid! Keep your hands to yourself!" It was nothing short of shocking to hear him talk like that to anyone, let alone a complete stranger, whose mother (presumably) was right there to hear it and pounce on the idiot dad. The boy getting yelled at was super nice, and was only trying to play with jerk dad's precious little angel son.

I'm wondering how jerk dad would have reacted had any of the kids tried to ask him to share his snacks??? The whole time we were there, he kept a keen eye on his child to make sure nobody was playing with him, splashing any water on him (it's a splash pad!), or even getting near the poor boy who looked to be about 2 or 3, and lonely.

 Isaac kept taking Anna down this tube - she loved it!

By the time we left around noon, it was sunny and almost 100 degrees hot. The whole trip went surprisingly well. Stephen spent the entire time asleep in the sling or in my arms, except for when I nursed him during the train ride and at the splash pad.

I'm just glad Jerk Dad didn't reprimand me for nursing in public...


  1. You have enough kids, you don't realllly need Becky right? She is sooooo cute I wish she was mine! What an adorable and silly child with a great personality! (All your kids are adorable of course but theres something really special to me about her!)

  2. I am so glad you had a great day with the kids. Your little one sounds like my youngest daughter always falling down and banging some part of her body. She is 19 and has the worse knees you have ever seen. I am glad Jerk Dad didn't interfer with your children having fun. Clare

  3. I LOVE the looks of your zoo! Ours is a complete dump and waste of money. That splash pad looks amazing too...what a great way to spend the hot days. Stephen is GORGEOUS too! Wow...what a blessed momma you are.

  4. I haven't been to the Phoenix Zoo since 1980 or thereabouts. I'm sure it's changed a lot. The water part of it sounds nice, especially given your heat! Glad Becky is none the worse for wear after falling.

  5. Sounds like a lot of fun!! The big ones are now probably old enough to mostly take care of themselves and even help out, so that makes it a bit easier, I'm sure...Still - impressive to take all 3 out together!
    That's very kind and generous of you to share your healthy snacks with the other children in the zoo.
    Personally, and not trying to be controversial here, I think you make a much stronger positive for large families when you do something like that, and when people see your adorable children playing so nicely together, than you do when you confront some cranky old lady in a grocery store. Who cares what she thinks anyway? You're never going to change her mind, nor will she change yours...But that's just my two cents' worth.

  6. Tucson's zoo is so pretty small and dull after having gone a few times. One of these days I need to bring the kids up there for a change of scenery. Congrats on a mostly successful (poor Becky) first outing with all 7!

  7. I think this is one of those times I *think* I already commented...but I may have just thought about it and didn't actually do it!

    ...Anyway, I'm glad you all had tonnes of fun at the zoo. I LOVE the top photo of you all, it is so sweet!


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