May 25, 2008
zoo boos

An hour ago, Blake & I returned from our annual CF zoo trip. This was my first solo effort, and I'm trying to pinpoint exactly when the day went skidding out of control. Was it when I decided to go alone rather than ask another adult to cough up the registration fee? Was it when I refused to take the umbrella stroller out of the trunk, dooming myself to an eternity of waiting for the world's slowest poke to inch his way up to me on the path? Was it when I decided to optimistically downplay Blake's habit of ignoring all instructions, no matter how unsafe or ridiculous his intended action, despite having to forcibly haul him out of a bouncy castle only yesterday? Or was it when Blake & I decided to walk in the opposite direction from everyone else, therefore ensuring that even the casual support I could expect from the Old Baby Club would be missing?

It was probably all of those things. I was hot, frustrated and exhausted within the first two hours. Even clipping a bag to my belt and knitting a sock as we toured the exhibits didn't help. Blake touched every stroller. If he was pointed in the right direction he dawdled as if he were trying out for the Canadian dawdling team. If there was a direction I pointed out, he ran in the opposite direction. Interesting strangers doing something unsafe? Blake was in there like a shot. Boring exhibit? Blake was lying down in front of it for the maximum amount of time, most likely picking his nose and consuming his gleanings.

There were some lovely moments when I was happy to be there, and happy to be sharing this wonderful place with my lovely son. The elephants, hippos, gorillas, and otters were spectacular. But most of the time I was cursing my own stubbornness and scheming my way to the next animal. No matter what my personal situation, I think I have to face the fact that Blake is a two-adult kid in most situations, and I should not even think about taking him to the zoo on a warm spring Sunday unless I'm prepared to promise one of my friends a pizza trophy if they'll tag along and help with the Beast that is Known as the Blake.

From the day Blake was born, one of the most important kickstarts to my personal growth as a mom was alone time. It was always so easy to be a mom if I has someone to give him to. Once I learned to be a solo mom (back when it was a choice rather than an inevitability), I really started to enjoy that intense one-on-one feeling. I was more present when it was just us. I enjoyed him more. And now I have to face the fact that, without help, I enjoy him less because he completely overwhelms me.

Also, there are no pictures. Not because of the above, but because my batteries died last night and I forgot until Blake was riding an iguana statue. Burn.

I had much more fun with Blake yesterday at Opera Sara's birthday blowout! (The exclamation mark is mandatory.) As with all OS functions, there was plenty of food, plenty of wine, and the assurance that your child had joined a herd that at least one parent was watching at all times. I take shameless advantage of this set-up, so much so that I'm surprised she keeps inviting me back. Especially since I show no hesitation in taking off my socks immediately upon entering, right after I raid the medicine cabinet for the antihistamines I put there two years ago. I'm one classy guest.

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Don't make me send out the Blake. He doesn't listen to *anyone.*