Saturday, October 4, 2008

First comes the fun then comes Parental Hell at the Columbus Zoo

The birthday celebration started with some cards that were in our mailbox. Aaryn sent them each a greeting with stamps on the envelopes.

Very fun, very cool. My kids love to get mail and I love anything in our mailbox that is not a bill.

Lilly Bee and Baby Samuel arrived with the Aunt(s) Nat and Rachelle. We crammed as much activity as possible into the waking hours. There was a trip to the Apple Farm,

Lillian arrived with a double ear infection and was amazingly cheerful despite not feeling herself. Parental Hell week starts with sick kids when away from home and in a hotel room. Two trips to CVS, One emergency room visit and 3 sleepless nights later, it is officially HELL WEEK for Rachelle and Nat. Even while sick Bee had a blast!
Today we made the horrid mistake of taking the kids to the zoo to have fun and see DIEGO. This is our crew as we entered the gates of what would soon become HELL. There should have been horns coming out of my head and flames on the border of the image. The weather could not have been nicer for a Fall outing and everyone and their brother was at the Columbus Zoo. We waited in line for over an hour and a half for our photo opp with Diego. A chance to meet the famous animal rescuer had a lengthy line of impatient parents and even more impatient kids that was slow moving and ridiculously time consuming. The lines at Disney during Spring Break move faster! Apparently, Diego is a union employee- he works for 20 minutes posing with families, then he takes a 10 minute break leaving literally hundreds of kids whining and waiting their for their turn. Since there is only "one" Diego costumed worker and it is hot and stuffy inside a Diego suit, the sweaty union employee has to be the only person allowed inside the costume. This means that as a parent you have to be equipped with snacks, and the where with all to keep your kids entertained in a boring cattle call line for way too long- past your wildest imagination of waiting for your 20 second photo opp with the Damn Diego.

Long story short- this was a disaster. Aunt Rachelle and I joked that Diego is an Asshole. He and his prima Dora could eat shit and die as far as we were concerned. After about the first 45 minutes of standing there it was pure hell. Diego at the Columbus zoo...right this way please, step inside the Parental Hell Pavillion. Follow the signs to Hell it should have said, trust me I was there. We met Diego(the animal rescuing asshole) and immediately afterward went to the Stings and Wings Playground so the kids could run wild and free after being kept like caged monkeys in a line. We get to the play area and guess what? The MF is closed. Closed on what seemed like the busiest Saturday in zoo history. Continue your visit to HELL, right this way please, "HELL!" the signs should have said. So I have a choo choo wagon full of energetic children who desperately need to climb, slide, swing and explore outside the confines of the wagon. The MF is closed. I call the zoo switchboard from my cell, press one for this and two for that when I finally get a human phone attendant. I ask why the play area is not open and I am told that someone will be right there to unlock the gate and let us in. I stall, I buy my kids a drink, I wait with other fuming parents, and no one shows up. 30 minutes goes by and I call again. Apparently the employee responsible for unlocking the gate is not answering his page now. So we as rational adults make an executive decision to just let the kids in the area ourselves. It was parental action time- I was like Rambo at the zoo, I took matters into my own hands and I lifted all 4 of the kids over the locked little 3 foot tall gate and I let them do what we set out to do initially- have fun at the zoo. The other irritated parents followed suit and the 25 children were finally enjoying themeselves at the zoo for the first time all morning. 45 minutes later some angry zoo docent arrived and was horrified that we defied the signage and allowed our children to trespass into a closed area. I told him to call security if he had a problem with it- after the zoo promised to open it and failed I had to resolve the situation in ways that only a group of three year olds could understand. The zoo broke it and Mommie fixed it. As the mean zoo guide was shouting and bitching into his walkie talkie I shuffled my brood back into the wagon and we went about our business in the reptile corridor. The zoo was a messing with the wrong Mama. First there was the Diego disaster, then there was the Playground Problem....hell I tell you, Parental Hell.
Nana and Papa met us at the zoo and we got some decent pics of them with the Columbus Grandkids. This has been 3 years in the making.
UH-OH, this blog post will have to be continued....nap time has ended and Hell week resumes in 5-4-3-2-1!

1 comment:

Ellen said...

I am laughing out loud at your recount of this disastrous day. While it wasn't funny at the time, I love how you worked in the words a$$hole and MF to describe a family outing experience!! Truth be told, I am less than impressed with the zoo lately - they do not respond to voicemails, I'm trying to plan an event there and get my kids into a program, so contacting different departments and no one calls back in a timely manner! You should print your blog and send it to the director!!

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