Tuesday, March 27, 2012

There's Never a Tranquilizer Gun When You Need One

I could simply tell you that the highlight of my day was when Justin kicked off his Crocs and walked dangerously close to goat pee in the petting zoo, but that would be too easy. Let's back up so I can tell you how we got here.

On Sunday, we took the kids to Lion Country Safari, a drive-through safari park with a second amusement park at the end. I LOVE this place and I have since I was little. Personally, I'd be perfectly content driving through and looking at the animals from the comfort of my air-conditioned car all day long. My husband, JakeRyan and I were the people who stopped and looked at every single animal, could have spent hours staring at lions and talking about how big rhinos are.

Unfortunately, the wildlife INSIDE the minivan with us had other ideas.

Cruising along at 8 MPH and out of their native habitat of having to sit in car seats, my three were on the loose crawling all over the seats and looking for their next kill. "Kill" translates to grapes, chips and string cheese in the cooler at my feet because it had been exactly 42 minutes since they finished breakfast. These kids can sniff-out a juice box from a mile away.

In fact, they were so excited to be able to eat in the car that they completely ignored a perfectly good zebra fight happening right next to us. Who needs to see three male zebras jumping all over each other when there are Cool Ranch Doritos on hand? Seriously, look at those bad boys. It was awesome! And the zebras weren't hurt of course.

After singing the Veggie Tales Water Buffalo song several times and looking at rhinos, giraffes and 7,000 what-we're-calling-gazelles, we were in the theme park part.

Ryan dislikes birds. A lot. However, the rest of us like them, he's 8 and needs to suck it up. He pouted in the Lory feeding experience because they were "creepy and their eyes were red." Natalie and Justin loved it. So they win. (Note: I was showing him these pictures yesterday and turned to him and squawked as loud as I could. He hates me.)

So let's get this straight, scared of a tiny bird, not scared of feeding lettuce to a HUGE giraffe.

We moved on to the petting zoo where here we fed goats. Feeding had to be done through the fence (nobody wants a goat knocking their kid over just to get some lettuce), but you could also get in and pet them. I had walked in the fence with Ryan while JakeRyan stayed out with the little kids. As soon as Justin stepped in, he got some sand in his Croc mayday mayday and kicked it several feet away. So yes, I watched my kid walk with one shoe through a petting zoo. And no matter how good a job they did cleaning it up, there is still no denying what gets dropped and dribbled there all day long. Like a super-hero, I hoisted him up, passed him over the fence to his dad who then promptly passed him back when I ran around to do a hearty foot-washing. 

When alas I was exhausted, JakeRyan took them into the Safari Maze, which was simply a maze of ficus hedges with one way in and out as far... as I could tell. Foreshadowing. I sat on a rock right outside that entrance/exit. The Safari Maze was right near the Toddler Train. Foreshadowing. 

For those of you not familiar with ficus hedges...they tend to get a little sparse at certain times of the year, like March. 

"Whose child is this???" Called the voice of the attendant of the toddler train.  I couldn't believe the shocking resemblance to Justin that this kid had. I'm guessing his negligent father let him run amok in the maze without noticing a 3-year-old shimmy his way through the hedges, get in line and jump on the Toddler Train by himself. And fasten the seat belt. Doesn't that kid look just like Justin? I saw it in my peripheral vision. Although the Shrub Shimmy Incident wasn't on MY watch, I was the one who did the walk of shame over to the ride to supervise. And incidentally, aren't those other kids REALLY BIG TODDLERS? 

So, the lesson learned: Bring a stoller to Disney in a few weeks. 

Here are a few more photos. 


  1. They look like they're all having so much fun! And my hope is that when my boys are older we can do these same kinds of things. Sans kick off Crocs.

  2. birds are creepy. Giraffes have fuzzy noses. The math is simple. That ostrich looks skeptical of the whole thing.

  3. Looks like an awesome day! We had Lion Country Safari back in the 70's in Atlanta. I remember going too!

  4. I want to go to Lion Country Safari so badly but the other half wants nothing to do with it. I may have to throw the kids in the car one day and just do it by myself!!!! Love the pictures.

  5. What a fun zoo!

    I like zoos but petting zoos... scare me.

  6. I think I may have just shook my head and said "nope, doesn't look familiar" and waited for my husband to retrieve him. It's not like they're going to keep him or anything.

    And, I am totally with Ryan on those freaking birds. I was chaperoning a school trip at the zoo and one of those lorakeets dive bombed and got stuck in a girl's braid I was in charge of. That bird pecked the shit out of me when I tried to remove it. Traumatic.

  7. We saw Zebras fight at the DC Zoo. It was so loud and they were really going at each other. The animal lover in me wanted to break it up so I had to walk away but I could still hear it for quite some time. I don't think I will ever forget it.
    My youngest would have freaked about feeding the giraffe. That is her all time favorite animal. I can't wait to show her the picture.
    Speaking of pictures, you and Nat on the carousel...so cute! I love mommy/daughter happy shots like that!!

  8. I so would have made my husband deal with the toddler running a muck situation, especially since things like that always happen on his watch. I always get the toddler screaming "mommy" and pointing even when I try to ignore him though.

  9. I laughed so hard when you wrote that you squawked at Ryan... HILARIOUS

  10. hilarious! i love your blog. so funny. and i must agree about lories. they are creepy and they poop entirely too much.