September 21, 2008

A Smokin' Good Time at the Zoo

Up until a few months ago, I could tell Ridge we were going to do something and then later change my mind without him noticing. But, like all good things, that has come to an end. Once the well-intended promise leaves my lips, it might as well be mafia blood debt. In other words, I better come through or my head's gonna end up in a meat grinder, or at least that's how it is going to feel as I am listening to hours of my hardass son line his mother out.
And so, that's how I ended up driving the city with my mom to take him to the zoo today. Yesterday Mom accompanied my sister's family to the State Fair, so she wanted to do something fun with my kids today. Ridge was within an earshot as she and I discussed a trip to the zoo, so he immediately questioned just what we were discussing. I asked if he wanted to visit the zoo and he answered with an emphatic yes.
However, when I was yanked from my peaceful slumber this morning by my youngest boy Rolan bouncing upon my belly as he belted, "Yeeeee Haaawwww," I quickly remembered the unwise pledge I made the day before to Ridge. I didn't want to drive a few hours to drag and chase two boys over a 100 zoo. I wanted to keep my fat ass on the coach while periodically snagging 15 minute naps. Rolan's wake-up call stirred Ridge and, before he could fully open his eyes, he said, "It's morning, Momma. Let's go to the zoo."
Before I realized it, I almost mustered some excuse. But, I knew I wanted the wishful seeds of adventure in his young mind, so I pulled myself from my comfortable bed and started my day. Mom called requesting a later departure time, admitting that she considered canceling. She heard her grandson's excited ramblings in the background and, like me, she knew we had to follow through with our plans.
After our last zoo outing, I learned that we are tram people. If you go, listen to me, get the tram tickets. It beats the hell out of chasing two boys sprinting in different directions.
As we started into the ape exhibit, I looked over at my mother to see her putting out a cigarette.
"Mom, you can't smoke in here," I said, shocked that she was sneaking a few drags.
"I know," she replied, "That's why I am putting it out."
"No, I don't mean you can't smoke in the exhibit. I mean you can't smoke in the zoo at all."
"Are you sure?"
"Ummmm....yes, there's a big sign at the front. Have you seen anyone else smoking?"
She, of course, was mortified. While I was a little scared that the men in the white golf carts were going to boot us out on our smoking asses, I had to giggle a little bit at my mom. I know she's a child of the 60s and 70s when the country was lighting up like a big chimney, but I would think you would have had to have been in a coma for the past 5 years to think smoking at a zoo was still okay.
After several rounds around the zoo, we took my delighted children across the street to the OmniPlex, Oklahoma's Science Museum. Miracously, we made it through that without either boy destroying a single thing. Ridge did wildly desire to scale the dinosaur bones, but we somehow managed to contain him.
The day was long, but well worth it. Through I didn't think so this morning, I am glad I made the promise to Ridge yesterday.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh I love the zoo and the Omniplex (it will ALWAYS be the omniplex to me!) Although I haven't had to do it with children. I'm sure my thoughts will change. Sounds like you gave your boys a great day!

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