Sometimes Texas gives you a little present in mid-January and the weather turns really awesome for a couple of days. Yesterday was one of those days and it was a perfect weather day--crisp and cool in the morning and warm by the afternoon. It was only a tiny nugget of warmth though, because it's supposed to be cold again by tomorrow.
I'll admit that I am a tad obsessive about checking the forecast, so I knew the perfect weather day was coming. On Monday I made the mistake of mentioning to the boys that we could go to the zoo later in the week. Well, of course they don't understand what "on Thursday" means, so all I heard for four days was: zoo today? Going to zoo now? Let's go see ALLIGATORS! I love the zoo. Going zoo now?
But when Thursday finally came I was so annoyed with them that I almost cancelled zoo day. They woke up at 5:45 and then went and woke everyone else up way earlier than normal. Then they got into about six different disasters while I was getting ready to go. But I figured it would only get worse if I didn't get them OUT of the house, so I took them, fearing sudden sleep deprivation related breakdowns the whole time.
They loved it. The weather was perfect. The animals were all out enjoying the warm weather and were energetic because they had just eaten so they were putting on a great show for the boys. We basically had the place to ourselves until right before we were leaving, so the boys got to walk and play without me worrying they'd wander off or get lost in the crowd. They'd walk up to a new animal area and they'd sit down right on the pavement in front to watch for a few minutes--"me sit right here." They'd sit and eat snacks while they watched the animals play around--even though they were nervous the birds would surely attack them and eat their fruit snacks. (And the camera battery that was dead at the bowling alley was still dead, so I had to use my phone. I love multi-tasking technology.)
There was one rhino who was going crazy running around and stopping really fast, flinging his plastic toy thingy in the air, and jumping around acting nuts. He put his horn in one end of the tube and flung it really high in the air and Aidan said, "It's his shoot-it! Hey basketball team." Avery said, "He run fast--- like me do." I never knew an animal that big could get that much air--he was at least a foot and a half off the ground .
When we found the alligator cage (that Avery had talked all week about seeing) but NO alligator inside, the boys decided he was taking a nap somewhere. Then for the rest of the day, they'd look in all the other areas for sleeping alligators. Apparently the alligators sleepwalk while napping because I'm pretty sure the zoo keepers discourage them from being anywhere near the giraffes and elephants, which is where the boys were sure they saw them.
We stopped for awhile at the warthogs and admired their nasty, tangled long hair. Avery said "He like me (rubbing his new hairdo). He need a haircut too!"
They were being so good that I even took them to the kids playground area and let them play in the sandbox. Did you hear that? I let them play in the SANDBOX. The world's messiest place for toddlers. I was quite proud of myself for allowing it until Aidan dumped a shovelful right down Avery's shirt and then I remembered why I hate sandboxes.
I even managed to keep them awake the whole ride home, which involved tickling their feet and blasting Blues Clues at a ridiculously high volume. It was our most successful zoo outing yet--minimal tantrums, the animals cooperated and stayed within sight (except those darn alligators), and we didn't make any appearances on the news last night. (As in: "Local mentally deranged mother drops twins into the Flamingo Bay").
And today we're still enjoying the last of our tiny window of warmth, because tomorrow it will be gone and the boys will be housebound once more.