We took the kids- and Dave and Connie- to the L.A. Zoo for some animal action.
All was going well with quiet, happy kids until I got the bright idea to put sunblock on everyone.
Owen and Stewart promptly rubbed about a gallon of it into their eyes and screamed bloody murder for the next half hour.
Finally we put them both in the stroller, screaming and slobbering, and they fell asleep, though not before a long period during which they'd both scream if you looked at them or spoke to them.
For the next hour, the four of us shuffled around looking half-heartedly at crocs, birds and monkeys while the boys slept.
It's not that I don't like the zoo, it's just that the zoo is something you want to share with your kids, not have them sleep through.
Now, if we were shopping and I were trying on clothes, sleeping would be wonderful. I should be so lucky.
They woke up for the elephants, and then we went to lunch.
Stewart screamed his way through the meal and Owen just smeared PB & J on everything- he at least seemed to have regained his dignity.
At this point, Dave and Connie clearly couldn't take anymore. They politely took their leave and wandered toward the exit under the pretense of doing "laundry"- I actually believe they would have flown to Venus if it would have gotten them away from us.
However, after lunch things were much smoother. Stew was still tired and seemed to have a cold or allergies so he slept for a good long while, and Owen walked around with us and looked at all the animals.
He liked watching the crocs eat and the "Arabian" antelopes, which wag their tails like dogs but have gigantic horns.
However, as usual, he was far more interested in finding every sewer grate, pipe, and manhole in the park and enthusiastically pointed each one out.
He also shouted "baby!" at each and every stroller that went by and believe me when I say that that was a lot of strollers.
At last we straggled back to the car and went home, where we had a philosophical discussion about memories.
The question was: Was it worth it to struggle through that horrifying day for the sake of a few pictures that make it look like we actually had fun?
The answer: Yes. After a few years have gone by, our photos will become our memories. We can choose to edit out the bad ones (I probably won't, they're too funny) in which case all we will remember is our fun day at the zoo. Or we can keep them all, bad and good, and remember the hour of gut-wrenching sobs that accompanied one of our first family trips. Either way, at least we have a memory, and if we'd sat at home on our butts all we'd have is extra-large asses, like Mike Anaya.
SEE THE DAY IN PHOTOS