Thursday, April 22, 2010

$24


So, I took my kids to the zoo today.

I love the zoo.  It's not too big.  There is a variety of attention grabbers.  It's fun for all ages.  And, most of it is outside.

[Let me just put in a side-note here.  While our city's wild animal habitat is a pretty lame excuse for a zoo, we are also home to the nation's Toy Hall of Fame.  That is located in a fantastic children's museum.  Fantastic...if you have one or two children.  As a mother of seven children whom, by the way, I'd like NOT to misplace before they're 20, I detest that museum.  There are a zillion different corners and more nooks and crannies than an English muffin. It's great place for a one-on-one date.  Not the place to have an enjoyable outing with seven children 12 & younger and be able to return home with each of them.]

The zoo's open spaces allow my children to walk or run while I can still see where each of them is.  We can look at the animals for as long or as short a time as we want.  There are places indoors (which have an open-floor plan) that we can go to warm up or cool off, depending on what the day's temperatures hold.

I was planning on getting into the zoo for free as the zoo membership I have from a neighboring city has always had reciprocal benefits. It used to be you got into both zoos for free no matter which one you purchased your membership. Used to be.  Until January of this year.  Now, I have only 50% off the entrance fee.  Oh well. So it was $24 more than I planned on spending.

Twenty-four dollars totally wasted on my two youngest children.  For, while we were on our way to see the tigers, my flower-child Gloria (who truly sees the world through rose-colored glasses) was marvelling at all the little flowers.  We'd see the elephant and she's point to the ground and squeal, "Oooh!  Flowers!!!" as she'd go to pick them.

I need to take that child to a botanical garden.

And Zane.  We were looking at two mammoth sized rhinos when he points to a sparrow - a SPARROW - and cries in delight, "Bird!!!!"  $24, rhinos, and he is captivated by a sparrow?  I could have taken him for a walk to our barn for free.

But, honestly, $24 was nothing compared to the wonderful day I spent with my children. Sure, my oldest child is now considered an adult by zoo standards, meaning I had to pay full price for his ticket for the first time ever.  But this was also the first time in 12 years I have not pushed a stroller at the zoo. I didn't have to change a poopy diaper in the public restroom or calm a tired, cranky baby.  I didn't even have to referee any arguments.  Therefore, I wasn't exhausted when we left, was able to stop at a friend's for a little visit, and make dinner when we got home. 

Gloria liked the flowers.  Zane liked the birds.  Mike cost me more money.

Ya know what? 

I had one of the best days ever as the mom of the seven most precious children I know.

And it only cost me $24.00.

4 comments:

Persuaded said...

Do you really think it's a lame excuse for a zoo? I've always thought it was rather lovely myself. I grew up going to the Buffalo Zoo, which certainly has it's charms... but I was so pleasantly surprised when I first visited the Rochester Zoo. I love how it's located almost in a sort of wood, and my kids love the little wading stream that goes through it♥ We always have such a sweet time there!

elianna m said...

Well, $24... that means it's about $3.43 per kid. You could spend that much on each of them at McDonalds and get a lot less satisfaction! :)
Or, if you count yourself... that's precisely $3 each. Even better!
Remember that time we took them to the zoo? :) Guess they've grown up fast...
And YES - take Gloria to a botanical garden!!

Julie said...

Wow... no stroller... no diaper changing... and cooked dinner?! Sounds like a bright future. If only I could get through the next 3 years! :)

Victoria said...

As I said, I do love out city's zoo - mainly because of its size. The animal's habitats could be nicer - for them and the viewer and certain ways some things are run could improve. But that could be said anywhere, right?:)