Flashback Friday: Zoo Days and Blender Days

by Abby on June 3, 2011

It’s been one of those weeks. Reminded me of this post, originally published on DiaryofaNewMom.net in Nov. 2009:

It’s been 3 ½ years since I said good-bye to an office, coworkers, and the guarantee of daily adult conversation to stay home and raise one, now 2, boys. On a good day, it feels like I’m getting away with something. Like playing hooky, there’s this exhilarating sense of freedom when you’re still in your PJs at 9 a.m., or at the mall or the park in the middle of the day, and everyone else you know is at work.

At the zooA couple of weeks ago, my mom came to visit for a couple days. On Monday, we got up with no plans, no agenda, and decided on a whim to take the kids to the zoo. It was an overcast October day, just chilly enough to keep the crowds away, but warm enough if you bundled up with jackets and scarves.

Miles has only been to the zoo a few times, so he skipped around taking in everything with wide-eyed excitement. We rode on a tram to the African Journey part of the zoo. I think the ride was as thrilling to him, if not more, as seeing a giraffe up close. We saw gazelles and a cheetah, ostriches and rhinos, okapis and zebras, even a baby elephant.

(Sometimes I think that kids who grow up watching Diego and Animal Planet and reading “My Big Backyard” aren’t suitably impressed by all this real-life exotic wildlife in the middle of a city. To them it must seem normal. Like, “Oh, there’s a camel. And look, a squirrel!”)

Even Riley — usually fussy, clingy baby Riley — had a great time out in the fresh air in his stroller. My mom, who hadn’t been to a zoo in years, gamely hoisted up Miles so he could see over the railings, chased him down the pathways, and even accompanied him on a couple turns on the merry-go-round. It was as close to a perfect day as you can get.

So there are those days, and then there are the other days. The days when there are no visitors or playdates, the baby’s been up since before dawn and the toddler’s already complaining about being bored and it’s not even 10 a.m. The days when this one’s cranky, that one’s whiny, and Mom’s exhausted from getting up 3 times during the night.

The days when even going to the grocery store seems like a monumental task, and you can’t face one more trip to the library to pass the time, where you’ll inevitably have to break up squabbles and force your child to share and be quiet and maneuver everybody in and out of the germy bathroom. The days when the clock barely seems to move, and you find yourself pushing the stroller aimlessly around the neighborhood, peering into houses wondering what the hell THEY do to get through the day.

Days when you can feel yourself grinding your teeth and your back clenching up, when you say mean things to your children and think bad thoughts about your husband. Days when the freaking blender lid comes flying off, spraying pureed sweet potato and broccoli all over the kitchen, even the DOG. (People who get more than 5 hrs. sleep a night may find this funny, but trust me, to the rest of us it’s not. Not yet, anyway.)

The thing is, you never know what kind of a day it’s going to be. It could start out dreary, and then you could find yourself picnicking by a sunny pond on an unexpectedly warm fall day while your children amuse themselves for ages feeding the ducks. I guess that’s what keeps it interesting. That, and exciting challenges like figuring out how to scrub sweet potato off the ceiling.

LAUGH O’ THE DAY: I keep this cartoon on my fridge:

Hi & Lois comic

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Angie Mizzell June 3, 2011 at 8:35 am

I would love for you to scan that comic and email it to me. You know, since you need another thing on your plate. 🙂

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Abby June 3, 2011 at 2:22 pm

My pleasure!

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Kim June 3, 2011 at 8:51 am

Yours is the first blog I read today and I’m so grateful for the smile it put on my face! I chuckled when I read the part about looking at people’s houses and wondering what they do to get through the day. I see so many happy moms and happy kids, they have it so together, and then I see moms struggling with kids who are struggling and I sigh. Just knowing that another mom has gotten up several times in the night and finds no humor in kitchen spills, lost shoes, and slipping on a random discarded toy makes me feel so much better. Like, okay this is rough, but I can get through it!
I love the cartoon you posted! My mom mailed the same one to me (and others) and having them on my fridge is a necessity!

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Abby June 3, 2011 at 2:22 pm

Kim, your comment put a smile on MY face today – thanks!

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Lou Mello June 4, 2011 at 7:08 am

All I can say as a guy is that all Moms are just amazing, whether they stay at home, work out side the home or some combination of the two. I don’t know how you guys do it all.

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Abby June 6, 2011 at 11:06 am

We moms can never hear that enough, Lou. Thanks!!

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Lea June 5, 2011 at 12:42 am

Oh my goodness you nailed it on the head! Back when I was a mom of one (who took a great afternoon nap for a long time), I often felt like I had won the lottery. Lots of easy, fun playdates, some lunches out with my friends and their kids, and then a blissful afternoon of me time while my son slept. And then I had two, and my older one stopped napping and became more of a handful than ever before, and we moved away from our regular playdate friends, and there are lots more of challenging, exhausting days thrown in there! Being a stay at home mom these days is still rewarding and great and I have lots of awesome days, but it can also be SO hard! 🙂

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Abby June 6, 2011 at 11:07 am

I hear ya, Lea. We didn’t know how good we had it w/ just one!!

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Shannon @ AnchorMommy June 10, 2011 at 1:33 am

I love this post! Thank you for admitting all the things that happen on THOSE days! Yesterday we had a fantastic day! My boy took a dance class that he loved, I got some extra “me” time while my baby napped and my husband took my boy to lunch, and we went swimming in the afternoon with my mom/niece/nephews! Great! Then today happened…it wasn’t awful, but it was right on the verge. Baby fussiness, toys everywhere…at least I didn’t get snippy with the kids. We’ll see what tomorrow brings…

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