I took the kids to the zoo this morning by myself which I swore I would not do until Eloise got over her fear of live animals. But then I decided that it wasn't fair for Beckett and Addy because they adore the zoo. So I packed the choo-choo in the car along with the Baby Bjorn for back up. Last time we went I had to carry Eloise the entire time while pulling the wagon which left me a sweaty shaky mess. This time I loaded up on breakfast and packed the Gatorade. I also have been talking about going to the zoo for a day or just to prepare Eloise. I eventually had to stop talking about it because every time I would mention it, the other two would go running for the gate to head outside and start throwing coats and hats in excitement.
It was a good sign that everyone seemed to recognize and chatter when we pulled into the zoo. I thought that we were golden until I put Eloise in the choo-choo and she tried to climb out and then latched onto to me and didn't let go. So I put the other two in the choo-choo and carried her in the Baby Bjorn facing me, like a newborn. She wouldn't let me put her facing out. Good thing she is a tiny little tyke because I think the max weight is 25 lbs and she fit just perfect. Even though she was snug and safe in the Bjorn she still clung to me with her arms and legs the whole time.
She was a little better, still whined when she saw animals but it is was better this time. At home she loves giraffes and elephants. At the zoo, these were the most scary along with the cows. Probably because of the size. I just felt so bad for Addy and Beckett because they really get the short end of the stick at the zoo. We whiz by the really big exciting animals and spend most of our time just walking the paths talking about the flowers and peacocks, which are scary to Eloise as well. But I found a place they all, not me, but the kids like- the reptile and aquatic house. They loved the fish, turtles, and snakes. Really? The snakes? That is my least favorite place at the zoo because it is always dark in there and I'm a little paranoid that something has escaped and is lurking on the floor.
We spent about 20 minutes in there and I think starting in the reptile house is the trick to get Eloise more comfortable because we headed into the Gorilla/Monkey house afterwards and she was totally fine. I couldn't put her down but as long as she was being carried, she was fine. Beckett loved the monkeys but he really loved the big truck outside that was putting on new roof on. That was probably the highlight for him.
Normally I'm pretty used to people staring at the triplet parade, especially in the choo-choo but today for some reason I felt particularly gawked at even though there was hardly anyone at the zoo- it started to rain the minute we got back into the car. Maybe it was just me being sensitive but today was one of those days where having triplets and trying to raise them as normal and fairly as possible was even more challenging than every other day. Some days you just wish it was easier, just simpler to go to the zoo. Today I was walking with Eloise strapped to the front of me, clinging to me like a little monkey, pulling the choo-choo with the other two, sweating and thirsty and had a moment where I caught sight of our reflection of a pane of glass. I probably would have stared too. And in fact I did for a minute or two. Then I walked away laughing. Sometimes that's all you can do.
I'm glad I did it. We will probably go back every week but it's hard. Darn hard.