Lasting First Impressions

I could not be happier that the weekend is over and that I can spend most of the week sitting at my desk. I seriously overdid it this weekend, especially at a Burgh Mom‘s get together at the zoo, and a long day of sitting is in order.

The Pittsburgh Zoo was awesome, however. I just need to get something to attach to my stroller so it can carry two toddlers, because Monkey was seriously flagging by the time we were heading back to the car. I decided that giving her a piggy-back ride (why is it called a piggy-back ride?) part of the way would be a good plan. Not so much. The small of my back was very bad on Sunday.

Much thanks to my fellow Burgh Mom attendees who were kind enough not to lose us in the crowd out of sheer embarrassment of being seen with me and my children. You see, by the time we all met up, my children — at a perfectly dry day at the zoo — were covered in mud. I proceeded to get quite filthy myself, and I can’t remember the last time I was so happy to take a shower at 3 p.m.

How did such a thing happen?

I managed to park myself in the concession area next to the only mud puddle in the whole zoo. It wasn’t too bad when Monkey decided to step in it; true to form, Monkey was wearing her rain boots. Not because it looked rainy, of course; Saturday was a gorgeous, if hot, day to stroll the zoo. The problem was when Bun, also true to form, decided she was going to do exactly what her big sister was doing. Unfortunately, Bun was not wearing her rain boots. I thought sneakers were a much more reasonable choice.

Silly me.

I could have engaged in a public battle royale with my younger daughter regarding the puddle of mud and her desire to splash in it. Changing tables wasn’t much of an option as it was already close to noon and the place was crowded. I was already sharing my table with two other moms (not the people I was here to meet, but that was okay) and their two kids.

In the end, though, I just let Bun have her fun. First of all, the mud puddle pretty much guaranteed that my children were not going to wander off. Secondly, I was able to just sit for a period of time as I looked for the people I was meeting. Third, I figured “kids playing in mud puddle” was an easy landmark. And lastly: Dirt washes off.

So Bun and Monkey tromped and splashed in the puddle. I managed to keep them from splashing others, which was good. They got some laughs, and I got some glances of sympathy. (Monkey was already getting a lot of comments as her outfit consisted of a cute little orange, red, white and black skort with a white tank — and pink rain boots.)

After us Burgh Moms finished lunch and/or snacks, I got Bun stripped out of her wet and muddy shoes, socks and shorts. For some reason I had dry shoes and socks for Monkey but not for Bun — serious oversight there — so Bun spent the rest of the walk in her stroller, bare feet propped up on her tray. She was lounging. We saw the monkeys and gorillas; all the kids seemed to like each other and get along together, although Alexis was very shy for awhile.

We took off before this fun ensued, and it took us another hour to get to the car (the Pittsburgh Zoo is BIG). Monkey developed a little crush on Gina’s boy, who (and I’m seconding Burgh Baby’s Mom here) needs to be cloned, or at least loaned to mothers of little girls for days at the zoo or similar outings. He was very sweet, and I think Monkey would have followed him into the lion’s den if he was going, and it was quite a trick to separate her from him.

Boy, you’ve got a job if you ever want one.

At bedtime, along with all the animals that we recounted seeing at the zoo, Monkey added, “And I talked to The Boy. I was very shy at first, but then I talked to him!” She smiled to herself at the memory. Oh, dear, I’ve a 3-year-old going on teen. We are so doomed!

I left that zoo sweaty and filthy — those shorts may never be clean again — but it was totally worth it to spend that time with my girls, and meet other bloggin’ moms and their kids. What a good time. Next time I meet the Burgh Moms, though, I hope air conditioning and alcohol will be involved, the kids will be at home, and nary a mud puddle will be in sight. I think I will be able to make a little better of an impression that way.