So we've been spending a lot of time at home these days. With three kids it's generally harder to get out, and with a newborn it makes it exponentially harder to time feedings and activities and happy periods and germs and whatever else.
So after being at home a LOT last week, I decided to brave the zoo. And by "brave the zoo" I really was just thinking about the temperatures. The big kids and I have gone so many times together that it's a really easy trip for us despite being about 20-30 minutes away (only like 14 miles, but traffic...).
Anyway, I texted my mom and sisters to see if they wanted to join, and everyone had something going on. I wasn't stressed or anxious about taking three kids by myself at all. I'm not sure why, but I had no fear at all. My big kids are really so so good, and I knew they would be so happy to get back to a "familiar" place. And Molly is so easy going and LOVES being outside, so I knew she'd be pretty easy. She'd either ride in her carseat in the stroller, or in the baby bjorn- or both. I'd feed her before we left home and she'd be due to eat once while we were there. I figured I could feed her while the kids played on a playground or ate lunch- I had it all worked out.
And honestly, it all went TOTALLY according to plan. I'm not saying it was super easy- it was a lot of walking for this 4 week postpartum momma who hasn't done much since before Molly was here. It also was blazing hot. It also took a lot of energy to keep track of two kids who did NOT want to ride in the stroller (they stay super close, though- they really are so good!). The hardest part was their bickering. OH MY GOSH. This has recently started and they just love poking at each other. They are BFF one second and the next second they are pushing buttons. ACK!
Anyway, we saw the new bugs exhibit, we saw some of our favorites, we took it slow, got snacks and lunch and waters, and I fed Molly while the kids ate and then played. We even made it through the gift shop! Molly was perfect- slept in her carseat (or just sat there) the entire time.
So the hardest part of the WHOLE day... the bathroom.
I haven't blogged about this yet because I'm not sure if it's real or just a novelty or how it's going to play out, but Charley has decided it's time to start potty training. And by that I mean, she only wants to wear panties now. I'll blog more on that later.
Anyway, getting three kids in and out of the bathroom alone was HARD.
So we went in to the bathroom. There were about 6 stalls. Each stall has an animal painted on it, so of course each big kid wanted to choose theirs- and of course they weren't by each other. Our double stroller wouldn't have fit inside, so I got my diaper bag and the backpack and the baby in the carseat and brought everything inside. I had to set Molly on the ground (in the corner far away from toilets!) (shudder) in her carseat. Then Jay got set up in a stall and locked it. Then Charley Kate chose another stall three down. We had to leave her door open so I could see her and watch Molly and listen for Jay. Meanwhile people are coming in and out and stopping to "look at the baby." I swear if anyone had touched her I might have gone nutso on them. Luckily I was close enough by so no one tried. Then I was racing back and forth between her and Charley Kate and trying to get Jay to finish up and come outside.
And then it was handwashing time. I would have had to lift both kids up and hold them there forever. Not happening. So I made them come outside with all our bags (and hoped that our dang stroller was still there!) and doused them in sanitizer. Better than nothing I figure... And luckily the stroller was still there!
Other than that, we had a super trip and the kids were wonderful. In fact, they passed out on the way home and it was a WIN for everyone- we all napped at home together, too! Phew!
Looking back I can't decide if it was brave or stupid of me, but it was fun and the kids were SO glad to be there, so regardless, I'll call it a success! A very very tiring success.