Sunday, March 27, 2016
B: "Mommy, can I have hot chips?" (Dorritos)
Me: "Not today, honey."
B: "Mommy, can I buy Kisha (daddy's fiancee) a chocolate bar? Pleeeeeease. This is her favorite!!!"
Me: "Nope, another time."
B: "Can we go to the park?"
Me: "No, mommy is tired."
B: "Can we play hide and seek?" (asked about 5 times a day).
Me: "No, granny is busy and mommy is tired."
B: "Can I help make dinner?"
Me: "Not this time, we are in a hurry."
B: "I NEED this Paw Patrol character!"
Me: "You have a zillion Paw Patrol things."
Brycen is really very good at accepting no. I never have had to deal with a tantrum in public due to him not getting what he wants. There are a few times where he asks again and again, just to make sure I said no, and maybe a small pout here and there.
My "nos" are not usualy straightforward. I give him choices. We can't go to the park, but you can play outside when we get home. Or, you can get the Dorritos, but then you are not getting the cookies. Which would you rather have? This has worked great for Brycen, just as it worked for the most part in my classroom for 13 years.
This was always my favorite. Me to student: "CONGRATS! You can pick one thing out of the treasure box!" Student: "Could I pick 2?" Me in a cheery voice: "Nope, but you can have zero!!"
(side note: Brycen more than makes up with his tolerance of hearing no by being the world's biggest whiner in the car. We could be going to the local pizza joint less than a mile away and I would hear 36 times: "Are we there YET!!?" My ears bleed on car trips.)
Do people still call places that make pizza 'pizza joints'?
Anyway, I don't feel guilty saying no to him, it is absolutely logical to make sure he knows he can't have everything in life. This kid has 2 homes and 2 families who love him very much, and is about to gain a third as his daddy gets married. So he can live without an icee or the latest Matchbox car.
But once in a while, it is fun to just say yes. And it doesn't have to be monetary items. Saying yes to time well spent is way more memorable. But on this particular day, I threw in a couple more yeses, because you never know if you'll have another day like this.
"Mommy, can we go to the zoo?"
Hell yeah!! So we packed up our snacks, our meds, and my sister in-law and headed south.
At the gas station in South Carolina, land of deep accents and cheap gas, Brycen asked for "hot chips" which is what he calls Dorritos, because there was a picture of Batman on them. Well-played, Dorritos. I don't think Brycen ate 5 chips. It was really all about Batman. Meanwhile the cashier politely asked if the Eeeeaster buuunny would be viiiiiiis -i - tin' to which Brycen just stared blankly at her.
Thank goodness for portable DVD players on long trips. Brycen happily watched something with headphones on, although he did pause about 5 times to ask if we were there yet. 5 times in 90 minutes is not a bad ratio though. No bleeding from my ears.
I tried to take a fair amount of pictures and videos at the zoo, but I still missed out on some things. For example, the popcorn. We waited 15 minutes in line for a bag of popcorn (another YES) because the lady in front of us had decided to bring seven junior high age boys to the zoo and they all had to pay for their icees separately. Did she lose a bet? Finally, the popcorn was neatly tied to my wheelchair and requested often throughout the day - but I must be off my game - no pictures.
The first 30 minutes were really about popcorn, riding in mommy's wheelchair and riding the merry-go-round. (yes, yes, and yes). Can somebody tell me why I can't just give the attendant at the carousal the $2? Why do I have to go wait in a different line to load money onto a card? Is someone hoping I will put extra money on the card, since I waited in line anyway? Shenanigans. Luckily Brycen was patient, and totally enthralled watching kids on a rock climbing wall.
Yes, I promise we were actually at a zoo. A zoo with animals. But when you let a 4 year old lead the day, you get a variety show.
Finally, after the merry-go-round, we started to see the main show. Brycen loves the lions, tigers and bears. The lions and tigers were actually out moving - not just sleeping. I feel bad though, these animals deserve more than these tiny enclosure.
The turtles were happy though.
Brycen loved following the map. He could tell by the pictures what animal was next. The map was the other star of the trip, second to only the popcorn. My wheelchair was a close third. He had no problem giving it up when mommy needed it!
Brycen is NOT a huge animal lover. Still, he was intrigued by the elephants, and the gorillas. The small mammals made him nervous. I also made the mistake of teasing him about monkeys throwing their poo at him. if you saw how scared he became after that, you would have signed me up for world's worst mother award.
Another star of the day? The photo booth. I know, the zoo is not a likely place to visit a photo booth, but where is? When will I get this chance again!? I knew the second I saw it Brycen and I would have to get our pictures done. That might have been my favorite non-animal event.
We then moved on to the sleeping kangaroos and wallabies, and visited the penguins in the bird house.
I am glad I got the above shot. You would think Brycen knew exactly where to go on that map. Lead the way, young sir!!
He wouldn't feed the parakeets or the giraffes, but he had no problem throwing fish food over the fence and into the pond.
That wrapped up our trip to the zoo. We had said we would be there 2-3 hours and three hours flew by, and we didn't even see the aquarium, reptile exhibit or the barn yard animals. We had a horrible restaurant experience on the way home (never again, Applebees!) and Brycen watched Monster Inc. and slept.
I did well at the zoo, although if it was any farther away I would have needed to stay overnight. Driving home, especially in holiday weekend traffic, was tough. I did more walking than sitting in the wheel chair, mostly because I HATE when I can't control where I am going. And although I brought my colostomy supplies in the car, I failed to bring them into the park. Oops.
Overall, I would give the day 4.5 out of 5 stars. I think Brycen would have given it a 10 out of 5, telling by his smiles when I handed him off to his dad.
"Brycen, what was your favorite animal at the zoo?"
I don't know if I should be offended or deeply flattered.
There is the popcorn!! It did make an appearance!!
More adventures to come in the next few months!