I want to write this down before I forget! This zoo day was probably the most hectic/chaotic/stressful-yet-funny day of my parenting life so far. Luckily I was laughing most of the time.
We got major discounted tickets to the zoo through a friend's preschool. We met up with some friends and started walking around, looking at animals. It was chilly and cloudy but not too bad (better than being hot!). Natalie was a major grump and whined all morning, despite the cool animals and snacks aplenty. I was pushing her in the stroller while balancing Hannah on top by the handles. Thankfully my stroller has a one-handed push handle thingy.
After a while it started to sprinkle. Of course I had left the umbrellas in the car by accident, so we just put our hoods on and walked a little faster to each exhibit. Then it started raining harder. My friends and I decided now would be the perfect time to ride the train around the zoo since it's covered and we could stay dry while seeing other animals we hadn't seen yet. We all ran through the mud to the train and hopped on. The girls and I sat on the front row of one of the cars where the bench was already wet. Lovely.
(As we boarded the train, a little damp but still fairly happy)
I quickly realized that this was not the best place we could have sat. Every time we went downhill or the driver put on the breaks, all the water that was accumulating on the top of the train would pour over the edge right into our laps. The cold wind was blowing the water into our faces as well. Our hands were icy cold, red, and stiff. Our noses were running out of control with nothing dry to wipe them with. The diaper bag and backpack full of food that were sitting at our feet were completely soaked. Meanwhile the train would stop periodically in case people wanted to get on or off. Are you kidding me? The zoo is deserted! NOBODY WANTS TO GET OFF!! Hannah was crying hysterically standing on my lap facing all the people behind me. She wouldn't sit down so everyone got to witness her sad pathetic dripping face.Natalie was just sitting next to me, shivering.
We finally made it off the train and grabbed our soaking wet stroller and booked it towards the exit. Both kids were crying now. We passed a bathroom and I asked Natalie if she had to go. She said no and we walked for what seemed like forever to our car. When we got there it was still so windy and rainy that I didn't want to have the doors open for too long. I stuck both kids in the front passenger seat so they could at least be dry while I loaded the car. I turned it on to get the heat going. Loaded the stroller and bags, then put Hannah in her car seat. Then I put Natalie in hers and buckled her in. Girls are still screaming, mind you. Then I ran back to Hannah and buckled her. Meanwhile the Barbie movie started, so they were calming down to watch (thankfully I brought the dvd player this trip).
Natalie suddenly starts wiggling like crazy and says she has to go potty really bad and she's not going to make it! I didn't have any extra clothes, towels, or pullups with me. I only had Hannah diapers (itty bitty size 3) so I ran back around to Natalie's side, got in so I was stooped above her car seat, and closed the door (still cold and windy and rainy out). I had her stand in the middle seat, pulled her pants down, put the daiper between her legs, and she went. Sadly, the diaper got full quickly and began leaking down her legs and onto her clothes (and my hands...sorry TMI). Took off her pants, pulled up the wet underwear and had her sit on another diaper in her car seat. Thankfully the car was pretty warm by now.
I looked over at Hannah and saw her shivering and realized her jeans were soaked just like mine were. I ran around to her side, opened the door and pulled her out of the car to pull her jeans off. Poor baby, for a second she was out in the rain and cold with no pants on! I quickly buckled her back in and shut her door. I got in, handed snacks back to the girls, and drove home. Whew!
The whole time Elder Wirthlin's conference talk from a year or so ago was running through my head about how when bad things happen you can choose to cry or laugh. I chose to laugh. Really. I was giggling here and there at our situation and knew that it would soon be over. It was much easier to handle with a good attitude than if I chose to curl up into the fetal position and cry over it myself. Yay for promptings that come just at the right time.
I also learned something else: Have towels, blankets, extra change of clothes, and diapers and pullups in the car at all times. I had all those things in a bin in my room (in the middle of assembling an emer car kit) but of course didn't bring it along. It is now in my car.