I think it’s safe to say that getting out of the house with any amount of children is a challenge. It was difficult with only one. And it’s about twice as difficult with two. The easiest thing to do would be to become a recluse and avoid public parenting appearances at all cost, but I promised myself that I’d conquer my crowd anxiety and take my kids out even after this baby arrived. I don’t want my three year old to miss out on all of the fun events that he’s used to attending, like play dates and parties, even though dragging an infant along can make things a little complicated. So today, I faced one of my fears, packed up the kids, and went to Zoo Boo – an annual trick or treating event at our local zoo.
I have to say, I’ve done a kick ass job of getting myself to events with our weekly playgroup. A newborn is actually relatively portable in the beginning, since they sleep the majority of time you are out and about. But today, I knew this whole Zoo Boo business would be a little bit more difficult than the average play date. It was chilly outside, the event would last at least a few hours, and I knew my three year old would be missing his nap time. Any event that spans several hours requires a massive amount of packing, plus the weather was a little iffy, so we’d need to plan for chilly conditions. Every ounce of my wanted to bail, sending my husband with my three year old so that I could spend some quiet time at home with my cozy baby, but I really didn’t want to miss out.
Here’s the thing about braving cold weather with kids. I not only have to find the warm coats, hats and gloves, but I also have to battle my three year old to actually put it on. Then there are the costumes to consider. I spent at least a half hour trying to convince Grey that Superman definitely wears a winter hat AND he pees before he puts on his costume, belt, and coat. Once all that was taken care of, I attempted to put the baby in his dinosaur suit, but then realized that strapping a kid in a costume into a tiny car seat is pretty much a sweaty shit show.
Not to mention, wrestling an infant out of his chintzy, one piece dinosaur get up in order to change his diaper in a dirty public bathroom sounded pretty intense. And so, I said screw the costume for the baby. This is what happens with baby number two. Convenience over cuteness.
Overall, the afternoon was pretty awesome. The highlights included seeing an official group of adults dressed in “authentic, professional-grade” Star Wars costumes (which I thought was absolutely hilarious and my son thought was terrifying), witnessing a scandalous mother dressed as “sexy witch” complete with a short skirt and fishnet stockings, and watching my husband and his guy friend get mistaken as a couple when a Zoo employee offered to take a “family” photo for them by the scarecrow display (which turned out rather cute, if you ask me).
As I made my way out of the zoo through crowds of overtired, sugared up, screaming children – including at least six different crying kids in Elsa costumes – I felt proud of myself for both braving the crowd and even having some fun. Despite the stress and the chaos, I just might bring the kids back next year.