Put Us In The Zoo

Last week Tuesday I pushed down my social anxiety about bringing both boys out in public at the same time without Cortney with me, joined 3 of my friends and their kids, hopped in a van, and carpooled and hour and a half (each way) to the zoo.

About a million times the week leading up to it my anxiety tried to give me excuses to back out.

But Eddie was so dang excited to go to the zoo.

And I kept feeding him that excitement.  Because I knew, no matter what excuse my brain came up with, it would not be good enough to squash that energy and excitement.

And so we went.

This guy saw a total of zero animals.

And then my older son climbed on all the things.

Giraffe feeding for all…who have a dollar for the lettuce leaf.


My child made those giraffes EAT!

Thanks the heavens Trisha brought the sit and stand.
Eddie may have called her his “other mom”.

One of the bazillion pictures I have of Eddie brushing every.single.goat at the zoo.

And this is when Eddie cried, “but mom! there are no more humps!”

This guy had a bad attitude.

not this guy though! He was great so he earned popcorn and a lemonade at the end of the day!

Why do kids love the NOT REAL ANIMALS in a ZOO??

eight kids + four adults = a zoo within the zoo
not pictured: Charlie

There were moments when Eddie’s listening ears got lost.

We had to stop and have chats about not running too far ahead of the group.

There was screaming when he needed to have lunch and then again when he was getting super tired after missing nap.

Charlie was whiny when he needed to eat and when he was tired and wanted to be held, not pushed in a stroller.

I had to pound my peanut butter sandwich because I was busy feeding a baby and tending to a toddler and didn’t have time for a leisurely lunch.

Eddie peed through his pull up.

But these moments were fleeting, and while I felt a little overwhelmed at times, I took a deep breath and soldiered on.

Because it was fun, dang it.

We were making memories.

About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.


  1. First of all momma I give you props, and a glass of wine. I also have strawberry daquiri if you need something stronger after that day. Kids love the not real animals because they are usually animals they would never get to be that close to without risk of life and limb. So those are the ones they can ‘tame’. Looks like everyone had a blast and lots of great pics.

    • It was hard, but yes, everyone had a great time.

      I feel good about being able to do this for my kids.

      And now I will take that daiquiri!

  2. Yay you!! I still can’t fathom taking both boys out by myself yet. I think I’ll wait for the er, 4 or 5 month mark.

    Also, yes, llamas have bad attitudes.

    • Charlie is easy, except that yesterday I took just Eddie out while Charlie went to daycare. Talk about easy! I forgot how independent he is! And so much less “stuff” to haul all over the place!

  3. Looks like all the kids had a great time. Lots of smiling faces there. It can get hairy here and there… but you survived and had a good day with your boys and friends!!! Like you said… Memories! 🙂

  4. I admire you so much. First, for not letting the anxiety overpower you, but also for sharing it. My blog post on the zoo would have been- Hey we went to the zoo! Look at all my great pictures and how much FUN we had! But, you also write about the real stuff, the stuff that doesn’t always go right. I want to do more of that.

    • Thank you for such a lovely compliment! I have to put the real stuff there too because this blog is like my diary. It’s my journal. It’s ME for when I can’t tell the stories anymore. It will be my memory. I used to just put up pictures and say “Weee! what a good time!”

      But then something shifted in me. I needed my whole story told.

      You can do it. You can.

  5. ah, binder park, FAR superior to john ball in my opinion.

    • i actually didn’t care for how big it was compared to how few animals we saw, but that could be because my kids are so little yet. John Ball fits better for small kids since it’s all in one place, ya know?

  6. oh yeah, and llamas can be total dicks.

  7. TheNextMartha says

    Fantastic. Looks like a great time was had by all.

    • Truth.

      Well, there were times when I was not having such a great time, but I sucked it up because Eddie LOVED it.

  8. Not that it matters what I or anyone else thinks…but I am super proud of you. Yay you! You are rocking this whole mom to two thing!!!

    • It doesn’t matter what people think, but I do love the compliment. It feels GOOD to be DOING stuff this summer instead of wishing I was, worrying about how i wasn’t, and then regretting that I didn’t.

  9. Glad you stepped out of your comfort zone and went to the zoo! based on the pics a good time was had by all–or at least the mobile kiddos. I found that the more often I got out with my little ones the easier it got.

    • I am getting to be quite a champ and packing up for the day and getting eddie to help me. He’s my teammate in all of this!

  10. WAY TO GO!!! Getting out and about with more than one child is scary stuff! But it does get easier, and you will find that actually getting them out gives you more sanity throughout the day. No, really! It does!

    • I believe you! I am getting to be AWESOME at knowing just what to pack, getting the kids ready and out the door by a certain time, AND remembering to eat and stay hydrated.

      Next week is the beach!

  11. Making memories indeed. Looks like a fun outing. Good for you. I can ONLY imagine how hard it is with TWO. But, you did it!!