Idiot Mom Goes To the Zoo

. . . I Spent $14 For Dirt, and It Was Worth Every Penny

I don’t know how you moms with lots of children do it. I really don’t. Keeping my two rapscallions alive all the live long day is enough that, at 6:30 each evening when Pat comes upstairs from his home office, I say “here” and pass off the girls to him. Then I flee to the bedroom for some peace.

But one recent Friday I was all:


yet it was only 2:30 pm.

“Come on, girls, into the van.”

“Where are we going, Mommy?”

“I don’t know, but we’re going somewhere.”

One caramel spice latte, two mini ice cream cones, and one fruit cup later (free ice cream at Roy Rogers!) . . . and it was only

. . . 3:15.


Okay, girls, we’re going to the zoo!

In my desperation to kill time before bedtime, I forgot Pat’s recent outing with the girls to a pet store. They had to leave because the girls became frightened by a rabbit.

A rabbit! In a plexiglas cage!

What adults see:

English: A Wild Rabbit at Lossiemouth Rabbits ...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What my girls see:

2. So anyway, I drove the girls to a nearby “wild animal park,” which we generously call “the zoo.”

We didn’t make it past the first animal cage.


Girl 1 took one look at the parrots and goats.

“Too scary,” she declared.

And refused to budge.


3. But this humble little wild animal park had lots else to offer, thanks in part to their Halloween display. So, we whiled away the hours before bedtime with educational exhibits on:

Wild beasts of farthest Africa:



Grizzlies of the Northern Wild:


Climate change:




Middle Earth:










and Genetically Modified Organisms:


4. Let’s back up minute, shall we?



Not scary:




Not scary:



5. Pat was at home working but was with us in spirit:

6. In the end, the girls found a wide expanse of dirt and played in it until closing.

We had the entire zoo to ourselves, and they chose dirt.IMG_3933


I sat on a hay bale in the shade, felt the cool breeze, breathed deeply, and gazed at the clear, blue sky up beyond the maple leaves. It was quite peaceful, actually.


Starbucks: $5

Snacks: $2

Dirt: $14

Getting home just in time to hand the girls off to Daddy for bath and bedtime: Priceless!

… Linking up with conversion diary and hoping Jen will let this count as seven quick takes. 🙂


17 thoughts on “Idiot Mom Goes To the Zoo

  1. Thank you for this hilarious post! It’s making my morning, which started too early thanks to my darn children, much more bearable. I am all too familiar with the desperate feeling you get in the afternoon, when you realize 5 is still hours away. I often get the kids belted in the car and start driving before I even think about where we’re going!

  2. Seriously, too funny. And I’d like to know the creative inspiration behind the zoo’s “art”.
    And I’ve definitely had those days where the time ticks sooo slowly, I just put the girls in the car and drive to maintain sanity!

  3. Oh my goodness. Sebastian is asleep in my lap bc his contested nose isn’t allowing him to sleep otherwise, so imagine my difficulty in reading this and trying so so so hard not to laugh out loud!! Kiss those dirt loving hooligans for me.

  4. I’d love to get more ideas for how to beat that afternoon funk (or 10am funk haha). I normally deal with it by taking walks (to the park), driving to the park (if I’m lazy), drive through (love Starbucks too but so expensive, or fast food) or Target trips where I spend way too much on impulse buys but the kids are typically good. But I’ve seriously been doing that on repeat for 3 yrs so I am super curious what other moms do. Zoo (even if just for the dirt) is a good idea if I had one close.

    • This is a big issue for me, too, especially when it’s too hot or cold for a playground. Especially since my kids don’t behave well in Target! The closest mall has a kids’ play area that my kids like. The free-standing Chick-Fil-A indoor playground is another option. They have mini ice cream sundaes for a buck, so it doesn’t have to be expensive or entail eating huge quantities of junk food. Also, our library has a great kids’ section with a little play area so we go there a lot.

  5. So funny. Thanks for the naptime laughs.
    (signed, a new-ish blog stalker, mom of a one-year-old, who came here for the SAHM clothes education and stayed for the laughs and kindred spirit-ness. now reading in hopes that somewhere you will drop a hint that you live near me, in Atlanta; but this is definitely not our zoo. Pooh.)

  6. Right up my alley… though I do have to contest the “Idiot Mom” moniker.. I thought I had won it for all time with the homeschool trip to the Sewage Treatment Plant…. But that was long, long ago, in a galaxy far, far away…

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