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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Zoo Meltdown

Every year we take a trip to the zoo. It’s a huge deal. We love this zoo, the big high light is that this zoo has giraffes. And this year they have THREE baby giraffes. And you get to FEED the giraffes. It’s amazing.

This year was no different. My mom, my brother and sister in law and Jr and my sister and Baby Backup and two tagalong friends headed out with me and the boys. Yes, we were a sight.

After the thrilling train ride to enter Africa, after the thrill of feeding giraffes, we were off on long walk where kids take “ranger” tests to see if they would make a good African Ranger. The first test is a pull up bar, and they ask if you can do five pull ups.

S1 tried it and was thrilled when he did it, and then he did two reps of five. Sheer elation. S2 was not to be outdone so he finally pulled off one. He beamed. S3 wanted to try, and I helped lift him up. When he dropped to the ground he flexed his muscles and grinned as only a nearly six year old boy can. Then came S4, who was sure he could do it too. I lifted him up just as I had S3, but S4 was sure I had only helped him and he was determined to be just like his brothers. So he didn’t want me to help him, not at all, and without me helping him he couldn’t do it.

S4 crumpled to the ground, sobbing. “I am not strong!” he wailed. I tried my best to encourage him, tell him that he was indeed strong, but nothing worked. He wailed. He sobbed. He was louder than the annoying screeching birds.

We came to another “test”. A beam on the ground to walk across like a tight rope. He and I both saw this as our second chance, he jumped on with a little hesitation and began to walk across it, slowly a grin coming over his face. He looked up at me as he came to the end to show me his big beaming smile and then he tripped, slipped off the beam and fell flat on his face.

He wailed louder than before, his shoulders slumped, he just kept crying “I am not strong! I will never be strong!”

It was pitiful.

By the time we caught up with my family at the monkeys, all the monkeys stared at us as though we were the wild animals. My brother had heard us coming (how could you not?) and mentioned he was glad that screaming kid wasn’t part of our group, till he realized I wasn’t there, and then realized the screaming child was his nephew.

S4 was sure I was lying to him telling him he was strong so he put his chubby little hand in Oma’s hand and let her walk him out of Africa where he whined he wanted to go home.

We boarded the train home from Africa exhausted. By the time we had gotten off the train, S4 was his normal happy self, ready to conquer all the zoo again.



Mari said...

We love that zoo too. You really feel like you are in Africa. Poor S4!

Becca @ Our Crazy Boys said...

We're having the same issues here... little meltdowns that are killing me. Ugh.