Monday 7 October 2013


Does my neck look long in this?
It was off to the zoo today for me and the three nippers. Given their behaviour of late it seemed the appropriate place. The two year old and the six month old launched a scream opera via buggy before we even got out the door, given the numerous delays: drinks, nappy changes, wet washing and so on all remembered at the last minute when the two boys were already in the buggy. I placated the one kid with chocolate - I know shoot me. I should have taken it as a sign, but like a woman who glances at a clear London sky and expects it to stay that way for ten minutes, I marshalled the mini troops out the door and with my four year old daughter on the buggy board, which helps us to create movement as an ensemble, but petrifies my back as I am five feet nine and the buggy board sticks out at a jaunty angle and I am forced to bend to its will - we set off, with plenty of further ado as I had forgotten something as usual and had to turn back, oftentimes these are the keys, when this happens, I turn back and head butt the wall (metaphorically speaking, I'm not a metalhead) before sheepishly calling my husband who happily usually works in the area; but this time it was a jacket, usually I would press on without a jacket and end up looking like I have just failed a wet t shirt competition or whatever but today I thought I would return to get it, but it remained a thought along with all the other stuff I remembered I had forgotten: kids - check, keys - check, we would forage for anything else - after the morning I had already had before I started forgetting things, I would make do - do-lally as is my way.

The giraffes were serene
All this hoo ha (why can't I do hoo ha like a karate expert?) meant middle nipper was late for his nap, (I figured he'd conk out in the buggy, har de har) which was fine until we were in the gorilla enclosure. The gorilla enclosure had lots of black dirt for kids to play in, which might be odd for London parents visiting the zoo (they gave us odd looks) but I grew up playing in the dirt in Zimbabwe where if you did not arrive home dirty and muddy and usually injured in some way - by yourself, by bike, before sundown - you weren't a proper kid.

Anyhoo, I fed the baby while the two year old and the four year old practised animals in the dirt. All was well in the world until I realised we were now way past nap time and I would need to inform my two year old that he would be viewing the gorillas from the Phil and Ted's - yes his very own safari Land Rover! At which point my kid went feral, he went beast, he went canvas for his own dirt artiste, he bucked, he broncoed, he turned balletically in the dirt, legs stiff with fury. And he attracted an audience: some shocked, some amused, some smug, some just staring. My four year old took herself off to ride a bronze statue of a gorilla and some Japanese tourists took pictures of her, I let this pass, unlike the mini fit and the audience, which didn't. I picked up my own little beastie and while I tried to stuff his little flailing limbs into the bottom section of the P and T, I said to the audience in a loud voice: "This is what happens when you miss nap time." He May I never forget. Gosh is it that late already?

He slept like angelically all the way home