On our last Saturday at the Lewis house, we decided to take the little ones (Gavin 4, Kyla 3, Ethan 2, Gage 2, Grayson 2) to the Dallas Zoo. Most of them had never been before so we were all excited to see how much they liked the zoo. We thought it would be fun to take the Dart Rail from North Dallas to the zoo. All kids like trains, right? For those of you who don't know (we were included in the "don't know"), that is about 12 stops before you get to the zoo and to a small child that is an eternity. We arrived at the Dart station ready to get on the train, but as we walked up, the train darted off....it has to stay on schedule you know! We started looking around to see when the next train came and we were dumbfounded when we found out it only came EVERY 30 MINUTES! Now, this might not be that long to most people, but we had 3-2 years olds in tow...really I was just worried about my two year olds...Ethan is pretty laid back.
We decided to wait for the next train. The time seemed to pass pretty fast and before we knew it the train was back and ready for the Gerwick-Lewis families to board. When we got on, we realized that more people used the dart than what we originally thought (note to self... for future encounters...how much is gas, really?). We were kind-of cramped for several stops, but for the first 5-7 minutes it was a novelty for all the kids (this is when I was taking pictures). Everyone was happy! :) Once the novelty wore off, I pulled out the snacks and my kids ate for the next 10-15 minutes. In case you we wondering...we were still not there! Once we hit the 30 minute mark, all of my kids were ready to get off the train. None as vocal as Gage, however! He basically cried until we arrived at the zoo (at least an hour later), but there was more to come from him! :) Oh, I forgot to mention the drunk/who knows what he was on... man that got on the train and said more bad words than I would ever want my kids to hear in their childhood. Let's just say...that when the Dart finally arrived at the zoo, we were all ready to get off. God Bless Frank & Kathy! They were troopers and going with the flow....with our screaming kids in tow. :)
OK...so we finally arrived at the zoo and we were ready to see some animals. However, we could not do this before we stood in line for tickets and rented strollers. These poor babies....we left the house around 9:30am and it was going on 12:00pm...they still had not seen any animals yet.
We finally got everything we needed and we took off...4 adults, 5 kids, 2 strollers. We started looking for a map to see which way we were going to go. We saw a sign for gorillas so we decided to go in that direction. There were several places to stop and see other animals before we got to the Gorillas, but the animals were either not being social or too small for the little ones to see them. Gage was nearing the end of his rope. He kept anticipating seeing something and then nothing was there so we would turn around....and he would scream bloody murder! I think we did this 4-6 times and yes, he screamed every time. People were starting to stare, yes, I was "that" mother. Oh, the joys of mothering a two year old! I just kept telling myself....keep moving forward, but honestly I was nearing the end of my rope too. The thought of packing up and leaving the zoo entered my mind several times, but then I was reminded of how we would have to go home. There was no way I was getting back on the dart rail...not for awhile anyway. :)
We FINALLY arrived at the gorillas! We decided to let the little boys get out of the stroller and walk up the ramp to look out at a wooded area. We were all very excited to see the gorillas and they were big enough for little eyes to see, but guess what, THEY WERE NOT THERE! No gorillas! Well, guess what, Gage was not happy and Grayson decided he had also hit his limit so they both laid down on the dirty concrete and threw a screaming fit. I pulled them out of the way of people walking and allowed them to finish what they had started. Yes, people were looking at me AGAIN. It gets better...then someone that works at the zoo comes over to see if everything is OK. This person, obviously has never had children of his own, especially not multiples. I wonder what people would have thought if I would have laid down next to them and threw my own little fit. It was a serious consideration given the circumstances. :)
At this point, I decided that it was best to separate from the Lewis family so that their trip to the zoo could still be pleasurable. Billy and I thought lunch would help tone down the screaming so we took off in hopes of an escape. We found one! PRAISE GOD! It was in the form of a corn dog. Food seemed to re-fuel everyone and enabled us to start fresh.
After lunch we went looking for the large animals. The ones you can not miss...elephants, giraffes, zebras. Everyone was finally happy and seeing animals. I am glad that we did not leave because honestly, we made some great memories after all the craziness. Gavin enjoyed learning what all the animals ate. He was on his best behavior, thank you Gavin. I was a little scared about the train ride home, but it was a much better experience than the first time around.
Moral of the story...a bad situation can always turn around. If you are struggling through something, don't quit. Pause, regroup and try again.