Monday, May 25, 2009

I Can Wait a Few Years...

I took old T-Bone to the Turtle Back Zoo this weekend for our latest outing and got a scary look at what it is like for parents to take their kids on "fun" outings. It was a beautiful day on a long weekend so there were tons and tons of parents there with their kids. It was like a stroller parade, they were everywhere. I even got a wheel to the ankle at one point from a distracted parent who walked into me.

It was just so nuts to watch parents try to keep track of their kids, try to get them interested in what they were seeing, trying to make sure they actually saw the what they were supposed to be looking at. I just kept thinking to myself, they can't be enjoying this, neither the parents nor the kids. The kids were hot and tired from walking around, and they couldn't see everything. The parents were frustrated with the kids' whining, and arguing with their spouses about what to see next, what they'd already seen, when to go home. It must have seemed like a good idea on paper but it did not look like most of them were having a very good time.

My favorite was a set of grandparents there with their grandson, Joshua. He was maybe three or four, with a big Yankee hat on and a pair of what appeared to be transitions lens glasses. He had no interest in seeing the animals, he cared more about knowing exactly where they were at all times. The grandparents just seemed to think that the more they said his name, the better he would listen to what they were trying to engage him in.
Eventually, grandpa got fed up though. We were in front of them and I heard Joshua ask, "Grandpa, where are we now, what does the map say?" to which grandpa replied "What the hell do you care what the map says, Joshua, you're not even looking at anything on it!" And then grandma intervened and tried to smooth things over, but with an edge in her voice said, "Joshua, we just passed the cougar, that's where we are," and then to her husband, "He's done, he's just done. We'll take him on the train and then we're taking him home."
By the end of the day I have to admit, I felt pretty much the same way- only about myself.

1 comment:

The Kamienski Chronicles said...

Were you there on Saturday? We were with probably the only kid who actually loves the animals and points them out to his parents. One place we know Ben will enjoy is the zoo :)