Look at the Bloody Baboon!

10PM, Me: Babe, are you listening?
Husband: *distractedly scrolling through his phone* Yea.
Me: Here’s the plan for tomorrow. A, then B, you do C, I’ll do D. Okay?
Him: Okay, sounds good!
7AM, Also him: So, what’s the plan?

This past weekend we took Charlotte to the Toronto Zoo. She’d never been and we thought it would be a great end-of-summer family activity we could look forward to. We had hyped it up to Charlotte for weeks leading up to the actual day. She woke up every morning last week asking in her small, diminutive voice if it was zoo day yet. We knew covid would present some barriers (mandated masking indoors, masking outdoors when social distancing was not possible, pre-booking a non-refundable visit date and timeslot, etc.) but we had high hopes, nonetheless.

What we hadn’t anticipated was how hot it was going to be. I obsessively checked the weather every day praying the rain that was slated for our visit to the zoo would do us a favour and stay away. Evidently, my fierce praying worked but Mother Nature decided to light us up in invisible flames instead. IT. WAS. SCORCHING. My soul was melting physically and spiritually. I was exhausted, irritable and desperate for any sort of breeze. I felt like I had been stranded in the Sahara Desert without any relief from the blazing sun going on day 25. At one point, I bent over to grab something from the undercarriage of the stroller and I didn’t know if I would be able to get back up. I felt faint. Finally, I had to dip behind a low, shaded building to give myself a sponge bath with a dainty baby wipe and change into the blessed tank top I happened to bring for that exact reason (simultaneously flashing a poor antelope).  

The heat threw a huge wrench in our day (what with the profuse sweating and all) but also, Charlotte decided once we arrived that she no longer wanted to be at the zoo. We brought her old stroller to cart her around in knowing it’d be a long day. When she decided she had had enough (a short hour into the visit), she retreated to her too-small stroller, sat back and pulled forward the canopy to shield herself from all zoo-related joy. I felt like I was holding it together for all of us by this point. My husband was grouchy because Charlotte was not appreciating how much effort we had put into planning the day for her and Charlotte was refusing to look at the animals. As a relatively new parent to a young child, I always try to catch myself from being that cliché parent but in that moment, all I wanted to do was cup her tiny rebellious face with my hands and remind her of her privilege. Look where we are! Do you know how lucky you are? The zoo isn’t something all children get to experience, you know! You better start having some non-refundable fun right now! Look at the bloody baboon, Charlotte!  

By mid-day, the little minion’s attitude turned around after a good helping of fries and nuggets. Reminder to future self: breaded chicken and potato in any form will often do the trick. We were finally able to enjoy the animals in their (somewhat) natural habitat. Although, most of the animals were just as miserable as we were in the blistering heat and being gawked at. Here’s a picture of an orangutan using a cardboard box to create some shade for itself.

Looking back upon exiting, I realized the zoo was a large breeding ground for desperately defeated parents trying to corral their cranky, whiny children and all the billion accessories we, parents, have to lug with us everywhere we go for the just-in-case moments (toys, books, water bottles, healthy snacks, bribing snacks, diapers/pull-ups, wipes, extra clothing, plastic bags, masks, towels, sunscreen, hats, the never-ending list goes on). My husband and I couldn’t leave fast enough. 

Planning an event? In lieu of gifts, consider donating to a charitable wildlife organization.

World Wildlife Fund

Wildlife Conservation Society

International Fund for Animal Welfare

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49 thoughts on “Look at the Bloody Baboon!

  1. This will probably be the first of many you WILL enjoy yourself experiences. The first time we took our toddler to the zoo he was most interested in the children’s playground, so we might as well have gone to the local park instead of two train journeys. This was surpassed when at the age of four, day two of a fortnight’s holiday at the seaside he said ‘ At least if I was at home I could play with my Lego’. At least his little sister enjoyed herself.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Poor orangutan – totally feel him.

    I’d say you’ve raised your daughter quite well – I’d probably have raised hell on it being too hot and demanded an ice cream or an aerated drink. 🤣🙈

    Fried potato can fix just about anything – from a broken heart to a bad day at work.

    Hope you get to go again and enjoy it more. ♥️

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “Look at the bloody baboon.” 🤣 Where my mind went reading your post were the times when we took our son somewhere, and it turned into a big dud. Of course, he was much older than Charlotte at the time, but Ryan had wanted to go to a summer camp (mainly because a couple of his friends were also going). It was one of these semi-religious camps where they indoctrinate the kids while also having fun activities over the course of a week. (I realize that came off sounding like I was taking a shot at religion even though I wasn’t.) 😎 We didn’t think he was old enough the first year, but then after he hounded us about it, we agreed to do it the second year. On the drive out there, he started getting cold feet. Suddenly, staying overnight with a bunch of strangers didn’t sound so enticing. He began crying in the car and said, “I don’t think I’m ready for this.”

    We tried to reassure him things would be okay, but he was pretty worked up by that point. When we got there, he saw one of his friends, and his fears subsided somewhat. We hung around while the kids went swimming, trying to make sure he was okay. After a bit, he came over and said, “I’m okay now.” In other words, get the hell out of here! 🤣 We started driving home, and then my wife started crying, feeling like she was abandoning her child. It was the worst! In the end, he lasted the week without a call from the camp. He said that he had an okay time, but he also never wanted to go back. Despite the experience and tears, I think it was one of those moments of conquering his fears that probably served him well in the long run. It sure was emotionally draining for us, though.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes! This was my exact predicament lol.. “what the heck do you mean you want to go home!!? We’re at the bloody zoo and you’ve been counting down since two months ago!!? Are you nuts??” 🤣😭😳

      Took a lot out of me to keep my cool (pun intended)! My husband and I were determined to make her enjoy it and get our money’s worth (bc of course it cost an arm and a leg for admission of 3 and parking)!

      Liked by 1 person

      • As someone who can be cautious with his money (okay, cheap, there I said it 🤣), I so get this. “We’re going to have fun if it kills us.”

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh yeah. French fries and chicken nuggets have that effect on me, too, and I’m not just saying that!! Ohhh how I hunger for the golden arches of McDonald’s!! AAUGH!! I’m glad Charlotte started having fun after a while!! YAY!! Sorry it was so hot!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I understand your frustration. I’ve had the same experience at our San Diego Zoo, which is one of the finest zoos in the world. But not in the peak of summer! The worst part is that it gets too hot for the animals to want to be out in their exhibits, which was the whole point of going to the zoo!
    As far as snacks go, I find they are a great pacifier for the child AND parents. Sometimes a bribe from the gift shop works as well. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • The poor animals, felt so bad for them in the sweltering heat… I’ve learned my lesson lol.. Next time I’ll just go to a local park zoo where the crowds are less and if she hates it we just go home without the guilt of paying an exorbitant amount of money for admission and parking lol


  6. Jen, You remind me about the heat and humidity in Toronto in the Summer. We have only been a few times visiting family at that time of year and almost unbearable.
    Oh, my gosh…”look at the bloody baboon…” a major laugh out loud.

    I recall the days of travelling with young children…….now it is young grandchildren, and all of the stuff. Now, we begin with the bribing snacks from the get-go.

    Your humorous, yet I feel for you story, reminds me of many challenging situations with our young girls. One example: front row expensive seats to a famous ventriloquist……had to leave with terrified, screaming child in tow. These will all make great stories to share in the future with Charlotte. (And fun, relatable stories to share with us right now) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Now I get the frustrations my parents must have felt after all the planning, preparing and suffering through activities for us kids (the little there was) just to make us happy or to pass the time a bit faster and all we did was complain LOL oyyy…

      Anytime these frustrating situations arise I’m sure I won’t survive it but if I look at it from another lens (perhaps a humorous one), it actually makes it very comical, relatable (I hope) and something I want to remember and share with Charlotte later on too 😊 that’s what makes it worth it 🙂

      Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

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  8. When the best plans fall apart… Oh, I feel for you. The younger the child, the more ‘stuff’ you have to lug around. You’re a great mom, Jen. It really does get easier (okay, I feel your eye roll.)

    Liked by 1 person

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  11. 😀 We took the kids out to eat as a special treat. They’re older. They’ve been taught manners. Somehow, that event was closer to, “Stop acting like a bunch of bloody baboons!”

    I keep wondering why I bother. So many child-events are so much planning with so little interest or appreciation on their part!

    And the tank top part was my favorite. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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