I hate those experiences that you look back on and think, “What was I thinking? I’m smarter than that.” However, these are often the ones that give us the most laughs – several days later.
This weekend after playing in the fountains in Bricktown until 9 on Friday night, two birthday parties, an over-night at Nana and Papa’s, a 20-mile ride around Draper Lake in a cart behind their father’s bike, and a walk around the park with our new puppy, I took my tired, hungry and dirty little girls to Wal-Mart on Sunday evening. What was I thinking? I am smarter than that.
It started off well. Everyone was complaint with their seating arrangement in the cart. I strolled through the garden section real fast, just in case there was something there I couldn’t live without. What was I thinking? I am smarter than that. While the children are happy you make a mad dash through the store grabbing everything as quick as you can as if your very life depended on it because they are soon going to realize that they are tired and hungry.
I love the Oklahoma City zoo. Love love love the zoo. Last year while on maternity leave I took my nearly 3-year-old and new born to the zoo at least twice a week and sometimes three. And when we go to the zoo we spend the whole day. We walk the whole entire zoo. Pachyderms to bison to Acquaticus and back. In and out of the snake house through the Galapagos and sometimes the aviary. We love it there. I brag about the OKC Zoo everywhere I go.
I think it is a great place to take kids. To teach them about nature and impart on them messages of balance and environment and kindness and consequence and many many many more. There is one message though that the zoo is not capitalizing on: Eating healthy.
This despite the fact that our mayor unleashed to the world his mission to put our fine city on a diet at the zoo. If you want to eat anything healthy at the zoo you’re going to have to sneak into an animal’s cage.
While they are being fed oranges, leafy greens and other carefully selected foods to keep them healthy, the concessions areas are deep-frying French fries, hot wings, chicken fingers, corn dogs and more. You can get burgers, burritos, nachos, hot dogs and bratwurst. You can get the best ice cream in the whole world. Oh yes I am not knocking the flavor of zoo fare, just its nutritional value. But, I’d challenge someone to find something healthy to eat at the zoo concessions aside from the hamburger toppings.
It seems like adding cold-cut sandwiches, fruit dishes and veggie cups would be easy and not all that expensive. Aren’t they already buying oranges, apples, bananas and the sort for the animals? Why not order some extra for us. Maybe they could even capitalize on the whole animal thing they‘ve got going and offer ants on a log or a monkey sandwich with peanut butter and bananas.Come on zoo, give us some healthy options.
Until then, when you go to the zoo keep in mind that if you eat you’ll be consuming a high-fat, high-sugar diet. Which I think is a good thing from time to time. You gotta have a burger and fries. And in our house hot dogs are a food group. And I think I might have mentioned that the zoo has the best ice cream in the whole world. But you have to balance that out with some celery and oranges, options that one would imaging you’d be able to find at the zoo.
And I’m not saying every item on the menu should be filled with nutritional value. I And I suppose that I could avoid eating at the zoo all together and many do bring their own snacks and picnics, but when you already have to lug gear for two kids a fruit cup would be handy. I think the zoo’s’ food makes a statement … it sends a message. And I’m not really sure why they should be held to a higher standard than White Water or Frontier City, but as a place of influence and education … conservation and nature I think they are.
Oh and keep your fingers out of the cages those oranges are for the gorillas.
- Lindsey Johnson
She won’t pull up to your house in a way cute mini cooper and stay for a week to help you figure out how to keep your 2-year-old from banging his head on the wall. But Dr. Teresa Baird at the Oklahoma City-County Health Department does have no nonsense advice on how to tackle your child-raising issues. And most importantly she has perspective.
Sometimes when you’re in it up to your elbows, it’s hard to see the common sense solutions to your problems. My 3-year-old recently has been giving me fits. I’m almost certain that is an experience not unique to me.
Her teachers call her strong willed. I call her sassy. Except when the cashier at Target asks her what her name is and she crosses her arms and wrinkles her face, looks to the ground and growls, “I’m not talking to you, ” then I call her Satan. Not to her face of course, but later at night when I am telling my husband about our shopping adventure.
Truth be told, Cybil is probably a more accurate nickname. Because often she bounces right into public places smiling at people, introducing herself, and sharing wonderful information about her and her family. … Great 3-year-old stuff that often reveals more about me to perfect strangers than I am comfortable with.