A sunny afternoon at the zoo sounds like a great idea. What better way to spend a day bonding with your spawn than to commune with nature? Your children learn about animals and spend the day laughing and skipping. At the day’s end, they sleep like the little cherubs they are. You’re secure in the knowledge that you’ve created memories that comfort them throughout their lives.
Sounds like a great time, right?
Here are eight reasons why you should skip the zoo trip:
- Your toddler will either be disinterested or terrified of the animals. One minute, you have a well adjusted 3 year old. Then, a walrus bursts out of the water and barks loud enough to pierce your eardrums. In that instance, your well adjusted 3 year old starts his journey into anxiety over being eaten by a walrus. This also explains his life-long hatred of The Beatles.
- Good judgement remains in the zoo parking lot. You buy your child an ice cream cone that is a shade of blue only found in a Doctor Seuss book. Before the day ends, that blue ice cream will be vomited down your leg in a foamy cascade. You have to spend the rest of the day with your toes stuck to your sandals and the hotter it gets, the worse your foot smells. You’ll return to the elephant house because the air smells more fresh in there.
- Speaking of vomit. You will see vomit at the zoo. It might be animal vomit or kid vomit, but either way, vomit will be seen. You might even see the trifecta of vomit. For instance, a kid sees a dingo vomit, which in turn triggers kid vomit which makes their parent boot. The only thing worse than seeing this vomit extravaganza? You’re the vomiting family and a stranger’s video of you ends up going viral on YouTube.
- Zoo trips with preteens can be even more stressful than toddlers. You decide that a day spent together will close the distance that has been growing between you and your hormonal child. Then, as you walk through the zoo, your precious spawn lectures you on the horrors of animals being kept in captivity. No matter what you say to generate a little excitement, your words will be met with a contemptuous stare, like you suggested eating clubbed baby seal for lunch.
- Lunch at the jungle themed cantina blows. Overpriced zoo food tastes like ass flavored school food. No matter where you sit, every surface feels sticky. Sweat bee colonies become your constant companion. Your attempt at disposing of your ass flavored feast riles up gangs of bees who live near the garbage can. Chances are, your kid will get stung and you will be subjected to reproachful looks for the rest of the day. Because you know, mom’s always at fault when the bee stings.
- Naughty Monkeys. Monkeys are randy. They don’t care if there is an audience, in fact, they might like the audience. You will spend weeks answering questions and hearing stories about the monkeys ‘wrestling’.
- You can count on your kid being emotionally scarred after a lengthy giraffe tonguing. During a tonguing, your kid won’t know how to react. That is, until the giraffe snatches your kid’s bag of peanuts.
- If you go to the zoo, for all that is holy, avoid the petting zoo. You know that iPhone that you told your ex to not buy for your 9 year old? Well, chances are while your 9 year old is texting with a friend, a goat will snatch the phone out of his hands and eat it. Then, where will you be? In a petting zoo, surrounded by goats and a screaming child. Not to mention, the inevitable ex argument that happens later when he insists you replace the phone.
Who knows, maybe your trip to the zoo will be a relaxing, educational and fun filled day. Or maybe, you’ll go home with that headache you get after spending hours talking through gritted teeth.