Trip to the Zoo
A few weeks ago we went to the Nashville Zoo with my mom and aunt. Little Man is now able to recognize different animals and make their sounds; naturally we thought he was going to LOVE seeing the animals at the zoo.
He did love the zoo and had an amazing time, but not for the reasons that we thought he would.
Kids view the world differently and seem to find entertainment in simplicity. Ever notice how you buy your child a new toy and all they want to do is play with the box that it came in? Yeah, that was kind of like how our trip to the zoo went.
His favorite part of the zoo was the big misty fan. You would have thought that we hit the jackpot when he spotted that fan. I mean we are the zoo and my son just wants to play in the misty fan…seriously?! When I realized that he was enthralled with the misty fan I had a few options.
Most of the time when I am out with my toddler I come across a scenario like this and I have to decide how I am going to handle it.
I could have a) Made him leave the misty fan area in order to visit the other animal exhibits because, duh, we are at the zoo and we didn’t come for a fan. This option would have made for one unhappy toddler because he didn’t really care about the animals at this moment he just wanted the fan.
Or b) I could decide to have fun doing what my toddler wanted to do and let him keep playing in the fan. I chose option B and joined in the fun with him.
Look at those faces! He was having the time of his life and I'm so glad that I was able to be a part of that special moment.
And then instead of being interested in all of the exotic animals that we paid to see, my son was more interested in the geese that weren’t really a part of any exhibit, they just happened to be there wandering around.
At one point after watching the geese for some time, I asked Little Man if he wanted to go and see the other animals and he shook his head no; so we stayed for a little while longer just watching the geese that we could have seen at a free park or anywhere for that matter.
Once again, I had a decision to make, and instead of getting frustrated because my son didn’t want to move on from the geese, I chose to engage in what he wanted to do.
Now I am not saying that when you're out you should give into every little whim of your child, but I am saying that there is no point in rushing past something simple that your child is enjoying. Take the time to enjoy it with them instead of getting frustrated.
As a mom sometimes we just have to let go of what we had planned for the day and just join in the fun with our kids in order to really have a good time.
If you don’t learn to let go, then you will most likely end up getting frustrated 99% of the time during your outings with your children.
Instead we should learn from our kids and slow down to enjoy the simple things in life.
I have been working on changing my mindset from “let’s do what mommy had planned” to “let’s take it one step at a time and do what Little Man wants"; it has made our outings much more enjoyable.
I am naturally a control person and I like things done a certain way. But my son is teaching me that things don’t always have to be done my way and that it’s better when we just take the time to live in the moment and enjoy ourselves each step of the way.
When you find yourself getting frustrated in a situation similar to mine, just take a second to ask yourself “Is this really worth getting upset about or do I just need to let go and enjoy this time with my little one?”
This scenario seemed to happen over and over again while at the zoo.
Little man just wanted to go up and down the same three steps in the middle of the bamboo forest.
Then we came across a little wooden wobbly bridge by the flamingos that my son just wanted to run back and forth and back and forth. And that is exactly what we let him do.
And then there were giraffs to see that my son cared nothing about, but that's okay because we got lost in our own silliness and laughter. Don't miss out on these special moments with your children. They happen in an instant, but the memories will stay in your heart forever.