It’s unclear why, but I couldn’t get to sleep until about 3 this morning, and I still had to get up early to prep the kids for our visit to the zoo. When we got back from the zoo, although La Serpiente flaked out for two hours, Destroyer slept for less than half an hour before demanding I entertain her, so I didn’t catch up with any sleep. Then to really rub it in, when I took both girls to Marks & Spencer in the afternoon, ona last chance thrill ride to buy cheesy poofs and hot cross buns, Destroyer went to sleep on my back and slept until 5, the perfect preparation for not going to sleep tonight.
After all that nonsense, when I got home tonight I gave up and plonked them down in front of Dinosaur Train for half an hour while I made dinner. Then, after dinner they got another half hour ofbTV, until I worried that this was zombifying them. So I turned off the television and they went mental, throwing all their toys over all of the place.
Seriously, the flat was pristine yesterday because they were out all day, and the only time they were home they were glued to the gogglebox. Take away telly for ten minutes, and the place is a wreck.
By now, too tired to care, I lay on the sofa while the madness came in waves around me, until they aggravated me enough to force me to run their baths. Tonights bedtime was again a running battle from room to room and back again, putting down kids to sleep like I was a magician spinning plates.
Still, the zoo was fun. I hired a big plastic wagon to pull both children around in, and they trundled around the zoo quite happily, as long as I was constantly feeding La Serpiente. Cheese, crackers, bunny shaped biscuits, blueberries, strawberries, ice cream. We even got to see a few animals, and crowds of idiots stroking the lemurs. What part of "wild animals" do people not understand?
Fundamentally, you mustn’t go to the zoo on a bank holiday weekend, because that’s when all the stupid comes out. Whether it’s people petting the ‘cute’ animals, or not looking where they’re going, or leaving wide open every door to every climate controlled area (like air conditioning is a universal good that really should be extended to every square inch of the zoo), it just pushes my blood pressure into the stratosphere. I wonder if all the same people were at the aquarium yesterday.
My friends came to reinforce me, but we’re an hour late because of the world’s slowest Uber driver (who had to stop for a leak along the way). That gave us more time to stare at the orangutans, before going to look at the curiously green polar bear. There was a long presentation on the bear at 10:30, where we learned about the various drugs he’s on, how he brushes his teeth, and how he swims. Even polar bears do the doggy paddle, so there’s hope for me, I suppose.
I kept both children awake on the way home by bribing them with Peppa Pig. At the time I thought this was an act of strategic genius; rather than have them fall asleep in the taxi and jolt awake after 20 minutes, they’d sleep soundly at home. And how wrong could I be.