Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Things I'll do for Fish

I am home for a rest after spending a mostly relaxing weekend in British Columbia, the land where everyone refers to their items by brand name, not description. As in, “The airline lost my Peg Perego” (an infant car seat) or “I just love walking in my Saucony’s” (shoes). I spent a lot of time nodding and smiling as to not appear to be the prairie hick luddite who owns a playpen, not a ‘Baby Bjorn’. I’m tired. Not only for the mental exhaustion that comes with trying to pretend I have any clue what people are talking, but also because I’m still recovering from the trip to the Vancouver Aquarium with two three year-old girls and a four month old baby in the middle of a Saturday.

Armed with a Primo Viaggio (stroller), the girls, snacks to satisfy every anticipated whim of a toddler, a baby, and at least two cell phones in case we needed to call for back-up, off we went to see the whales, dolphins, various kinds of fish and maybe an otter or two.

After we arrived and had to circle the parking lot for 15 minutes before finding a spot, a slow, dawning realization came to my friend and I that this might be challenging. We kept quiet though, out of respect for the other who may have decided to comfortably embrace the warm bosom of delusion.

It appeared there were quite a few people that picked the same day to take in the aquarium. Undeterred, we set about the process of un-buckling the girls, getting the baby settled in his stroller, and hauling out the bags, toys, snacks, tequila and valium before we forged ahead into the great unknown.

We arrived at the doors to the aquarium, steeled our nerve and prepared for battle. At some point during the walk from the parking lot the girls had managed to apply war paint which went perfectly with the low hum of jungle drums that were suddenly playing in my head. I even heard a monkey squawk. Wait a minute…aren’t we at an aquarium? There were people EVERYWHERE.

We were to meet two friends and their children at the entrance (safety in numbers), but alas, only one made it. We were only an hour into our voyage when traffic took out our first solider. We bought a stuffed beluga at the gift shop and sent it to her family with notes of kind regard.

The girls were not at all shaken by news of our first casualty or the masses of resistance forces that were stationed at every corner. In fact, along with the war paint the kids had managed to organize an impressive zone-defence that would have made any NFL coach proud. After yelling a squeaky ‘BREAK!’ they each took off in opposite directions with their little heads bobbing between a sea of random legs.

Man, those kids are fast. It also didn’t help that they are also super short because it was as equally hard to see them when they are standing right beside you as it is when they are bolting towards the nearest display of sea horses.

There was some pretty cool stuff to see at the aquarium, but we only got to see it when the girls took a break from plotting our demise.

"Dude, what are you doing just standing there? It's totally your turn to take off running in the opposite direction."

Cute though, right? The cute is all part of their plan, you see. Just when you’re all ‘awwwe’ they hit you with a tantrum or an owie or a sharp and pointy toy upside the head.

But, all that stuff is okay because the way they go about it is somehow charming in its own right. One flash of that mischievous grin and even though I know I’ll pay for it with some kind of natural disaster caused by the cyclone that is the collective 60 pounds of these children, I let it happen anyway because whatever the fallout, it’s probably going to be worth it.

Although it has taken me a few days to recover and I’m not sure we won the battle, the weekend was a blast. I wish I could freeze those girls in time and visit them at this age whenever I want because right now they are about perfect. I washed off the war paint though.

p.s. If you're wondering why my kid is practically bald, read this.

p.p.s. - I should also point out that only the bald kid is mine. The other one belongs to my friend who graciously gave me permission to exploit her daughter on the internet.


Elisa said...

ach, crowds. Can't stand them. Unless there's enough space for everyone, that is. At Disneyland? There is. At Macy's on Herald Square in NYC, on Christmas Eve? There isn't.

Your girls are sooo cute!

Keely said...

Oh, yeah....they're totally scheming in that first pic. Politika's kid totally has the "innocence" look down pat though.

Casey said...

Yours sounds like a trip we made to the aquarium one day when we didn't realize school was out. Apparently, everyone takes their fucking kids to the aquarium when there's no school.

I'm glad you survived the trip and made it out in one piece. The girls are adorable and I think the lack of hair makes her look tough (in a cute way).

Sarah's Blogtastic Adventures said...

The cutest pics ever!!

I love the tequilla and vallium in the diaper bag! I always find Benedryll works nicely as well! ; )

Stacy (Random Cool Chick) said...

LOVE the pictures! And like Keely already mentioned - they DO look like they're totally scheming in that first one! LOL!! And the Valium and tequila in the diaper bag...perfect! ;)

Glad you had a great trip (in spite of the Aquarium fiasco). ;)

Happy Valentine's Day!!

Oh yeah - while you were gone, I gave you some awards...you can take 'em or leave 'em, I know there are some people out there that aren't into that sort of thing... ;)


Anonymous said...

I love that look in the first picture. She's up to something and I love it. I found you through Stacy's Random Thoughts, by the way. Glad you had a great trip!

mo.stoneskin said...

I find that carparks are always hell on earth, not matter what time or what time of year you try and park.

I'm fast coming to the conclusion that it is an elaborate alien conspiracy - the aliens are wearing us down by masquerading as shoppers.

Michele said...

This was too funny. Tequila and Valium go with every event. Looks like you had a good time.

Popped over from Casey's place.

Frogs in my formula said...

LOL. You are brave to go to the aquarium with two three year-olds and a baby on a Saturday. A few weeks back I had a similar idea but after pulling into the PACKED parking lot I started to sweat and feel sick and I got the hell out of there!