“POOOOOOOP! The baby is eating poo!”
Yep, I actually shouted these words this morning across the house. Somehow the two bathroom rules we actually enforce are the ones that often get forgotten: flush the toilet and shut the door.
With four kids, two still in diapers, I am no stranger to poo. I’ve touched other people’s waste with my bare hands more times than I’d like to admit, but even 11 years of parenting did not prepare me for the scene in my son’s bathroom this morning. That little toddler of mine did not spare the floor, the rug, the toilet seat, his shirt, his toes, his hair, or his mouth… everything got a little taste of human waste.
This, my friends, is just one of the reasons why I go through all of the painstaking efforts required to get the kids out of the house as much as possible. If it’s not a bathroom disaster, it’s a sibling fight or a 2-year-old demanding the one sippy cup that’s in the running dishwasher or a toddler climbing to unsafe heights that gets the ideas going in my head. What can we do? Where can we go? How do I entertain them all?
Sometimes I can think on my feet and create a quick backyard scavenger hunt. Sometimes I can corral them all into participating in a chore with me. Sometimes we launch into a family dance party. But many times, we just have to go…
And that’s when I refer back to the bucket list. Checking it off…
San Antonio Zoo –
Highlights: large zoo; indoor exhibits to cool off in; life-size dinosaur statues throughout the zoo (included with admission); stroller-friendly walking paths; shaded play area with stream for kids to splash around in
– Hippos and monkeys were kid-faves … be sure to make time for those exhibits.
– Outside food and drinks are not allowed, so eat beforehand (or be inconspicuous with your snacks).
– If you are a member of another major zoo, you get 50% off admission. The price of S.A. Zoo admission is a little steep, so look for coupons if you’re not a zoo member.
Home Depot Kids’ Workshops –
Highlights: FREE, indoor fun! The project is easy enough for older kids and fun to do with littles. Kids get a free Home Depot apron, a certificate and pin upon completion, and they get to keep the final product. Plus, you can always find ways to entertain kids in a home improvement store. We check out the kitchens and paint colors and dream of what changes we would make to our house, then we visit the gardening area to enjoy the flowers. Plus, my kids love to sneak a ride on the carts.
– The workshop is available from 9 am – noon. It gets packed in the first hour. If you want plenty of space to work or if your kids shut down in a crowd, go after 10 am.
– Keep your apron in an easy-to-find spot at home so you can bring it back each month.
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center –
Highlights: Groupon discount (half off) and kids under 5 are free! Small water feature for kids to fill buckets and get a little wet; a few short, shaded trails; indoor classroom with books, puzzles, and toys; shaded sandbox; plenty of photo ops; and the Sprouts program with story time and activities on Wed and Fri mornings.
– It’s super hot in summer! You need lots of water, lots of sunscreen, and plan to keep your visit short.
– Bring bug spray! The mosquitos swarm in some areas.