Marika Malaea

faithful marauder + fake royal

Where Do Babies Come From?

with 12 comments

Where do babies come from? The answer to this question is ‘The Woodland Park Zoo,’ and apparently I’m one of them.

I don’t know when my tolerance for children became more of a burning disdain for all creatures under ten, but I’m going to say it was 9/11. Try and prove me otherwise.

The Esq took me to the zoo for my birthday, and we saw a ton of wild animals, mostly of the ‘human child’ variety. Screaming children, sobbing children, tired children, whiny children; children of different ages, sexes, ethnicities and backgrounds, all bound by a common thread: making my brain bleed out of my ear holes.

Observations:

1. Children don’t need supervision. Especially when they’re tethered to a leash that is tethered toย a stuffed unicorn.

Basically you strap the kid into a plushy backpack — also known as the 2-in-1 Harness Buddyย — and let them roam free, in a tightly-wound circle, that’s roughly four feet in diameter. Sometimes it looks like the animal is dragging the child along unwillingly; other times, the child seems completely oblivious to it. And to those kids I want to say, really? Being locked in a squishy, doggy-style embrace with a magical animal to ensure your safety feels somehow normal to you?

Much like the product description says, the Harness Buddy “makes harnessing more friendly!” Because when I think of harnessing a screamy toddler, my next thought is naturally one of friendship.

2. Strollers are the size of trailer homes. They come in double and triple-wide sizes, they’re totally customizable, and the contents of your house can fit inside! There’s also room for the baby, or a hundred thousand babies!

There’s not enough room on a pedestrian zoo path for me and a family-sized sport-utility stroller some baby apparently needs for his latte, cell phone, iPod, water bottle, purse, book, digital camera, sunglasses, snacks, sweatshirt, umbrella, and pacifier. Sure, I can just traipse alongside you in the bushes, trampling on hearty African trees and tripping over benches while you re-stock and prepare that house-on-wheels for what must be Armageddon.

The Stroller Brigade was out in full force that day, and I’ve never seen anything like it. Small and average-sized women pushed minivan-sized strollers about the park with great strain, focus, and effort (not unlike Prometheus, minus the liver-eating eagle). Side observation: The bigger the stroller, the bitchier the mom. One gal was pushing what looked like a Buick down a two-person path, and she actually said some shit when I couldn’t find my way around her. I entertained the idea of using her fortified compound of a stroller as a stepping stone to her face, but I’m trying to avoid making bad decisions that end in litigation.

The only solution I’ve come up with is to stack these children like Tupperware, on top of each other — like a vertical row of Hollywood Squares — to avoid making other people off-road at the zoo. Hey, Japan would applaud this idea.

3. Mothers are the original puppetmasters.

Loudly, consistently, deliberately, shamelessly: that’s how mothers puppeteer. At the zoo, there are endless possibilities when it comes to mothers thinking and speaking for their children, and pushing their own agenda. I’m not going to lie; I’ve done this to my son. ‘How does Mommy look? Does Mommy look thin? Does Mommy look thinner and maybe less desperate than Stacy? Is that a yes? Are you nodding your head yes? Well, now you’re asleep, but I know what you meant.’

By the tiger pit: “What’s the tiger thinking, Holly? Is the tiger praying? Is he happy and praying in the sun, thanking God for everything he’s been given? Yeah, that’s a happy tiger who knows the love of the Lord! And when he dies, he’ll go to Tiger Heaven!” Holly looked relieved there was a separate heaven for giant cats, because she was nine years old.

By the tapirs: “Who does that big pig-thing remind you of? Does he remind you of Daddy? You should tell him that when we get home, as a joke! Say ‘Daddy, you’re a big lazy tapir!’ But say it as a joke. Can you repeat after me?” Mom kept saying the word ‘tapir’ wrong; the child was a toddler.

By the penguins: “Look at the penguins, Benjamin! Awww, they’re so cute! Do you love the penguins? Oh, you love the penguins! The penguins are your favorite! Look, Dave, Benji loves the penguins!” Benji was a sleeping infant, strapped into a car seat.

Let go of the agenda; kids can speak for themselves. And if they can’t, why pretend that they can? Benji will verbally appreciate the penguins when he’s damn good and ready.

4. Parents and children don’t listen to each other. Or rather, they listen to each other in the exact same way.

There’s harrumphing, whining, complaining, keening, yelling, screaming, crying, kicking, and finally, some magical combination of two or three of these that finally gets parental attention. Unfortunately, I had to sit next to your kid while he harrumphed, whined, complained, keened, yelled, screamed, cried, kicked my chair and started throwing rocks before you took fucking notice. So when you used your best Parent Voice and overcompensated for not paying attention — and the kid totally ignored your repeated requests — I hope you know he was just following your crappy example.

5. The zoo is like The Matrix, or maybe like The Truman Show. Maybe a little bit of both.

I mean, it could be a zoo within a zoo within a zoo. How do you know it’s not a zoo to watch humans interact with animals? We’ll just never know.

Despite these observations, I still enjoyed myself. It was kind of like Avatar; I would have liked it better had I listened to my iPod instead of what was in front of me. Next time I’ll be prepared.

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Written by sn0tteh

May 28, 2010 at 5:27 PM

12 Responses

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  1. I hate kids. I have two of my own who I LOVE!!! and I have a fond affection for several of their friends but in general kids suck. They are indulged and bratty and lack the imaginations that used to make kids cool.

    elizabeth

    May 28, 2010 at 6:02 PM

  2. You perfectly summed up everything that drives me crazy about going to the zoo. And I was totally wondering if strollers were getting bigger or if I was somehow shrinking. Good to know that it happens to be the former!

    Manthony

    May 28, 2010 at 7:53 PM

  3. I’m with you. I only know a couple cool kids, and one of them is mine.

    sn0tteh

    May 29, 2010 at 9:33 AM

  4. Oh yes the PUPPETMASTERS! If I do that with my kid, slap me.

    Monica Guzman

    May 29, 2010 at 11:44 AM

  5. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Monica Guzman, Snotty McSnotterson. Snotty McSnotterson said: New post up — Where Do Babies Come From? http://is.gd/ctIl0 (Bet you don't know the answer.) […]

  6. @Moni I consider your comment legally binding, so I will definitely slap you if you turn into a puppetmaster.

    sn0tteh

    May 30, 2010 at 8:42 AM

  7. This remind me of the one reason I dread moving back to the NW-you’re an annoying second class citizen if you want to actually leave the home with your child-even to someplace oriented for children like the zoo! The South has DEFINITE drawbacks, but it’s so refreshing to be able to take my child to a restaurant and not have glares even before we’ve taken our seats. My daughter is actually pretty darn well-behaved for a toddler in public, but she’s TWO. Tantrums happen. Every time our parents and friends beg us to move back to the NW I think of how I face dirty looks from brooding dipshit baristas in ironic T-shirts and skinny jeans just for asking for a small hot cocoa that isn’t too hot for a child.

    That said, we were at the Nashville Zoo yesterday (we go to the zoo on Sundays mornings with all the other atheists) so your observations are all too clear in my mind. Haven’t encountered anyone yet relating a biblical lesson to a tiger! I spent most of the afternoon after leaving ruminating about how much I hate shorts as a general clothing item. Women, wear pants or skirts, shorts just make everyone look frumpy, no matter how skinny you are. Put a pair of khaki shorts on a woman and her ass will immediately frump-ify.

    The strollers now are terrifyingly large and ridiculous. Personally, I love seeing someone pushing a $500 double Bob stroller just filled with purses and other crap while the kids run off, refusing to sit. We don’t even bother with a stroller anymore-she’s going to want to get out of it 500 yards from the entrance! And leashes are creepy, no matter how many monkeys or bears you sew onto them.

    LilRed

    May 31, 2010 at 7:03 AM

  8. There’s harrumphing, whining, complaining, keening, yelling, screaming, crying, kicking, and finally, some magical combination of two or three of these that finally gets parental attention. Unfortunately, I had to sit next to your kid while he harrumphed, whined, complained, keened, yelled, screamed, cried, kicked my chair and started throwing rocks before you took fucking notice. So when you used your best Parent Voice and overcompensated for not paying attention — and the kid totally ignored your repeated requests — I hope you know he was just following your crappy example.
    +1

    Hillary Gagan

    June 1, 2010 at 7:55 AM

  9. as an opinionated mother of two, former LPZoo volunteer and a teacher, I LOVED this post.

    glynnis

    June 11, 2010 at 8:28 PM

  10. @LilRed Your comment made my entire week. Guess I know where we’re going if I’m ever in Nashville on a Sunday.

    sn0tteh

    June 11, 2010 at 9:48 PM

  11. @glynnis As an opinionated mother of half a child, I *loved* your comment. ๐Ÿ™‚

    sn0tteh

    June 11, 2010 at 9:50 PM

  12. Oh my god – I just took my kids to the zoo and had that exact same reaction! How about the overweight 5 -9 yr olds being pushed in strollers??!!! But – my very favorite part of the zoo is to read t-shirts of red neck parents – game with hubs – who can find the MOST inappropriate of the day. Winner of all time is: “Smoke dope, eat p*ssy, and trip like a f**king dog” Can’t make that up!

    Liz

    June 21, 2010 at 5:58 PM


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