Yesterday, we had plans to go to the Toronto Metro Zoo with my family to celebrate Little H’s 3rd birthday. Because of work, Evan wasn’t able to go with us. I wasn’t overly happy about that – both because I hate driving and because I wanted him to be there with the family, but you do what you have to do. I was nervous about driving myself there. I am not a huge fan of driving, especially in busy and unfamiliar places. But, I wanted to be a part of Little H’s birthday celebration and I didn’t want to give up the opportunity to take my girl to the zoo for the first time, so I put on my big girl panties, wrote down my directions (yes, I said WROTE DOWN MY DIRECTIONS. I am the last person on the planet to not own a GPS thanks to my old-soul husband who believes in the value of the good old days where people used a map), packed a picnic lunch and off we went.
I made sure that Eva and I were up on the earlier end of normal, so that if I left a bit before nap time, she’d hopefully still fall asleep for part of the drive. Apparently that was a good plan because girlfriend was asleep before I even got to McDonald’s to stop for my iced coffee.
By the time I got my coffee and was pulling onto the highway it was exactly 9:00 … thirty minutes earlier than I had planned to get away. It was a good start to the day.
About 25 minutes into the drive, I saw a sea of dreaded brake lights ahead of me. And just like that, we were in stand still traffic. We came to a stop right at an exit and many cars made the last minute decision to get out of there, but I stuck with the highway since I didn’t know where to go if I got off and hello, no GPS for me. After sitting there for fifteen minutes and only moving a few inches, I started to notice that I was sweating a wee bit more than normal. Clearly because I was on edge about being stuck in traffic. Or not. I was actually sweating because my air conditioner was no longer blowing out cold air, but rather, hot hot hot air. So, down went the windows. But you know, rolling the windows down only provides minimal relief when it’s 4892877583 degrees outside.
Once that issue was dealt with, I noticed something else going on. I had to pee. Like whoa. Funny how I can go for hours and hours and hours without peeing at home when my bathroom is right beside me, but stick me in a car with my baby for an hour long trip and I’m doing the pee pee dance as soon as I find myself stuck on the highway with no escape.
I had no idea how long it would be until we got through the construction that was causing the delay, nor how long it would be until the next exit, so I had my legs a-crossed. (Side note: it is physically impossible to navigate a manual transmission vehicle through stop and go traffic with your legs crossed.)
Thankfully, it was only a few kilometers of construction, so we were out of it within about 25 minutes. I quickly zoomed off the highway and got myself to the closest Tim Horton’s I could find. Eva was still asleep in the backseat and apparently, it’s been a long time since I’ve driven any distance with her by myself, because I realized that I no idea how to get myself into the washroom without waking her up, because apparently, you’re not allowed to leave your sleeping baby in the car alone on a hot day. I thanked my lucky stars that we hadn’t put away her infant seat the day before like we talked about as I carried her, seat and all, and set her down into the stall with me. Of course, she didn’t stay asleep, but that’s beside the point. I had to pee. This made me wonder what I’ll do when I do switch her to the next car seat. Moms, what do you do? Do you have to put your baby on the dirty floor of the public washroom?
A few minutes later and we were back on the road. But remember? The air conditioning konked out when we were stuck in traffic? It still wasn’t working. So now I had a grumpy, fussing baby, who would rather still be asleep, trying to find a comfortable position in the hot car with the hot wind blowing in her face. She went back and forth between fussing and ‘singing’ for the next leg of the trip until we were about 10 minutes from the zoo, when she finally fell back to sleep.
We pulled into the zoo parking lot just before 10:30, which was actually still 30 minutes earlier than I expected to be there, thanks to the early departure and the over estimation of how long my drive would be. I unloaded my stuff, put the baby in the trunk (what? you don’t do that?) to change her diaper and sunscreen her up and off we went.
We quickly met up with the rest of the gang and proceeded to have a fun (HOT) day at the zoo. Let’s just say there was time spent at the splash pad. Eva basically didn’t even notice any of the animals except some mountain goats but she did fall asleep in the stroller for the second time in her entire life, so that was a miracle. I forgot my camera, but I’m hoping to scoop photos that my brother took.
Despite the semi-stressful and chaotic start to the day and the extreme heat, it was a fun day. And of course, I made sure to get myself a Beaver Tail while I was there. Because what trip to the Toronto Zoo would be complete with some delicious fried pastry?
Happy 3rd Birthday to Little H! Thank you for letting us celebrate your big day with you.