Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Animal Play

This past weekend we spent a lot of time with animals. And not just these two:

I love the zoo!

Last year we had a family membership to the Stone Zoo that we hardly used. I think this year we'll get a lot more use out of it. A pattern has emerged with the kids - Ned insists on running around on his own steam. He's a very happy boy so long as he is unfettered.

What else can I see?

One parent must be with him at all time so the other parent pushes the stroller and handles Penny. She listens to direction better and we are less likely to lose her.

The Stone Zoo is small but it has "corners" so you can lose track of a kid if you aren't careful. The bird enclosure (Penny was a little scared of the birds flying around) and the black bears were big hits.


At Drumlin Farms on Sunday we signed up for a membership too. The kids know that a cow says "moo" and sheep say "baa" and an owl says "whoo". Ned grunts a little through his nose for the pigs like he's snoring (they won't say "oink"). Any other animal says "mooo?" I like the farm because Ned can run very far and you can still see him. Sometimes I have to pick him up and carrying him for a bit before he's willing to run in the right direction. We've been there twice and the kid does not slow down at all.


Needless to say they fell asleep in the car while we drove to a place that had functioning restaurants with water. We tried Cracker Barrel but that was packed so we ended up at Wendy's, breaking Penny's beef restriction with shared hamburger. She helped clean the table before we ate.

Little Helper

Lunch time!

It was a wonderful weekend and we learned that if they fall asleep and then won't nap later to just put them to bed earlier - better for everyone. Any advice for keeping track of a "runner" during excursions? I am a little worried about doing so with an infant in tow this summer.


Nicole S. said...

I think we're going to do the zoo this week, maybe tomorrow afternoon. I like that its so close to us, we can go without too much forethought. We'll def sign up for a membership. And there is a Friendly's right down the street. 'nuff said.

J and J Mama said...

For keeping track of a runner, the only advice that I can think of is to get one of those back-pack leash things. At least the ones we have don't look too much like a leash. My boys love the monkey and the puppy on the backpacks (in fact one of mine wears it backwards so he can hug the lovey) and it's the only way I feel like I can safely let them out of the stroller in a lot of places. Our park play area is fenced so I try to let them run as much there and in our yard as mush as they can, but sometimes I have to use the tethers. I'd rather get the dirty looks from the singleton mommies than risk having one of them get away from me.
The only other thing I can think of is something I've seen in the One Step Ahead catalog where you have a remote on a keychain and something that clips on your child that will emit a high pitched sound when you press your button. That would allow him to run, but would also allow you to press the button and hear where he is. My own personal issue with it was that it still didn't prevent them going off with someone else or stop them from getting hit by a car etc.

The Mommy said...

With Sarah I have started "red light, green light." It sort of works. But, she's much older. I don't have good advice for the little ones. I just let them go and kind of huff it after them. My guys do seem to follow the leader a little bit - they don't want to get left. I have the back pack leashes but I haven't tried them out yet. We do have a hand holding rule in parking lots. If you don't hold my hand then you get picked up. I have had to haul them both kicking and howling back to the car when they can't hold hands but they are getting better.

H said...

Oh, they're wearing my shirts!

Gretchen said...

What fun outings! Yay for farm animals :) Glad the water is back online (right?).

Drew said...

You guys should come over this summer and run in our yard. it is pretty big... Other than that, not so much advice. Check out Trustees of Reservations' properties. I used to work there, and they have some great places to take the kids for hikes and such. Appleton Farms in Ipswich has really huge, wide trails that are good for walking (running) - and they have cows that walk from the fields to the barn for milking everyday at around 3:30. I would love to meet you guys for a walk sometime. Also, Crane Beach is fun, and at Castle Hill (also in Ipswich) they have the Grand Allee where he can run for a long time still in sight. They must have some more places closer to you... I will try to remember. Long Hill in Beverly has an open field or two, but really better for their Children's garden.

Shelley said...

When I was about 6 months pregnant with Ethan, Emery darted off at the zoo and I literally couldn't catch her. This nice older man finally blocked her path when he saw that I wasn't catching up. :-) So, needless to say, I was PETRIFIED of what I would do when I had and an extra kid AND 2 runners.

A few months later everything changed and now I have very few problems with them darting off. I realize that this doesn't help you right now since you're kiddos are a little younger, but I'm just saying not to stress about how this will all work when Spyder is born. Things could completely change by the time you start getting out with all 3.

Here is something that has worked great for us: We have "sippy cup leashes" left over from when we used to attach their cups to the stroller (when they would chunk them out every 3 seconds). Anyway, they have velcro straps that make a loop at each end of the "leash". I attached one to each side of the stroller so that they each have a loop to hold onto while we walk across parking lots and stuff. Hope that makes sense. If not....e-mail me and I'll send a picture. :-) So far it's worked out great.

Good luck!