Our friends Jill and Craig, who we met in labor and delivery class and whose daughter Harper is nine days younger than Hadley, had invited us to join them at this grand event. We thought it sounded splendid. (Ok, the truth is just that I liked the name; I knew nothing about it, but it's the zoo. How complicated can it be?)
So we dressed Hadley in her "Cutest Pumpkin in the Patch" onesie--our faithful readers will remember this outfit as the same one that got, ahem, soiled on our way to the pumpkin patch--and took a few pre-zoo pictures:
Yes, that's snow you see in the background.
And we piled into the car and headed to the zoo.
We knew we were in trouble when we were a few miles from the zoo and saw signs in a high school parking lot for "Boo in the Zoo Parking: FREE SHUTTLE!" Oh, no, I thought. Riding the shuttle with an almost-six-month-old is not an option, and one of my little (and perhaps charming) quirks is that I HATE remote parking. Hate it. I don't like to be that far from my car, in case I need to make a quick getaway. Weird, but true.
We forged on because we're new parents and Hadley had her pumpkin onesie on and we had promised her the ZOO for heaven's sake. After cruising the parking lot for a good 10 minutes, we found a spot inhabited by Red Riding Hood's mom (who drives a Volvo, in case you're wondering and who graciously waved at us, as if to say, "I bequeath this spot to you and your pumpkin cherub in the backseat!" I've always liked Red Riding Hood.)
Jason put Hadley on the Bjorn, we packed the stroller with various baby equipment and our camera, and we headed into the zoo. Which was a zoo. There were tiny Transformers and bubble bees and cows--a lot of cows, oddly--and skeletons and princesses. I realized that Boo at the Zoo means trick-or-treating at various stops throughout the zoo, so in addition to the excitement of the ZOO, kids are juiced up on the excitement of HALLOWEEN and the sheer power of SUGAR. Whew! The tiny trifecta!
But the weather was glorious, and Hadley loved being outside and looking at all of the other kids. She looked mildly peeved when Harper showed up wearing an adorable flower costume--"Where's my costume, Mommy?" Hadley practically said--but I ignored her. And she recovered quickly and kicked her Halloween-sock-glad feet happily.
See? Happy babies:
The girls (and their parents) really liked the primate house.
Jill, Harper the Flower and a rhino.
We made it through about half of the zoo before the girls decided they had had enough. Hadley came home, ate and took a nice long nap. She got to stay up a little late to see some of the trick-or-treaters, though she wasn't as interested in them as she was in her favorite purple elephant toy (who we have named "Chuck" for no good reason).
So I'd say our first holiday was a success. I consider Halloween to be a pretty minor holiday, so I'm really looking forward to sharing Thanksgiving and Christmas with our little pumpkin. She has no idea about the good things that are in store...and we've learned that everything is more fun with a child around.