Thursday, September 17

Zoo incident

My friend Arin and I were crazy enough to try out the new zoo exhibit "Predators of the Serengeti" on the opening day. Ok, so not actually the open to public opening day, but the open to members opening day. For some reason I thought it would be less crowded because only members could go in and school was back in and it was a Friday...I was wrong. (did I mention it was also a million degrees of hot as well?)

It was a normal zoo visit (LM and J running around like they own the place and little C as the go between) until we got to the special exhibit. I knew it was a bad sign when we had to wait in line to get in-not long, but we did have to wait. Then we got in, and it was mania. People everywhere. I remember thinking wow it is significantly busier in this part of the zoo.

Thus far I had been lucky in keeping track of LM. I minorly lost him a couple of times, but he was relatively easy to find considering the amt of people and lack of hiding areas. In this new area I was concerned, but figured it would be fine.

We walked into the main exhibit area and started looking for the lions, which was a chore in and of itself. We were looking and looking, and Arin thought she saw something. I said ok let me go grab LM and started looking for him. Walking, walking, going deeper into the exhibit and no LM. Starting to get nervous, but reminding myself not to panic. I go back to Arin and say I can't find him anywhere. She, thinking I'm refering to the lion, says he's on the rock up there. Ok, not the lion, LM I can't find LM anywhere. We immediately split up and start searching (I was impressed that I didn't need to say anything more than I couldn't find LM and she was moving, moms think alike). We met back up on the other side of the exhibit both empty-handed. Then I started to panic. So I started to walk out and there he was, holding the hand of the nice zoo officer.

I was a little embarassed, but mostly relieved! My mind had already been running through a list of horrible scenarios (thanks to a recent book read, The Shack), and I realized that the zoo is no place to lose a kid. It is way too big and open.

So there you have it, my fav moment of the week-not so much because I love losing my kid, but because I was so happy to see him again. When I got to LM I asked him where he had been and he said holding the hand of the man (meaning the officer). Then he proceeded to tell me that he was lost. Of course the officer asked me if I was "Baca"; LM probably told the man his name was LM too. We started working on last names after this.

I spent the rest of the visit critically examining the zoo and the little areas that make it very possible to lose a child (like little hiding spots with two entrances/exits). It was an exhausting but fun visit...the exhibit is actually pretty cool, just go in the evening when more animals might be out.


Arin said...

It was so scary...and you did a great job of not-panicking! I am totally embarassed I thought you were talking about the lion...we were all excited because we could finally see her. I was so glad you found him before it was too long and the real panic kicked in.

I will say it was a good experience (sine it turned out so well) to remember how quickly kids can disappear. I admit to being a little less vigilant than I used to be in situations like that and it was a good reminder.

Especially in light of recent books and happenings in the world!

The Peton's said...

Anytime the word "incident" is in a blog title, you know it's going to be good.

That's a freaky feeling. I remember being lost as a kid after a stadium fireworks show. I was freaked out for days!!

I'm glad LM wasn't on the rock with the lion.

Kelli Boyd said...

It's funny, isn't it, to think of children being asked what their parents' name(s) are. I mean, when do they not call you "mom" and "dad?" I'm impressed that he remembered well enough to give the officer some semblance of your name. ("Baca," that's very cute!) I'm glad that he was found safe and sound and the day went on without further "incident." :-)