Monday, April 18, 2011


The family went to (the beautiful and talented) Kitty’s cabin this weekend. However, Diana and Kitty went up a day earlier than me and the boys. So Diana could, you know, not be around the boys for one minute.

I took the day off and decided to surprise them with a trip to the zoo. While we were in the car, I had Eli to ask me questions about where we were going.

“What color is it?”

“Lots of colors. Guess again.”

“What color is it?”

“No, it really isn’t a color thing. Here. I’ll give you a hint. There are both fur and scales there.”

“What color is it?”

“We’re going to the zoo.”

The boys loved the zoo. How can you not love a place with so many different kinds of poop? Eventually, we needed to make the complicated trip to the bathroom. I happened to select the smallest bathroom at the zoo, over by the bird area. I had to cram our giant stroller into one of those one stall/one toilet/one sink joints.

The bathroom was occupied by some volunteers, who were helping some fairly severely handicapped people do their business.

“Why is that guy in a chair?” Elijah said so loudly it disturbed the neighboring bird cage. The room suddenly got significantly more claustrophobic.

I got intensely into Eli’s face. I mentally told him to shut up for the love of all that’s holy.

“Some people use a chair to get around. Just like Luca in his stroller. But it’s not a big deal…”

“I don’t like him. He looks silly!”

I immediately grabbed Eli by the waist, mid-pee, and dragged him out the door while pushing Luca’s stroller with my foot.

We found a bench nearby and I sat him down.

“Now, Eli. I need you to listen to me very carefully. This is important. There are some people in the world who were born differently than us. Some people need extra help with wheel chairs. Or some of them look a little different. But that doesn’t make them any better or worse than we are. And we should never, EVER, say things like they look silly. That is not nice. Do you understand?”

“But he looked silly!”

“That’s what I’m talking about. I don’t want you saying mean things about people who are different.”

After me making him repeat “I will never say mean things about people who are different” a hundred times, he realized the only way he was going to get to go on the carousel was to learn a life lesson.

p.s. This photo is why we moved to Colorado.

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