Mountain View Mommy: Sand, Trucks and Testosterone

February 8, 2007

Sometimes Lemons are BETTER than Lemonade

Filed under: Stories — by mvmommy @ 9:51 pm

The other day I read a post on the Silicon Valley Mom’s Blog about ‘Aging Out‘. The blog mostly talked about this woman’s children being too old to go to Happy Hollow anymore; and how she was missing those special moments that they had shared there when the kids were smaller.

Since we LOVE Happy Hollow (a zoo/park that is geared specifically for kids under 5), we have a season pass. We have been there many times and I could relate to all of this woman’s happy memories. There really is nothing like watching your child ride on the merry-go-round for the first time. Or riding in those cars all by himself, with a huge grin on his face. Not to mention feeding the goats and donkey, which you know is the most fun ever. I love this place, maybe even more than than my kids do, because of the memories it’s giving me for later.

So today, over breakfast, I gave Andrew the choice – Park or Happy Hollow. It wasn’t hard to imagine which one he would pick. He simply yelled “I am going to ride the cars! Can we eat there too!?” After hearing me agree, he took off to get ready. About 10 minutes later he had picked out his clothes, put them on (with help), and was yelling ‘ready to go, mom?’ … I hadn’t even showered or got Justin dressed yet. Needless to say, I was hurried along and we got there as it opened at 10:00.

When we arrived in the parking lot, I noticed there was no parking attendant. My first reaction was, ‘great! I am saving $6 for getting here early’. Then I noticed there weren’t many people there either. When I asked another mother about it as I was getting the kids out of the car, she let me know that this was one of the off-season days. Which means, all the rides are shut down, the kid’s cafe is closed, and only the play areas and zoo are accessible.

I immediately thought – this is going to be trouble: All he wants to do is ride those cars, and they aren’t running. And now that we are here unloaded in the parking lot, I can’t turn around and go home or they are going to freak out. But if I go in, and they see the rides that they can’t go on, I am sure there will be tantrums and disappointment. What to do?

I decided, let’s just do it & see how it goes. I have pulled them from this zoo before kicking & screaming… I could do it again if I had to.

Well, before we even got in the park there was this HUGE lawn mower that the boys insisted we watch for about 15 minutes. At one point, I was wondering if they were ever going to want to go into the park. We must have looked like idiots walking beside this huge mower, up and down the lawn in front of the zoo. But the kids wblog23.jpgere loving it!

When we finally headed inside the zoo, the boys surprised me. It was as if they sensed there was a difference, and just didn’tblog4.jpg care. They pointed out the rides that were sitting there locked up, but didn’t even ask to go on them. They immediately ran towards the boat that you can row, the slide, the train set, the maze, and the jungle gym. All the things they have never previously wanted to play with… they were interested in today. It was an entirely new experience for all of us & it was FUN.blog5.jpg

And then, without even looking at the cars… Andrew asked to go see the animals and feed the goats! I breathed a huge sigh of relief, and off we ran. We watched the zoo keepers feed some of the lemurs, crawled in tunnels, hopped on rocks in a river, yelled at the macaws, pumped wblog6.jpgater for the birds, and fed the goats.

After about an hour an a half the kids started getting hungry. Andrew asked if we could go sit on the benches near the cafe and have a picnic. Now mind you, I had promised that we would eat there today. And yet, now the Cafe was closed. I was waiting for a huge scene as I explained that we would have to find some other benches somewhere else outside of the zoo … but yes, we could have a picnic. I told him that we had to go to the car to goblog7.jpg get our food, but he could pick what he wanted to have…. and as calm as he could be, he led me right back to the parking lot and looked for that lawn mower that was out there when we arrived.

To celebrate everyone’s good behaviour, we got KFC (yes, I know not the best… but who cares, he picked fried chicken and this was a fun day) and went to the park by our house. That way we could still have our picnic on benches as promised.

Not a tear was dropped, not a tantrum was seen, and fun was had by all! Even though lemons were being thrown on our carefully laid plans throughout the day, it was one of the nicest trips to Happy Hollow we have ever had. The pace was slower – not so frantic running from ride to ride and waiting in lines. And since there was only about 20 people there, so we all could focus just on one another – talking and sharing observations. Laughing, giggling, running, smiling, and not missing a thing! Give us lemons any day! We don’t need lemonade!


  1. Hello Mountain View Mom!
    Thanks so much for linking to our site…. and letting us know a little bit about a fellow Silicon Valley Mom!

    We have just added you to our Silicon Valley Moms Blog We Like type list!

    I am really sad that my daughter’s are finally rejecting Happy Hollow…. they are ages 7 and 4. We spent many happy days at Happy Hollow! Enjoy them…. cause they only last for a little while!

    Jill Asher
    Co-Founder, Silicon Valley Mom

    Comment by Jill Asher — February 8, 2007 @ 10:04 pm |Reply

  2. hi

    i agree

    Trackback by site — August 1, 2007 @ 4:40 am |Reply

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