Getting a day out just right

Last week we went to the zoo, we’ve been before but always with Mr Firstooth and a day out usually goes horribly wrong at some point. Not that the days out were terrible, but were usually cut short by a hysterical or frustrated toddler terror.

I don’t know what came over me to want to take them there by myself, with all those hills. I told you about those hills before. But I thought ah, what’s the worse that could happen? We’ll just leave if we need to, whatever. So I packed juices, milks, nappies, wipes, lunch, bribes, the potty and wondered why the bag zip wouldn’t shut. We need a new bag. We need a bloody suitcase. Then I just wanted to check with my outspoken toddler if he definitely wanted to go to the zoo. We don’t need another ‘we’re in Sainsburys but he wanted to be in Tesco’ episodes. (How can he tell the difference? Is he gifted? I’m sure he’s gifted. Because if he’s not gifted that means he just likes picking holes. Nobody likes a hole-picker. Or a bum-picker, he does that too.)

“Where do you want to go today”
Of course you do.
“So you want to go see the sheep and piggies?”
“So what animals do you want to see today”
“The Tigers are at the zoo, do you want to go to the zoo?”
“No. Farm”
Right ok, get in the car.

We arrived at the zoo just as the doors were opening. That’s right. If there was a book of parenting achievements I’d jot this one down. ‘Out of the house by 9am’. Then it just takes another 20 minutes to actually vacate the car with the stroller, bag and kids-who-need-a-wee-three-times-first combo.

We didn’t really need the stroller, I mostly just used it to wheel our crap around.


My big toddler held my littlest toddlers’ reigns and walked ahead. While I pushed the stroller holding potty and everything-but-the-kitchen-sink, shouting “slow down, wait, HOLD ON”. They like to flirt with danger and make my heart leap out of my chest with each unnecessary sprint.

We saw all the usual zoo animals and I really embraced how lovely our outing was. I was Fun Mum for the day. We’d stop at each animal and stare for ages. I think all mums of toddlers have to make the most of how easy it is to please them. I mean, they could literally stare at a tiger for ten minutes without getting bored. That’s even a stretch for me, but as long as the babes are entertained that’s all we could ask for.


We wandered down towards the mansion house, a house I used to love seeing when I was younger. But it was now closed to the public. We stared in through the glass doors, while members of staff stared back at us. Awkward.

Instead of doing the mansion tour like I’d hoped, we watched and played around the fountain.

I would have taken pictures of them running around the fountain. But there was a wedding going on and I’m pretty sure we weren’t meant to be there. Although the staff were all cooing over my funny pair, I think they’d draw the line at pictures.

We made it around the zoo and back to the car with no tantrums or accidents. All by myself. I now have bragging rights for the rest of the day.



There’s always a but. Once we arrived home neither child would nap. What do you do in the two hours they usually sleep? That’s an extra two hours I have to find entertainment for. That’s hard. There’s only so many times we can play star-wars-pirates (genuine game my toddler invented) before I want the pirate ship to sail me away. So I thought a trip to the shops would whittle away some time. Maybe they’d sleep in the car. Maybe I could play on my phone while they slept in the car. Maybe I could get a McDonalds Drive-thru hot chocolate with my freebie card.


Only Mr M, my big boy toddler was tired from his morning at the zoo. But was certain he didn’t need a nap. He didn’t want to leave the house, tiredness makes for a difficult toddler, so I called his bluff. Calling his bluff is a parenting trick I always pull out of the bag.

“That’s fine you can stay home”
“No, my come”
“Ok, come on then”

And so this continues until eventually I get him near the car door and quickly throw him in his car seat. He wasn’t happy about this. He turned into a floorboard. You’d think I was trying to kidnap him. I was biting my lip trying to get the sodding straps clipped together over my planking child. All while he was screaming tongues in my ear.

Then he slept in the car.

Just kidding.

If you’ve read my posts before you’ll know it’s never that easy. He screamed the entire journey, while his sister stared at him as if she was thinking “what’s his deal”. I pulled up in our nearby retail park and tried tempting him out of the car with the promise of a toy, chocolate, anything he wanted just please stop screaming.

Then I messaged Mr Firstooth to let him know his son was being a nightmare and if he hadn’t of left the toilet seat up this morning none of this would be happening. Two things happen when our children have a meltdown, they become his children, and it’s always his fault.

I won’t go on about how I hated life while being held hostage in our car by an overwhelmingly tired baby beast. So I just left the car, got the non-screaming toddler out of the car and then negotiated with the toddler terrorist, who was gradually calming down. He was now desperate to come with us, I felt terrible for shouting at him during his tantrum. I hugged him so tightly and promised him a chocolate bar from Boots. Any chocolate bar he wanted.

“But not that one”

“No, not that one”

“How about this one?”

Some had nuts in, he was just happy to be smothering his face in chocolate.

Even though we bumped heads in the afternoon, I’d still consider the entire day out a win. An entire day out of the house, and I’m still going to boast about our successful zoo visit, when nobody cried, everyone was happy.

If you enjoyed this day out, then you’d love our Facebook page, filled with with honest and sarcastic parenting life

day out day out day out

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  1. March 19, 2016 / 8:18 am

    I’ve just discovered your blog and I love it! I’m going to be a mum soon and it’s so refreshing to read an honest account of mummy life for a change. Well done you for even attempting the zoo with a buggy and two toddlers. Those hills are brutal, you must have been exhausted.

    • firstooth
      March 19, 2016 / 8:25 am

      Thank you! Congratulations that’s so exciting! I love being able to laugh at the rubbish parts of motherhood, we all needed a nap once we were home but it’s a shame no-one slept! Hope to see you again soon and good luck with your little babe

  2. March 19, 2016 / 8:20 am

    lol i always bargain with dessert with my toddler – needs must on occasions great post!

  3. March 19, 2016 / 8:22 am

    lol i always trade for dessert later too with my toddler when needs must. lovely post!

    • firstooth
      March 19, 2016 / 8:26 am

      At first it wasn’t working, I was all all out of tricks then! Luckily it was more of a reward for calming down in the end. Thanks so much for commenting

  4. March 21, 2016 / 9:59 am

    Hahahaha I’m sorry but I had to laugh, especially at this: “Two things happen when our children have a meltdown, they become his children, and it’s always his fault.” Haha, I’d like to find any mum who doesn’t resort to this reaction 😉

    Anyway, jokes aside, it sounds like you had an awesome day – way to go you, high fives all round! You deserve bragging rights for the rest of this month, not just a day!


    • firstooth
      March 21, 2016 / 10:01 am

      I love that! Bragging right for a whole month. Haha I love like-minded mums, meltdowns always come from daddy’s genetics! X

  5. March 21, 2016 / 10:40 am

    It’s great that you managed to have at least a half day of fun with the two of them before chaos ensued! It’s good that overall the day wasn’t too bad even if you had a few toddler tantrums! #sharethejoy

    • firstooth
      March 21, 2016 / 10:55 am

      What’s a day out without a tantrum right?! I’m grateful I have the skill to laugh at meltdowns afterwards. It was such a lovely day though, same again this week I think. And I hope your lambs are on the way!

  6. March 21, 2016 / 2:02 pm

    I remember taking my 2 to the zoo on my own, absolute chaos! Eldest having tantrums, littlest running off, and pram running away down a hill on its on (fortunately with no toddlers in it!) haven’t tried it since if I’m hones #MarvMondays

    • firstooth
      March 21, 2016 / 2:09 pm

      Oh God!! I don’t blame you, things like that leave us scarred don’t they

      • March 22, 2016 / 7:15 am

        yes they do! Popping back via #TwinklyTuesday

  7. March 21, 2016 / 2:54 pm

    Haha!!!! This was so funny!! I do exactly the same when our children are being terrorists-I text my husband and it’s always his fault!! And if we ever had a super exciting morning out, instead of our usual playgroup/play date outings, my 2 would refuse to nap as well! Weird isn’t it?! Well, well done for the supermum part where you successfully got around an entire zoo with no screaming! The afternoon you can just block from your memory-best to do so with wine I reckon!!
    Thanks so much for sharing with #bigpinklink!

  8. March 21, 2016 / 4:18 pm

    Fab post, and good to know a solo day at the zoo can be a success! I’ll try it when I’m feeling brave! X

  9. March 22, 2016 / 7:03 am

    Aw. To be a child again. It’s seldom we see children enjoying the outdoors nowadays. Most are busy with their gadgets.
    Enjoy your day out all the time!

  10. March 23, 2016 / 11:26 am

    That’s brilliant. Got to love children sometimes. Good decision on the farm selection! Looks like it was a successful day out. Now going to keep a closer eye out for stripey numbers though when walking through those fields of cows… #whatevertheweather

  11. March 23, 2016 / 12:31 pm

    Kudos for getting half a day without a tantrum! Ok so the other half, not so much, but clearly that wasn’t your fault in any case haha! Love your refreshingly honest look at parenting life – my son does the floorboard trick too 🙂 Thanks for linking this up at #sharethejoy x

  12. March 23, 2016 / 1:02 pm

    Hahahaha, sorry I shouldn’t be laughing but I always like it when I read a blog that has children that are very much like my two! I think you really do deserve full bragging rights on this one. You got to the zoo at 9am, amazing, you did this on your own again amazing, they behaved going round the zoo, amazing. When I go to the zoo this is not how it plays out. My days to the zoo are more like your trips to the shops, tears and tantrums because Youngest wants to climb into the gorilla enclosure and doesn’t believe me when I explain that this isn’t the best of ideas! #whatevertheweather

  13. March 23, 2016 / 9:15 pm

    Sounds like you got the day just right. Always great when a day goes our way. Thanks for linking up to #justanotherlinky xx

  14. March 23, 2016 / 9:56 pm

    Wow! I’m thoroughly impressed you managed that all on your own, I’m a nervous wreck when I leave the house alone with my Toddler and Tiny Tot. Sounds like you had a really wonderful morning at the zoo, I’m now slightly tempted to try it with my two 🙂 #whatevertheweather x

  15. March 24, 2016 / 1:17 pm

    Oh my god, I thought it was just my son who knew the difference between Tesco and Sainsburys – how do they know?! I’ve got to say, well done for getting them to the zoo, you really are a fun mummy. That’s strange they wouldn’t sleep after, you’d think the visit would have tired them out. Sometimes you just can’t predict things! When my boy won’t sleep, I’m bad, I let him watch YouTube clips on the tablet – anything for a bit of peace and quiet! Sabrina xx

  16. March 24, 2016 / 7:52 pm

    This made me laugh (Sorry) especially the floor board moment. I remember those days. I’m sending you a virtual high five for tenacity and bravery in the face of toddlers. You are brilliant. TY for linking up with #FamilyFun

  17. March 24, 2016 / 10:58 pm

    Kids are so funny aren’t they!! Great post lovely
    Thank you for linking up with #justanotherlinky

  18. March 25, 2016 / 10:47 pm

    You definitely have bragging rights for the successful Zoo trip, so impressed! I always say, you cant win them all, so forget about the “slightly” stressful shopping trip that followed and focus on the things that did go well that day 😉 Thanks for linking up to #MarvMondays. Emily

  19. March 27, 2016 / 12:06 pm

    Hooray to a successful Zoo trip. We don’t accomplish ANY day out without a meltdown by Evie anymore. They’re slowly lasting for longer, getting louder and are so hard to stop. She’d never stop and stare at the animals either (nightmare). She glances, says hi to them and then charges off independently to the next thing.

    You definitely have bragging rights for your day out. I’m very jealous.

    What a nightmare about the rest of the day though. I’m glad I’m not the only one that bribes my child or plays the ‘so you want to stay home’ card. This is part of our everyday. Super Nanny would not be impressed with me haha.

    Thank you so much for sharing with #whatevertheweather xx

  20. March 28, 2016 / 9:08 pm

    Oh, it’s just so hard sometimes, but fantastic you had such a brilliant morning. I love that your little boy held the reins, that’s so sweet. I know how you feel with those non napping days, I can’t understand how sometimes they’re not tired, but clearly they are! We don’t have the car during the week to help when littlest is being annoying and not sleeping, constantly upsetting his big brother, so I strap him in the bike seat instead and we go off for a bike ride, still works in the entertainment idea, but not so good when he does fall asleep and starts head butting me in the back whilst I’m cycling!! Thanks so much for linking up to #Whatevertheweather 🙂 xx

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