So here's the deal, right? If you want to have a decent day trip, don't pick The Pant as your tour operator. She sucks. Huge style.
I'd instilled such excitement in the under 7's regarding their Aunty Pant-Pant/Mom And Kids Official Outing To The Bird Gardens that they scarcely slept last night. And they were fed and dressed, with teeth brushed by the time I'd taken the tea bag out of my morning cuppa.
I too battled to sleep last night. I had a cup of tea before bedtime, you see. And so I blogged, and read, and blogged (and deleted) and read. And - ooooo, do you ever do this? - I thought up possible confrontational situations with exes in which I am so slick with tongue that these exes melt into puddles, realise just how wonderful The Pant truly is. And then they beg for me to return to their lives. Cue Barry White music. Dim lighting. And then... Oh my! I'm hot under all these clothes.
And I did this continually until 4 am. Bugger.
I stumbled out of my room at 07:58. Precious Jo'burg Friend was at the kettle. She took one look at me and declared, "You look awesome, Pant. I'm bunking work and making sure you make it through today with these children.". God bless her.
Three hours later, we'd paid our entry fee and were feeding those parrot type birds. There was one on my head. And two on my hand. (Is this a new idiom? A bird on the head is worth two on the hand?)
This is the third time I've done this. The first time, a bird landed on me and I crapped myself so royally that if I'd had a panger handy, I'd have removed the entire limb to rid myself of the sensation. I am - no - was scared of birds. I didn't trust them. They live in the air, for crying out loud, shouldn't they be weightless? Well, I've faced my fears.
So there we were: PJF and me, and our kids, without jerseys, let alone rain coats. And the skies opened. Torrential rain. Outdoor area. The oldest of the three declared, "Mommy, God's crying.". ("Bawling" would be a more appropriate term. The Love of His Life must have surely left him.). To which, The Daughter, product of my Catholic loins responded, "I hate God.".
Yup, we were off to a good start.
We ducked into the casino. Excellent parenting. And fed them KFC. Beyond excellent parenting. (Ooooo - in my Twister [with Zinger sauce] was a tracking device tag. Found three bites from the end. I got another one. Two Twisters for the price of one - radness). Then we shopped.
And then we attempted the Bird Gardens again. We reached the first pen in which pink flamingos were standing on one leg (I think one of their peers was a metro police officer, and had pulled them out of their cars to check just how drunk they really were - they looked pretty effing sober to me - soberer than The Daughter). And then what happened? The skies. They opened with ferocity.
Luckily PJF and I were wearing white tops. We were welcomed indoors by stranger men with such warmth that I was convinced we must have all gone to different schools together.
Outing fail. And doubly expensive because PJF felt sorry for the kids and bought them stuffed toys to compensate. She purchased her Miniature Man a soft Woody (from Toy Story). And the following conversation happened:
Oldest Girl Child: Mom, where did you find a soft Woody?
The Pant: Yes, PJF, I didn't know Woodys could ever be soft.
PJF: I've been looking everywhere for a soft Woody. And today I found one.
OGC: And that Woody's fat.
TP: If you ever find one of those, my angel, you hang on for dear life.
Oh, what they don't understand won't hurt them. Yet.