Today is Earth Day. We decided to check out a marine mammal rescue about an hour and a half from our house. We enjoyed the gorgeous drive full of hills and farm land. We even enjoyed the fog we drove into as we traveled. When we arrived we saw pelts, skeletons, and facts about animals like leopard seals, elephant seals, sea lions, and whales. All animal bones and pelts were from animals who died of natural causes. We also enjoyed seeing the elephant seal pups. It is birthing season and many of the pups were dehydrated and needed to learn to eat fish and then be released. Others had become ill after eating or being tangled in trash in the ocean.While at the animal rescue they hosted a class for the kids which was really neat. My kids had a blast as did all the others. We learned that 50-100 animals a year could be safe in our area if we were more careful with our trash and also if we used less plastic, etc. During the art project another child repeatedly took things from one of my daughters. At first we couldn't figure out why her art work never seemed done...then I saw him take some of her pieces...I gave him a look and nodded my head no..he left then came back and took another handful of her stuff. So I said in a firm calm voice, "no no you cannot have her items now but we will give them to you when she is done" since the activity was reusable. Of course his bluff was called and he stopped. But then his mom started hugging him and saying how no one likes to be yelled at etc. Well, hmm, had it been my child I would have been near enough to make that a teachable moment the first time it happened rather than not watch my kid and risk a stranger having to speak up. And of course by yelling she meant it was "upsetting" to be disciplined. She apparently equates discipline to yelling which of course is not the case in my house and is not what I do when we are out and about even when addressing those we do not know. I appreciate her though because she helped me to double check myself and my choices and actions in parenting. Sure enough though I was alone all three kids were near me and behaving well. I could have used any behavior issue as a teachable moment had I needed to. So thanks to her.:)
After the rescue center, we went to lunch in a tourist area of San Francisco. It was busy but fun. The kids always enjoy eating out and I had a coupon. We went to the bathroom as soon as we ordered, but one of my little ones had to go again halfway through the meal. When we got back our meal had been cleared. Our server had already noticed that we had not been billed yet and therefore probably had not finished our meal yet. She ordered a free kids' meal which was very helpful of her. So we ended up with two meals to pay for and two free.
On the way home my son was fussy, not his fault his crazy mom had him out and about all day. He finally had enough about 20 minutes from home and started crying, then he says "help me", then he says "Ezra cry now", then he screams more. If stopping would have helped I would have done it but truly nothing would have helped. We tried food, movies, lip gloss, etc. Had we stopped and taken him out of his seat I would not have been able to wrestle him back in after having milk or play time or whatever else I could come up with at that point. So we traveled on as quickly as we safely could. He did survive as did the girls and I but he definitely is not ready for that much in one day again anytime soon.