T’was Thursday morning, when all through the school
The parents were coming, paper bags full of food;
The rosters were planned and the bus leaders called,
Hoping no child got lost nor a whole bus ride stalled.
The kiddos and chaperones loaded up in their seats,
Shocked there were no seat belts to pin down small feets;
Laughing and joking ’bout how we’re all kinda coddlers.
When up at the front there arose a deep rumbling,
Making our unbelted toddlers all go a tumbling!
When up in the front there burst off-key squeaking,
“The wheels on the bus,” our toddlers were singing!
Until at the end our wee ones grew restless and scattered;
One to Ms. Terry, and one toward the door;
When, what to our wondering eyes should appear,
But a glorious zoo, with lions, tigers, and bears!
With our three little buses, and our eager we ones,
Could they line us up and hold us back from the fun?
And they whistled, and shouted, and call’d them by name:
“Now! Aria, now! Owen, now! Quillian and Emma,
“On! Marissa, on! Olivia, on! Parents and Helpers;
“To the front of the zoo! See as much as you like,
Just be back by 12:30 with you and your tikes!”
With brown bags full of snacks for a walk through the zoo:
And then after ten feet my girl’s arms went up.
Aria hates walking… “Mommy mommy! Up, up, up!”
We battled and challenged each other’s strong wills,
As the rest of the group wandered away down the hills.
So me and my girl just made our own way;
Made it down eventually and caught up with the fray.
We saw penguins, pelicans, and pink flamingos,
Plus sociable monkeys so close we counted their toes!
I showed her giraffes and thought she’d have fun,
Though soon as she saw them she shrugged an “All done!”
When with tweezers she cleaned up a monkey’s read end.
Needed to get back for naps lest we face toddler wrath.
So back to the bus, I made Aria go,
We took turns each ten yards, twenn tantrums she’d throw.
But finally an older girl Clara reached down her hand,
And Aria walked admiringly, following her every demand.
We loaded up and rode back, getting one piece of advice:
“Drop them off at their cots–one quick kiss and ‘Night Night!'”