There’s no better way to create lifelong memories and permanent back problems than taking a toddler to the zoo. Mommy can already feel the hernia that will result from carrying you between pavilions (“Mommy! Up! Up!”), but packs your stroller in the car anyway because it makes a great coffee cup holder. Despite her attempts to beat the crowds, it takes two hours to get you and your crud out the door, which means parking in another postal code and enduring an excruciating 45-minute line-up for the ticket booths. “Wow! The zoo is so affordable!” she exclaims, except she says the exact opposite as she forks out approximately a million dollars in admission fees. At least Mommy can finally put her high school biology to use! Just kidding, she uses her Wikipedia iPhone app. However, you’re far more interested in the lady bug (note: available FREE at the local park) that’s attached itself to your shirt. Until something even more exciting catches your eye – the ice cream cart! Mommy caves, opting for sticky fingers and a sugar crash over a literal meltdown. At home she’s so paranoid about your safety that she cuts grapes into quarters, but here she’s perching you one foot away from a 15,000-pound elephant so she can get the perfect Christmas card photo. On take #743 you burst into exhausted nap-missed tears, and so begins the trek home, which involves a Navy Seal stealth mission to block your line of sight from the carousel ride, gift shop, and creepy balloon-making man. Next time you want to see animals, we’re going to Red Lobster.
DRINK: Mommy’s Gone Bananas. 1 ½ oz coffee liqueur; ½ oz crème de cacao; 2 oz milk, 1 oz coconut cream, half a banana, 1 cup ice. Blend ingredients and serve in a glass lined with chocolate syrup once your child has gone back to their own cage AKA the crib that you still haven’t converted to a Big Kid Bed.