How can a parent take their three year olds to the Zoo? — An Algorithm

A busy parents guide to take a trip to the Zoo when their kids school has a mid-week holiday!

Plan your next trip to the zoo — a lot better!

The Night before:

  1. Decide that you are going to the zoo with your child (best case, surprise your child with the plans for the day, when s/he wakes up the following morning)
  2. Take a backup of your old photos on your phone and empty your phone to have plenty of free space.
  3. Empty your shoulder backpack of all its contents. You would be surprised at all that it contained. Pockets that you weren't aware of despite using the bag for years, coins, old receipts, empty packets, that pen you borrowed but never returned back, peanuts, things that you gave up searching for, while not realizing that it was inside the backpack that you traveled with everyday!
  4. Now you have two things ready: 1) The phone with lots of space 2) The bag with lots of space. And a mind admiring all the antiques you discovered inside your backpack.

The next Morning:

While at Home:

  1. Charge the phone, the first thing in the morning so that the battery doesn’t drain off right at the entrance of the Zoo.
  2. Go get that extra 20 minutes of sleep
  3. Take a shower, have a heavy breakfast
  4. Invest time in ensuring that your child has a heavier-than-daily breakfast. The extra time spent cajoling your child to eat more is worth the effort.
  5. That backpack, you emptied last night, needs to be filled up, mostly with: food (mostly non-hand-soiling kinds) — Biscuits, Bread, other kinds of bread, cakes, muffins, fruits
    Your child’s favorite water bottle(s), wrapped inside a plastic carry bag — damn those bottles always leak out water whenever they are put inside a bag
    Different kinds of papers — Tissues, Diapers, Wipes, 
    Hand sanitizer
    Extra plastic bags
    Extra pair of clothes
  6. Carry cash and coins especially. Small stalls inside the zoo don’t usually accept card, plus there are coin vending machines where you could buy a bottle of water etc.
  7. Pick that phone from the charging unit! Get Set go!

Once Outside:

  1. A quick trip to McDonald's to pick up some food (mostly those kinds that soil your hands), some burgers

At the Zoo:
1. Buy the tickets (try bargaining for a discount for your child's ticket, get rejected, kick start your journey to being rejected over a 100 times and become Rejection Proof over time)

2. At the Zoo, ask for a stroller or a cart. The Zoo is spread across a huge area and the child obviously can’t walk so long and you obviously can’t carry her/him on your shoulders for long.

3. Decide which animal(s) your child is interested in seeing the most and head in that direction. If no choice is specified, decide which animal you know about the most to brag about its genetics, history and everything else to your child and go in that direction.

4. Take videos with your commentary, selfies, photos, get the phone battery tested to its limits.

5. At places where food is allowed to be eaten, don’t forget to unpack the backpack you filled up with lots of food and water. Before touching the food, use the hand sanitizer or wash your and your child’s hands. Ensure your child is always eating something lest the trip goes downhill if the child’s stomach is empty. Also, drink plenty of water yourself so that you ward off any tiredness that mostly comes due to lack of water.

6. Zoo’s usually have a park for children to play. Stop by and give your child atleast an hour to play, while you just be present in the moment, doing nothing. Sometimes it is therapeutic to do so. Or if you can’t do away without your phone and your phone battery has some juice left, start applying filters, editing the photos you took in the meanwhile, while deleting those photos and videos in which you think you looked not so good.

7. Time to pack up! The child is tired. So are you after hauling the stroller all day long to long distances. You return the stroller back and your will power comes to test. The child is sleepy, your arms are tired. Apply Integrative Thinking and carry your sleepy child in your arms.

8. Reach home, Shower, empty the backpack of any left over.

9. Share photos and brag how great the day was and influence your child to brag about it to the other members in the family or to the tired other parent who is just back from work. Feel proud of yourself!

9. Write a blog about it before you go to sleep. That extra 20 minutes you slept this morning, should help you power on!