I thought that being the mom of three little girls meant life would be all roses, tea parties and ballet.
Well not really.
I imagined that they would not have a fascination with all things toilet related. I thought I was off the hook. I was so wrong.
Early on I had to make a few rules, which still require vigilant enforcement, such as: no poop talk while Mom is trying to eat, no making fun of your sister when she’s sick from both ends and absolutely no peeing in the grass on the front lawn just because the dog can do it.
So anyway, armed with a large coffee for me and a giant snack bag for them, we piled into the mini-van, picked up Grandma and headed to New York’s Bronx Zoo. On the agenda for the day was a must see look at the monkeys (yeah, you know where this is going) and the giraffes (because we missed them last time) and of course, a ride on the Bug Carousel.
First stop when we got there? Um…remember the coffee?
The people at the Bronx Zoo are brilliant. They built a state of the art (well, maybe it is, I don’t really know) eco-restroom strategically located a mere pee-pee dance away from the parking lot. You don’t even have to flash your membership card before going in, because it isn’t actually in the zoo.
So my friends, you get to hear about it. It’s peachy green and educational (but it had me at hello, I’m in the parking lot and I just had to tell the world).
On the way in (this was almost a problem) there are several educational touch and feel displays to look at and read. Like any good zoo display, they extensively explain to their visitors just what this “exhibit” is all about. My 5-yr-old danced her way through this section and then darted away with grandma to investigate and test the indoor features.
Once inside, the designers capitalize on a learning opportunity so often overlooked. On every wall, over every sink, there are cute (sort of) cartoon signs explaining the truth about poop, how a gray water system works and how the eco-toilets compost the waste and it all gets used in the garden right outside. Well, that was more than I needed to know. Eww. I mean, super! Even when you think it’s over, and you close yourself into a nice clean and green stall, again, another sign. Another educational opportunity.
This is where I started to get bored. I mean, come on, that’s a pretty hard sell to follow people right into the stall with your edu-taining posters. I got it. I’m in an eco-restroom, quite possibly the cleanest public restroom in the 5 boroughs. It’s all good. I don’t think I need a poster with happy little poop eating bugs telling me how useful poop is to keep me company.
Notice I haven’t included any pictures of the eco-toilets? I thought that might be a little much. My kids did look them over quite carefully and were amazed. And we can leave it at that. Mission accomplished. We now have more information about poop than I would have ever willingly taught my children.
And off we go to enjoy the rest of the journey through the we’re so green we compost humanure so PETA shouldn’t get mad at us for caging innocent creatures Bronx Zoo.
In case you were wondering - the monkeys were cute and adorable. They were not maliciously pelting each other (or tourists) with poop (such a let down for my girls).
And we did make it to the Bug Carousel. It appears I am the only woman in NY who finds it odd to mount a giant grasshopper.
Two questions remained at the end of the day:
“Mom, why haven’t you ever taken us to an outhouse?” and “Is an outhouse the greenest way to go?”
Seriously, girls? Can’t we just go shoe shopping or something?