As we walked around the zoo in the sunshine, it struck me how alike my two year old is to the average drunk. It may have been an ice-cream in her hand, rather than a can of Stella, but the similarity was startling.
She was loud, boisterous, irrational; she even had her own football chant style zoo song which she bellowed as she went. She stopped making sense (more so than usual) and walked unevenly, zig-zagging backwards and forwards across the path. Most importantly, it wasn’t long before she predictably lost the plot…
Drunk stage one: we’re out-out!!!!
First had come the excitement. We were at the zoo! It was sunny! We’d seen a rhino do a poo, and can life get any better than that?! Putting it simply, she had been a happy, happy girl. She loved us all and didn’t care who knew it. There were cuddles and kisses galore, as well as the smiles to match.
We’d had a little snack; sensibly we had shared some mini-donuts. It’s not like we had hit the candy floss. We weren’t going crazy. It was just good to be out together.
Drunk stage two: one too many…
Over-indulgence was inevitable I suppose. We just never learn. I should have known that a mini-donut and the excitement of rhino poo in itself would be enough. Ice-cream, was not necessary. But one more treat couldn’t hurt, and we were having such a lovely time, and it was sunny and hot. And I might have wanted one…
So, she picked the Haribo ice-cream (mixing her sugar-sources – not a good plan).
It all went down from there…
Drunk stage three: risky but hilarious.
Once the sugar had fully gone to her head, she walked ahead of us, waving the dripping ice cream in the air, splattering the ground around her with drips of sticky, creamy white. She was having such fun.
Occasionally, she stopped and turned: she would pull her top up, stick her tummy out and slap it proudly like a 40 year old lager-lout out on the town. SLAP. SLAP. SLAP.
Then she’d turn and return to the pattern of zig-zagging across the floor. She swaggered and staggered along, repeatedly chanting her zoo song at the top of her voice: ‘EEEIEEEIOOOH!’ echoing around the pathways of the zoo… ‘EEEIEEEIOOOOOH!’ ‘EEEE-III-EEEEEE-IIII-OOOOOOOHHH!’ bending backwards and waving her ice-cream in the air as she sang.
Drunk stage four: danger zone…
Like every ill-advised binge, this was sure to end in tears. With the sticky remnants of Haribo and dubious dairy clinging to her face, her chin, her fingers, hands… well, everything really… the last part of the ice-cream, slipped through her fingers and dropped to the floor. Then came the tears.
Her head was down; her lip stuck out; her eyes menacingly looked up at me (a little bit like the moment your average scary movie villain vows revenge).
‘Mant i-ceam,’ she growled.
I considered jumping the fence into the enclosure opposite. This would not be pretty.
The tears turned to anger, she was ready for a fight…
Drunk stage five: incapacity and regret.
A teary journey home was inevitable. As was the need to carry her. Too much sugar added to things not quite going her way was just too much for her to handle.
‘Solly, mummy!’ she bawled as we made our way back through the zoo; happy, contented families turned to stare at the nasty lady cruelly taking her tearful toddler away from all the fun… ‘Solly, mummy!’
Drunk stage six: hangover.
On the way home (while she slept the sugar off) we decided that the ice cream had been a bad plan. We told ourselves that we wouldn’t do that again. Next time we would take fruit and save ourselves money as well as a tantrum and the headache to boot. It was such an excellent, fool-proof plan. We definitely would never do this again.