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A Trip to the Zoo

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You ran around the house, gathering snacks and drinks into a backpack. Going through your mental checklist, you decided you had everything you needed for your zoo trip- except a dressed kid and husband.

 

“Steve? What's going on up there?” you yelled out.

 

When no answer came, you jogged up the stairs towards Teddy’s room. You stopped outside the door when you heard giggling.

 

“Daddy, have you seen a dinosaur before?” your son asked.

 

“I can't say that I have bud. Why?”

 

“Because you’re old. Mommy says that all the time.”

 

You stifled a laugh with your hand and waited for Steve’s answer.

 

“Mommy is just mean,” he answered with a chuckle.

 

You swung open the door with an elaborate gasp.

 

“I’m mean?!”

 

“If you’re telling my son that I’m old, yeah you're a little mean!” he said with a smile.

 

“Well, your ‘mean’ wife would like to go to the zoo now. What do you boys say?”

 

“Let's go!” your son yelled as he took off running down the stairs.

 

Steve walked over to you and wrapped his arm around your waist.

 

“You’re not mean, you know that right?”

 

“Maybe I do, maybe I don't,” you teased, tilting your head to the side with a smile.

 

Steve leaned in and kissed you gently.

 

“How ‘bout now?”

 

“You’re forgiven,” you said with a laugh. “Now let’s go wrangle the little monster and hit the road.”

 

You and Steve walked back downstairs and saw your son struggling to get his shoes tied. He was mumbling to himself though you couldn't quite make out what he was saying.

 

“Teddy?” Steve asked. “You need some help buddy?”

 

Teddy looked up and nodded silently, disappointment clear on his face.

 

“You know,” Steve said as he crouched down in front of Teddy, tying his shoes quickly. “It took Uncle Bucky months to learn to tie his shoes. And mom just taught you last week!”

 

“Really?”

 

“Yeah!” he said, lifting him up and balancing him on his hip. “You’ll learn, you just gotta practice.”

 

Teddy seemed to accept that as an answer and nodded again only this time with a smile on his face.

 

You picked up your backpack and Steve headed out towards the car to get Teddy settled into his car seat. Once everyone was settled and buckled, you all hit the road- Steve driving while you and Teddy made faces at each other in the rearview mirror. You made your way to the Bronx Zoo, singing along to the radio the whole way there. Walking through the entrance, you grabbed a wagon for Teddy before he spoke up.

 

“Wait! Mommy, did you pack my monkey?!” he asked urgently.

 

“Of course I did baby,” you responded, unzipping the backpack and pulling out Teddy’s prized possession, a stuffed brown monkey toy.

 

He took it from you and gripped it tightly to his chest, looking around at the other kids while you and Steve made a plan for the day. Knowing you would need to spend the majority of your trip at the monkey exhibits, you started towards the back of the park. You and Steve listened intently as Teddy told you stories, things he had learned in kindergarten and the antics he got into the last time Bucky babysat. He was just telling you how Bucky had promised him an extra scoop of ice cream if he didn’t tell you and Steve about the mess the two of them had made in the house when you walked up to the gorilla exhibit.

 

“‘Rillas!” he yelled, pointing towards the encolure.

 

You scooped him out of the wagon and plopped him on his feet. He quickly took your hand and pulled you over to the window. He pushed up on his tiptoes and you felt Steve kiss your head as he came up behind you.

 

“Dadddyyyyyy,” Teddy whined. “I can’t see! Lift me please!”

 

Steve chuckled and lifted Teddy up, swinging him around until he was placed on his shoulders, wrapping his arms around Teddy’s legs securely.

 

Teddy contently sat his dad’s shoulders, watching the gorillas as you snapped a few pictures of both the enclosed and your boys, smiling as Steve told him about going to the zoo with Uncle Bucky when he was a kid. Once Teddy had decided he had enough of the gorillas, you moved on walking around the park slowly until you decided it was time to stop for lunch.

 

Steve sent you to find a place to sit while he took care of getting the food. Teddy continued talking a mile a minute until he asked you a question.

 

“Mama, who do you think is stronger? Uncle Bucky or daddy?”

 

You suppressed a laugh as you answered.

 

“I dunno buddy, why?”

 

“I wanna know if either of them could beat up a ‘rilla!”

 

“I think the the ‘rillas might beat both of them,” you said with a laugh, tickling Teddy’s sides until he was giggling too.

 

“What’s so funny over here?” Steve asked as he walked up, balancing two trays of food and drinks.

 

Teddy answered before you could say anything.

 

“Mommy says that a ‘rilla could beat up you AND Uncle Bucky!” he exclaimed, still giggling.

 

Steve looked at you with his mouth hanging open.

 

“I’m old AND I’m getting beat up by a gorilla?!”

 

You giggled and rolled your eyes.

 

“Sit down and give us food please,” you said with a grin.

 

Steve shook his head and sat down next to Teddy. You opened up the ketchup packets Steve had brought along, squeezing them out onto the side of Teddy’s plate for his fries. You and Steve listened to Teddy ramble on in between bites about his favorite animals so far and which ones he wanted to see next. Once you finished eating and had your table cleaned up, you plopped Teddy back into his wagon and went off to the zoo again. You watched the sea lions as the performed tricks and you could hear the shutter on Steve’s phone as he took pictures of you and Teddy who was sat in your lap. You walked through the bird sanctuary and Teddy pointed out birds that he thought might be friends with Uncle Sam when he flies around.

 

Once Teddy was successfully worn out, you walked out of the zoo and loaded him into the car- he was asleep within minutes. Steve reached over and squeezed your knee.

 

“Hey,” he mumbled.

 

“Yeah?”

 

“Thank you,” he said sincerely.

 

“For what handsome?” you asked, confused.

 

“For calling me an old man. And telling me I’d get beat up by gorillas. And giving me the most incredible son and an incredible life that I thought I had lost my chance at. Just… thank you.”

 

“Well I hope you’re ready for more trouble,” you said, grinning at him.

 

“Wait.. what?” he said, quickly looking over at you. “Are you… are you pregnant?”

 

“Yeah,” you said, tearing up. “Yeah, I am.”

 

Steve immediately pulled the car over and turned to face you.

 

“Pregnant?” he asked, smiling.

 

“Yeah, I took two tests last week. I was gonna do some big elaborate things but I really wanted you to know now.”

 

Steve leaned over and kissed you, grinning as he pulled away.

 

“So… double the trouble huh?”

 

“Double the trouble.”