I decided against taking the kids to the fair. I'm pretty sure that I made the right decision. The fair can get so crowded and with 3 kids to one adult the numbers just were not with me. So, we went to the zoo instead. The boys wanted to play on the toys so we went to the play area. It was swarming with kids, and older kids probably 10-12 year olds?!? I let them play then after about 10 minutes I realized it wasn't working. There were so many kids playing on the jungle gym that Justice couldn't even get on it, Brosnan was just wandering around aimlessly, and Arcadian was just running....everywhere... The kids that were there were on a field trip so I decided it was time to put Arcadian back in the stroller and go look at some animals and come back to the play area after the older kids were hopefully gone. Arcadian was not agreeing with me, getting in the stroller was the last thing on his mind. I did a quick scan to make sure I saw Justice and Brosnan. Justice was attempting to climb the toys, Brosnan was standing less than 10 feet away from me, so I returned to forcing Arcadian back into the stroller. He was arching his back and making it very difficult to buckle him in. After a minute or two he was in the stroller, time to grab the other boys and start walking. Justice....check... Brosnan....hmmm, where did he go? He was just here... not good..
I tried to weave my way through all the children searching for his blue and gray striped shirt. Shouldn't be to hard to find him, all the other kids were wearing khaki pants and navy or white shirt. No such luck... no Brosnan. After a couple of minutes of continual searching in the play area I come to terms with the fact that Brosnan is not there. Crap, now what do I do. No employee's in sight. I found a nice looking person and told him I lost one of my kids, he offered to stay with Justice while I tried to find someone to help. I figured that way if Brosnan was still in the area, or returns, Justice would still be there and able to recognize Brosnan. So by now my heart is pounding and all the terrible things were going through my mind, he's lost, in with the polar bears or something, or he has found a new family. I walk up to the next area, where the Meerkats are and do a quick scan, nothing. So I went to an employee who had a little concession booth and told him I lost a child. He radioed for help. I told the guy I was going to go continue to look, walked back down toward the area with the Meerkat's and THANK GOD, I saw him. He was playing quietly in a sand box covering himself up with sand. Not a care in the world. No concern that his mother was no where to be seen. I went back and told the guy I found him and went back to claim Justice. Brosnan was upset that I took him away from the sandbox, but I think he could tell that I was pretty concerned about him runnning off. The whole ordeal was probably only 15 minutes long but felt like eternity.
The rest of the day went off without a hitch. Luckily the rest of the zoo was not crowded at all so it was pretty easy to keep an eye on all three. After all was said and done it was a good day. The boys behaved and listened fairly well and I felt quite accomplished after venturing to such an uncontrolled public place with them by myself! I will however be giving an extra big hug to all three of them tonight as I realize the situation could have ended up a lot worse.