My husband and I always cap off our trip to the zoo with our four-year-old by letting her go for a ride on the giant, gorgeous carousel that sits in the center of the grounds.
Like most kids, she absolutely loves riding the carousel. She squeals and waves as I watch from behind the railing. My husband usually rides with her to make sure she’s safe.
Our end-of-the-day zoo carousel ride is usually a precious moment that I record on my phone, send in the extended family group chat, and upload to my Instagram stories.
However, once the ride started, things did not go as expected, and that was just the beginning of the story.
Once the carousel began to spin, I whipped out my phone and started to record, hoping to catch my husband and daughter as they made their first round. I was expecting full smiles and a “HI MOM!” from my kid.
Before I even made eye-contact with my husband as they started to come into view, I knew something was up.
“Her animal doesn’t go up and down,” my husband silent screamed at me from the carousel, as I looked at my daughter’s disappointing face.
She was on the camel, and that f*cking camel was not going up and down.
I cringed and kicked myself as they slowly went around and around and around for what seemed like an eternity as my daughter’s eyes glistened with a layer of tears. My husband was also glaring at me, begging me to commiserate in this parenting failure.
You see, before the ride started, they were on a different animal. They looked uncomfortable, cramped up next to a bunch of kids and adults. I spotted the empty camel with no one on it, so I suggested they switch animals.
So, this was actually kind of my fault. Whoops!
I wasn’t even thinking about if the damn animal went up and down when they first got on the ride! Rookie parenting mistake.
After the ride ended, I apologized to my daughter for making that mistake. All was forgiven. We got some ice cream and a Mold-A-Rama to make up for the disappointing carousel ride.
Later that evening — while wistfully looking through photos and videos from our zoo trip — I saw the short clip of my husband’s internal carousel meltdown and thought it might be funny to post on TikTok. Time heals all wounds, right?
“Parenthood is when you’re trying to take a cute video of your kid on the carousel but the animal she picked doesn’t go up and down, and now we will all pay for this fatal mistake,” I wrote in text overlay on the video.
The next day, the video took off and went completely viral. The clip of my silly parenting fail went totally viral with over 700k views and almost 20k likes.
And now, here I am writing about it for work — how’s that for the most meta moment of my entire life?
One of the more unexpected things that came from my — or rather, my husband’s — small burst of viral-fame was realizing there are several carousel riding experts who were happy to give me their opinions on what I did wrong here.
“Animals that stand/touch the ground don’t go up and down !!!!!!” one user yelled at me.
“lol Brookfield says the animals which do not go up and down each time b4 the ride starts 🤣,” another noted.
Hello, I obviously was not listening to the static-filled announcement the carousel operator was giving!
Another user got technical on me and advised, “If it’s a pole to the ceiling with no black bar at the top it won’t move but the ones with a black metal/ gear looking top will move!”
“Tip: never ride the ones on the most outer edge! they usually don’t go up and down lol” one wrote.
While I do appreciate this tip, it did not apply to the particular carousel we were on. Of course the camel my daughter was riding was one of, like, three that didn’t go up and down.
I also learned that if you post a video of your husband on TikTok, he will be lambasted in one way or another. Some found the humor in his silent rage.
“That’s the parent silent yell 😭 he was fuming,” one user wrote.
“He couldn’t wait to pass you to tell you 🤣🤣,” another said.
Others blamed my husband for the debacle and said, “Why is he sooo mad like he couldn’t try and alleviate the situation’?”
“He’s got eyes too,” another wrote.
“Exactly! Why is it her fault? He should be mad at himself. At least he’s in the video,” someone replied.
I will defend my husband’s honor here and say that it kind of was my fault, and he wasn’t mad at me at all. He was upset that our daughter was bummed.
After going viral, with several people making assumptions with zero context, I have now become one of those wives who defends their husband and says things like, “He’s a good guy!” The irony is not lost on me.
I swear, he’s a good guy, and we both learned a valuable lesson that fateful day.
Always, always, always check to make sure the carousel animal your kid picked goes up and down!