One of our (relatively) local zoos does a neat thing for moms on Mother’s Day: they give us a free pass for the day! So we packed up the kids and a host of snacks and drinks, and headed up to the zoo for the afternoon. The weather was great; there was a chill in the air, but that sure beats the blaring hot sun.
Last year my son was only twenty-months-old and he was mainly interested in the bright red and blue parrot. This year his interest extended to the otters, zebra, camel (or “canimal”), tortoises, and the owls. He showed at least a mild interest in all of the other animals as well, but these seemed to be favorites.
The little guy loved throwing food pellets at the ducks. I say “at” and not “to” because, sadly, the ducks showed no inclination to eat it at all. BoBeans didn’t seem to mind their lethargy, as being allowed to throw anything is fun for him, in and of itself. The tortoises were hungry by the time we got around to them, and he did get a kick out of watching them eat their evening lettuce. Those animals are not pretty and seem so rheumatic when they move that it almost hurt me to watch them; they do have sharp teeth though, and had no problem shredding their roughage.
For my part, I rather enjoyed milling around the goat pen. These are the only animals that a person can get close to at this zoo and the little man, although enthralled at being in close proximity to said goats, seemed concerned about keeping a safe distance. He did attempt to engage one or two in conversation, as he has not yet learned that goats and people speak a different language. He soon quit chatting since the bleated replies were loud and tended to startle him.
There is one more memory that I am obliged to share for the sake of my husband since he kept on about it all evening and well into the night, until he was tucked into bed and safely on his way to la-la land. During my son’s encounter with the zebra, whilst beast and little boy were pursuing each other along the fence, the zebra took a short break to bend down and nibble on some grass; seeing this and wanting to mimic the grandly striped creature, my son apparently bent at the waist and, keeping his back straight like that of his banded mentor, plucked a leaf from the ground and brought it to his mouth.
My husband managed to get a hold of the greenery before it made its entrance into our child’s digestive system, thankfully. After completing his rendezvous with the zebra, the little colt-in-training settled for some french fries instead. The whole day was great: no diaper blowouts, no screaming or crying, no falling down, etc. I even managed to remember to put sunblock on the kids- even though it was cold enough that jackets were required for most of the day and rendered the sunblock totally superfluous. All-in-all, it was a happy Mother’s Day!
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