We took my two-year old grandson to the zoo over the weekend. He can’t pronounce too many animals’ names, but he can sure identify them in a book when you ask him to find the lion, tiger, elephant, giraffe, monkey and all of the farm animals. He’ll even tell you what they “say”, although I stump him sometimes when I ask him what a butterfly says. I just love watching those little wheels in his head go ’round-n-’round.
Anyway, he was excited, we were excited and we couldn’t wait to get to the zoo. All the way to the zoo, he sat in his car seat chattering about the animals (ah-mos), even making an occassional “RRROOAaaar” for the tiger. Along the way, we pointed out a few trucks and a school bus that he usually likes to acknowledge, but his mind was set on animals. He was focused on the zoo.
We had been to the zoo with him about six weeks ago, along with his mom and dad, but they were house hunting so we had the little stinker all to ourselves. He should feel right at home at the zoo this time; it was going to be great! Geez, how do you unfold this stroller, my son-in-law makes it look so easy.
Fortunately, a couple with young kids pulled up next to us in the parking lot and showed us the magic button on the stroller, so we were on our way in no time. Damn safety features! First stop was the giant tortoises, who were not out when we visited the last time. Not much movement there, they looked like concrete yard ornaments, a little boring for the young ‘un so we moved on. Next stop was the otters, but they must have had an extra cup of Starbucks coffee for breakfast; they were so jacked up that the little guy couldn’t keep up with them. Geez, lets try the petting zoo.
By now, he had figured out that the two old geezers didn’t know their way around a zoo, and he would feel better walking anyway. So, we let him lead the way, while we pushed an empty stroller, looking like a couple of irresponsible clueless grandparents. Geez, why do all these people keep running into my grandson? The petting zoo, where you can feed the miniature goats, was straight ahead. On the way, he thought he should check out the zoo’s maintenance shed, where he found a small 1941 Ford tractor. He spent a lot of time on that tractor. Geez, I hope they don’t run out of goat chow before we get there.
When we entered the children’s section of the zoo the pace of his waddle quickened. He didn’t look left at the llamas, didn’t look right at the miniature goats, paid no attention to the pretend-milk cow, ignored the feeding frenzy at the goldfish pond and marched directly to the playground area with the giant jungle gym and slides. He showed us several different ways to spill out of the slides and tubes without ever landing on his feet, but kept going back for more. Geez, as long as he’s not bawling, I guess its okay.
We had to entice him away from the playground to see the exotic animals from Africa. He was somewhat interested in the month-old baby camel, but the sleeping lions and tigers were no big deal, he could see better still photos in his books. He lost the staredown with the creepy monkey so we moved on. Geez, those monkeys stink!
He found a break in the construction barricades (Geez, this kid should have been a rescue dog.) and worked his way up to the fence where the seal tank was under construction. There, he found his dream exhibit, a back hoe. To him, it was a bull dozer, anything with a scoop or bucket on it is a bull dozer to him, or “boo-do-do” in his language. Even though it wasn’t operating, just sitting there like the tractor, he was mezmerized by it, like he found the holy grail of his toy box. I couldn’t imagine what was going on in his little head, but he sure was content to just stare through the fence at that marvelous specimen.
So, it was a fun day at the zoo. His three favorite things were the tractor, jungle gym and back hoe. So much for the animal kingdom, next time, I’ll take him to a construction site.
Thought for the Day: Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote. Ben Franklin