Monday, April 13, 2009

Reflections upon visiting the zoo with a one-year-old

Noon: "I can't wait to get to the zoo! It's been probably over twenty years since I've been there. It'll be incredible to see it again through our son's eyes. And it's such a pretty day, and we were smart enough to come on a weekday so it won't be so crowded -- this is going to be great. I keep thinking ... he loves dogs so much, you know? And he's SEEN dogs in person. So maybe ... maybe he'll be able to CONNECT to other animals once he sees them, you know?" [Husband does an excellent impression of digesting this information as if it actually makes sense.]

12:15: "Wow, is this the line of cars to get into the parking lot?! I guess we weren't the only ones who thought today would make a good zoo day."

12:35: "Is that lady arriving or leaving? I hate stalking pedestrians like some kind of serial killer."


1:15: "Look, son -- big fish! In a huge tank! No -- no, honey, you're pointing at PICTURES of fish on the wall. Why don't you look at the ACTUAL fishies? Mommy and daddy did not pay $10 each to get into the zoo after fighting for half an hour to land a tiny parking space in the parking lot so that you could look at PICTURES of fish. We can do that in our own living room. In our pajamas. For free."

1:35: "Hey, sweetie, look! Seals! See them in the water? Over there? No, son, over THERE. See them? I know -- they're not exactly moving around much, are they? Trust me. That brown floating thing in the water, the thing that looks like lifeless driftwood, is a living creature! A seal! It eats fish, and can be very playful! CAN be. Looks like not today, though. Ok, never mind. Let's go see the giraffes!"

1:45: "Wow, buddy -- giraffes! There are ... let's see ... two, four, six, ... like, TEN giraffes! Including one baby giraffe! Aren't they cute? Look at their long necks! See how tall ... no, son, don't pick up that cigarette butt off the ground. Come here. Whoa -- did you poop? Oh, no -- that's the GIRAFFES. Let's move on. Quickly. While holding our breath."

1:55: "Ok, buddy, I know you'll like these guys -- ELEPHANTS! See how big they are? Wait -- let go of the chain-link fence, please. SON. Let GO. Look at the elephants! That one's raising his trunk in the air and -- Whoops, no, buddy -- that's not your sippy cup. That one belongs to that nice little boy over there. (Who IS looking at the elephants.) YOURS is right here. Ok, fine. If you're not impressed, we'll go find some monkeys."

2:05: "THERE'S an orangutan. A mommy and baby monkey! And ... ew. The baby monkey ... threw up, and ... is eating ... blech, comeonlet'sgo."

2:10: "See the baboon? Or, gibbon, whatever? See it? The shadows are falling on it there in the tree so maybe you can't, but it's there. Believe mommy, it is. Ah, crap. Daddy? WE NEED DIFFERENT ANIMALS."

2:15: "Aw, the tiger's sleeping. See the sleeping tiger? It's laying there on the rock in the plain sun, so I know you can see it. What, wait -- where's it going? Are you KIDDING me? Why would they even BUILD a cave for it that's so deep you can't see it? WHATEVER."

2:20: "HERE'S something fun. Let's ride the carousel! There's a nice tall stationary giraffe you can sit on while mommy holds you tight. Daddy, you film us. What? No, daddy, it's ok -- I won't get motion sick. It only goes around, like, five times. No worries."

2:25. "Take the kid. I'm nauseous."

2:30: "Ok, definitely time to go. Where's that map, daddy? We need to find our way back to the exit. So we can hike to the car."


2:35: "We will be stuck here in this zoo forever. Because I cannot read this map. I KNOW we have to go past the hoofed animal exhibit. But the signs here in the zoo don't say 'hoofed animals' like the map does, and I DON'T KNOW IF WART HOGS HAVE HOOVES."

2:45: "You put him in his car seat. I'll load the stroller. And for Pete's sake, let's not come back to the zoo till he's in grade school."


Devon said...

I think we actually had breakfast in the car on the way to the zoo last time. That is how early you should start!

Just wait until your son "thinks snakes are AWESOME" and you will eventually, MAYBE, consider going in the exhibit. Oh, who am I kidding..I will be watching the minutes tick by outside. Although they do have one outside next to Smog, the kimodo dragon, who is his favorite.

Christy said...

oh my GOSH!!!! that was so hilarious...just went to the zoo last friday and had the EXACT SAME EXPERIENCE!!! I think the only animal he actually saw was the DUCK!!!! ha! and for some reason I still decided to buy a season pass???!!!! i guess in hopes that next time would be better???? MISS YOU!!!! :)

screamy mimi said...

I totally have been craving a visit to the zoo for AGES now and I determined to drive two hours to Frankfurt when Justin gets back to visit the zoo there. I'll let you know how it goes...