I’ve been really tired these past few days. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m going to bed too late (some nights Aiden won’t go to bed and I’m up because of him) or it perhaps I’m not eating enough protein, or maybe it’s just a third trimester thing. But once I get back from taking the kids to school in the mornings, I have been climbing back into bed. Which would be nice, except that I have a very active two-year old with me all day, with NO siblings around to play with. So yeah, my lying in bed all day doesn’t work for him. He needs parks! And long walks! And a constant playmate (that would be me) to do things with him.
Today I woke up semi-energized. My back didn’t hurt (yet) and I felt like I could venture out and give Aiden a fun day while the kids were in school. So I decided to take him to a zoo that’s about 20 minutes from my home. It’s not a very big zoo with all the major animal exhibits. It’s more like a park with rescue animals. It’s always been one of my favorite places to take the kids. There are camels, a large variety of small monkeys, a bald eagle, two ant eaters, some emus, a cow, ducks, geese, fish, turtles, goats, a horse, and very large pigs. Enough animals to entertain a two-year old.
Of course when we got inside the gates, Aiden asked me, “We go’n see giraffes, mom?”
and I was like, “Um…no. There’s no giraffes here, bubs. Sorry.”
“Mom? We go’n see elfants?” he asked.
“Elephants? No. Those are too big to be here. Sorry, bubs. No elephants.”
We weren’t there but 30 seconds and already it was a strike two with him. I was getting worried that perhaps he was mentally older than I thought, and this “zoo” wouldn’t be up to par with him.
The first exhibit we went to is my favorite: the Rainforest Exhibit. It’s an area that is like an aviary, where there are double doors with long, black sheets of cloth that you need to pass through. These sheets keep the birds from flying out. I like this exhibit because it’s very shady in there, and there’s a really nice waterfall and a “river” that runs through the paths, and it’s all very wet and moist in there, because they keep it like a rain forest and have misters that go off every now and then.
Aiden was excited to see the waterfall.
But he was a bit disappointed that there were no fish swimming in the river.
“Mom! Where fish at?” he asked.
Moving right along….
The next pond in the rain forest usually has a whole bunch of turtles. They come up to the surface of the water, and they also go up on the dry land, and they also congregate on this one rock that’s in the middle of the pond. There are at least 50 turtles in this pond. Seriously, it’s like a Yertle the Turtle fest in there.
But today? There were no turtles ANYWHERE.
Not on the rocks. Not wearing socks. Not underneath. Not on the reef. Not in the sand. Not on the land.
“Mom! Where turtles at?” he asked.
Moving right along….
So we had no luck in the rain forest. Next we went to look at the Farm area. This area of the zoo has a pen with a whole bunch of rescue rabbits. And you know how rabbits are…there are usually a ton of them. But today? Just ONE rabbit in the pen. And I didn’t even get a picture.
And next to the rabbit pen, there is a pond that usually has a whole bunch of ducks and at least three large geese. But today? No ducks. Just one goose. ONE.
There is an area in the Farm where they keep large pigs. Each pig usually has their own pen.
I told Aiden, “Let’s go see all the piggies!” and he got all excited and started to run to the pig area.
Notice how the sign reads “Hello…my name is _____” and then there is no name there? That’s because there was no pig in there. Where did all the pigs go? I was starting to feel sorry for Aiden. So far the little zoo wasn’t delivering.
I don’t know if it was the time of day that we went (morning, right when they opened) or if it was the hot weather keeping the animals inside and away from view, but I swear it was more like a ghost town instead of a zoo today. Aiden saw a camel, some small monkeys, a bald eagle, and one goose. Most kids would have a temper tantrum with that showing. Lucky for me, Aiden is still at that age where just running around and picking up rocks is entertaining. So he didn’t complain too much. He actually had a good time just being somewhere new.
I made a big mistake by not taking a stroller with me. I know. What pregnant mom with a two year old leaves the stroller at home? Me, apparently. So after being there just an hour and a half, my back hurt from chasing Aiden around, lifting him up to see the animals that weren’t there, and from bending down to pry the rocks out of his hands, which he kept throwing. I was ready to go home. It was 11:30am by then, anyway. Lunchtime! So Aiden didn’t complain too much when I scooped him up and carried him to the car. He knew food was waiting for him.
Maybe next time we will go at a different time in the day. After all, what fun is being at a zoo if you aren’t going to see many animals? Rocks can only be fun for so long.