Thursday, September 13, 2007

Shhh...Don't tell the girls.

I have wanted to take Kade to the Potawatomi Zoo by himself and see what he's like there without the big sister influence and without being confined to a stroller. Today was the day. The weather was perfect, sunny, blue skies, and low to mid 70's. I had asked Kade last night if he wanted to go to the zoo and he said yes and got excited. None of us have been for a while. I was surprised that he never mentioned it to the girls last night. Maybe he can keep a secret. We left around 11. (I went back to bed after the girls left and Kade was into his "movie", the Disney Channel.) I really wanted to document this day. (It's sad but I rarely get to do anything with just one child. Let me rephrase that, anything fun. He comes on all the errands with me and I try to make them fun only so he'll be good.) So I wanted to take a lot of pictures and remember what he says.

We stopped at the entrance to the zoo. I had him sit on the bench out front and this little boy came over and that bothered Kade. I couldn't get him to smile for the picture but it turned out great anyway. Then I looked up and saw the entrance was all gated up. Were they closed on a Thursday morning? No. They moved the entrance again, maybe because they aren't so busy. So we went in and he wanted a wagon. I'm not renting one because we have a perfectly good stroller in the van. And I thought he would want to walk. I talk him out of it. (He would just want to pull it and not ride in it so what's the point?)

We started with the education center. There he checks out all the snakes and other creepy crawlies and says "More nakes". He doesn't stay too long at any one animal, which is fine. He lets me take a few more pictures and I try to get him to talk about what color the animals are or what they're eating. He did notice the lemurs eat broccoli. Maybe that will help him eat some next time.

The tigers were next. Flash was resting from his strenuous job of entertaining people but Ivory was pacing around and he liked looking at her. The camel wasn't interesting enough either and it was actually up close and personal today. He ran to the coy fish pond but stayed only for one minute and he was ready to move on. The red pandas were up too high in the tree so he couldn't see them. Then he spied the barn and wanted to go in there. We stopped for a Lifesaver Popsicle. This thing was big. It took him about 15 minutes to eat it. Or at least it felt that long. We looked at some ducks and Flamingos during this time.

When he was finally finished we walked over to the Farm Exhibit. "More animals." There we saw a miniature donkey, a calf hiding in the barn, bantam chickens with babies, rabbits, a turkey, ponies, and goats. We went through that exhibit rather quickly, only stopping at each animal for about one minute. "More animals." The Colobus monkeys were next. They are cute black and white balls of fur with arms and legs sticking out. Two were wrestling on the grass, they remind me of kids. We looked at some pretty and strange looking birds before making it over to the twin lions. They are brothers and have been at our zoo since they were cubs. They're names are Simba and Sumba. Don't ask me who is who. Then Kade had to feed the gross fish. They all jump on top of each other whenever food is thrown into the water. I got a picture so everyone can see what I'm talking about.

The chimpanzees held Kade's attention for a little longer than the other animals. They weren't moving around so I don't know what was so interesting to him. "More animals." We flew past the warthog, the African wild dogs, and the zebras to get to the Australian exhibit. We spotted some roos laying around. He ran up the red path to the pond but there wasn't an animal to be seen. Then he saw a black swan. I didn't let him get to close, they're not very nice.

Then he saw the train engineer in the Australian exhibit and kept telling me "choo choo". I knew that's what was really driving him to get through all the animals. The Choo Choo of course. We could have walked right to the train without looking at any animal and he would have been happy. He's a boy, right? The engineer left with us and we climbed on the train. (Kade could have climbed up on the engine for a picture but he was being shy at the moment and wouldn't do it. He'll regret it later.) Merle, the engineer, chatted for a while with us and a few other people on the train, waiting for more people to show up of course. Then the whistle blew two times, meaning it was going to start. Kade was so excited. He wanted to jump up and down but we were told to not stand. I made sure I repeated that to him after the engineer said it. That way I'm not the bad guy. We took a slow but educational trip around the zoo on the train. We learned a lot of the animals names, that the zoo is 105 years old, there is a butterfly house ready for next year, and the engineer is the oldest creature at the zoo. I think Kade would have been happy to ride it again and again. He could since he is still free but I think he needs a little adult supervision still. "More animals."

We finished up the zoo by quickly walking past the alpacas, toucans, bear, alligators, bison, prairie dogs, and macaw. He had to sit on the statue of the Galapagos tortoise. I got a great picture of him there. I think he had a good time. I did. As far as I know he hasn't said anything to the girls yet. I did take a lot of pictures today, 113 to be exact. I didn't put all of them on flickr, only the good ones. If you haven't been to the zoo the pictures will give you a brief look at it. Maybe you will want to go on one of these nice Autumn-like days. Enjoy.


Mickey Standiford said...

Great documentation Sweetheart! It sounds like you had a great time. It's a good thing the kids have you to take them to enjoy all the animals, because you know it's not my favorite thing. Also great pictures! I highly recommend clicking on the flickr link and then viewing as a slideshow, or heck here's the link to the slideshow. Don't forget to put your mouse in the middle of the first picture and click on lowercase i in the circle. This will turn on the information for the slideshow which will give you the title of the picture and the description. They are very informative. Good journaling!

Kelly said...

Thanks for the link to the slide show. I like looking at them that way. There are too many to click through the regular way. I think you should take the kids on a date to the zoo. It's free and it only takes about 1 1/2 hours.

Mickey Standiford said...

I might be able to handle that - once or twice. :-)