We went to the zoo again (I’m betting you guessed that). This weekend they are unveiling the brand new Small-clawed Asian Otter exhibit and Sloth Bear exhibit (with brand new cubs!) (oooh, ahhh) and today was a “member’s only” special preview. (Oooh, I feel so elite). Actually, this zoo does a really good job of adding all kinds of little perks like this for members, and they execute them really well. Case in point: this preview. We didn’t just see the new exhibits. Oh no.
First, we stopped at a large tent where Zoey got to color an otter face and glue it onto a large popsicle stick. Voila! Instant otter mask! The zoo staff member hosting it was positively gushing about Zoey’s “beautiful manners!” (“May I make a mask, please?”). She asked me if I was an English major because she was so impressed that Zoey even said “May I” instead of “Can I” and then proceeded to tell her coworkers all about my perfect, wonderful, shining example of a daughter. They then came over to tell me that I win their “Mother of the Day” award. Clearly, none of this went to my head or swelled me with pride in myself and my daughter at all. Nope, not a bit.
Next on the entertainment circuit: a giant otter.
Strangest creepy large animal costume I’ve seen in quite some time. Zoey, never shy a day in her life, ran right up and proclaimed her love for him and attacked him with her biggest hug.
She later proceeded to chase the poor Otter-Man all around the new exhibit and photobomb every other family that tried to snap a precious digital memory of their toddler with a giant
rodent mammal. Honestly, the kid could hardly care less by the time we saw the real otters. You know, the ones we were there to see.
Finally, the icing on the childhood-dreams-come-true cake: a bouncy house. Zoey had never even seen a bouncy house before (to my knowledge), yet she seemed to innately know exactly what it was and that she wanted. To. Go. In. It. NOW. The moment she saw it she exclaimed, “A house! It’s all blowed up like a balloon!” Which, you know, it was. She also proclaimed it to be a lion, though I maintain it looked more like a sad rendition of Sid from Ice Age.
I attempted to jockey our position a bit by letting some people in front of us in line (oh my gosh, the line! On a Tuesday! At dinner time!) in order to put Zoey in the
inflatable death trap bouncy house with similarly sized tots. Of course, she ended up in there with a group of sugar-crazed hyperactive five year olds. I was actively cringing at the window, ready to tear through the netting with my teeth should one of them squash my miniscule offspring with their enourmous kindergartner bodies. Nobody got hurt. Zoey LOVED it.
She figured out pretty quickly that she didn’t quite have the coordination to jump well – especially with the bigger kids jumping so hard Zoey could barely keep her footing – so she came over and held onto Zach’s hands through the window and was able to jump that way. She was delighted with this solution. So much so that she broke down in tears when her time was up and she wasn’t allowed to go right back in again. Poor exhausted kiddo.
Add on an unexpected, crowd-free, after hours viewing of the four new lion cubs and it was truly a great trip to the zoo.
Eleanor had a good time too:
Video footage of Zoey in the bouncy house for your viewing pleasure. Bonus: my finger accidentally covers the mic on my phone a few seconds in, effectively shutting out all the kiddie screams and making for a delightful silent film. You don’t need sound to hear Zoey’s face shouting, “THIS IS SO MUCH FUN!! OH MY GOD I’M GOING TO DIE IN HERE!! BUT IT’S GREAT!!” Enjoy.