We had four full days of Dalon, Lynn, Grace, and Jacoby visiting us. One day was spent relaxing, one day passed at the water park, one day we took a drive into the mountains, and the last day, we packed up and trucked everyone to the Denver Zoo. Grace is used to the Dakota Zoo in Bismarck, which is a great facility that also reflects the size of the city it is in. She knew we were headed out to see some animals and was pretty excited about it. Maybe even animals like deer and elk and moose and FROGS! Yes, Grace, they have will have frogs, and maybe a few other things as well.
I enjoy going to the zoo; I like to read the signs about the animals and watch the ones that are active. Jacoby got distracted on the walk in a wanted to stop and look at a puddle in the parking lot. This was not going to be my typical visit to the zoo. My day was more about keeping the kids happy and seeing what I could. Other than looking at signs to find out the names of some of the animals, I didn't read hardly any additional information. I mean, what if that info would be an answer on next week's Jeopardy and I might know an answer none of the contestants could get?! This is life or death stuff I might be missing.
Welcome to being a parent.
We rented a wagon for Grace and Jacoby, because there was no way they could make it all the way around the zoo on their own without getting tired and cranky, and, after the adventure of just walking through the parking lot, there was no way I wanted to wait for them to try. Along with the wagon, we got Grace a hat to help keep the sun off her head and also, girls love accessories. How awesome is that?
We did the entire zoo: elephants, penguins, monkeys, polar bears, sea lions... saw them all. Although it was an entirely different sort of visit for me to experience, there was something exciting getting to see the strange and new animals through the eyes of kids again. "Wow, that's a big one!" was the recurring comment of the day and they had to be up front and center for everything.
Right after this, the orangutang decided that he had enough of humans for a while and moved to the opposite side of the enclosure. If I ever travel to the jungle, I'm taking Jacoby to scare off the wild animals with his curiosity.
Considering we were dealing with 90 plus degree heat throughout the day, Brooklynn did surprisingly well. She slept quite a bit in her stroller and we did our best to keep her in the shade as much as possible. There was more crying from the two kids who could walk than from the one who couldn't. With the heat and excitement, they were both running on empty by one in the afternoon and we kept going for another solid three hours.
The non-animal highlight of the day was Jacoby using both hands to clutch his butt and crying, "Mommy, poop. Poop hurt, Mommy!" We made a stop at the bathroom and cleared all that up for him.
I think we'll have to make it a point to make the zoo a regular destination in the future; maybe not so much this year anymore, but in the coming summers, because I want to hear Brookylnn say, when asked "Do you want to see the lions and tigers still?", her to respond, "Yes, and FROGS!!"