Saturday, August 8, 2009

This Time with Animals

A few days ago I posted about our trip through the vehicle zoo. Well, today for the first time in nearly a year Mrs. LIAYF, Lukas, and I took a trip a zoo with a more classic theme, Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo (otherwise known as "Meltdown Central" - we arrived in the afternoon after nap time, however many children were obviously not so fortunate).
It had animals.
A large variety of animals, many of which litter the pages of our ever expanding toddler library. A year ago when we last visited much was lost on our son and we spent much of our compressed time there in an indoor play area. Fun, but not worth the small fortune we forked over to get in. But today it was a different story. Lukas is much more mobile now, and was able to pick out many of the different species of animals as we approached them. The excitement level was palpable as we were able to get up close and personal with the likes of Lions and Tigers and Bears (Oh My!).

The Gorilla exhibit was especially fascinating as there was a 2 year old little guy who we watched interact lovingly with its mother. He didn't set a very good example however, as there were three "no-no" incidents: little gorilla tried to bite his mother, little gorilla threw a stick at another member of his family, and little gorilla picked his nose and ate it. We explained to our own little monkey that this was very bad behavior. You take advantage of a learning opportunity when it presents itself.

The hungry tiger was also a hit as it paced back and forth and growled loudly, causing Lukas to proclaim to the obvious amusement of the gathered crowd: "It's BIG! Like Daddy!" The Columbus Monkeys held promise due to the fact that Lukas carries around an almost identical stuffed monkey, but they just sat huddled in a tree without moving as our son waved his stuffed toy back and forth in their general direction. They obviously were not amused.

Another disappointment lay in the fact that there was no Polar Bear exhibit, which was one animal Lukas mentioned over and again that he wanted to see. This interest was most likely due to his recent fascination with the Eric Carl book "Polar Bear, Polar Bear, what do you hear?". The thought crossed my mind that we could take him to see a brown polar bear, but Mrs. LIAYF didn't think that a very good idea. So we just focused on the other animals, which seemed to work just fine.

On the ride home, when Mrs. LIAYF asked Lukas which animal out of all he had seen he liked best, he responded:

"The Polar Bear!"


Idaho Dad said...

Yup, meltdown central is right. Only, it was me having the meltdown on our last visit when I had to circle the parking lot for an hour looking for a space.

Dan said...

Nose picking is a no-no?

You're a hard man.

SciFi Dad said...

I remember the transition from vaguely aware to excitement and identification... it's how we learned that the zebras were her favourites (as opposed to the giraffes, which we thought she liked).

I'm looking forward to the first transition (completely oblivious to vaguely aware) with my son... it should be fun.

(As an aside, the great apes - gorillas, orangutans, etc - are so much fun because of the similarities. My wife loves to watch for moms of babies to see them nurse... it makes her feel connected to them.)

Scary Mommy said...

My children most enjoyed seeing the dinosaurs last time we were at the zoo. :) Did you break it to him?

DCUrbanDad said...

I am spoiled. I live 1/4 mile from the National Zoo. If the wind blows correctly I can smell the Hippo farts.

Lady Mama said...

The gorilla behaviour sounds all very normal to me...

Kori said...

I took my kids to Seattle on vacation last year and the Woodland Park Zoo was one of our faves. I used to live in Kent so knew what to expect, having been there before, but the kids were enthralled. And we saved our meltdowns for the Pacific Science Center, ha ha ha ha.

Dad Blog said...

The comment of remembering the polar bears is the best part of the trip because it is something you will always remember. (I had to laugh hard at that because Luke didn't actually see one)

Captain Dumbass said...

We LOVED the gorillas when we were down there last! They were amazing. Which was good since most of the other animals were hiding that day. The new penguin tank was pretty cool too.

Super Mega Dad said...

Being in San Diego, we have TWO wonderful zoos close by (the WORLD FAMOUS San Diego Zoo, and the Wild Animal Park). We also have Sea World and Lego Land. Needless to say, our budget is very strained. We learned to buy season passes to these venues fairly soon in our parenting careers. Our kids haven't figured out that Disneyland and all the L.A. stuff is pretty close too yet. :(

James (SeattleDad) said...

@Idaho Dad - It was a bit better for us. We got a place from a nice old couple who also gave us thier parking sticker.

@Dan - Picking is fine. It was the eating part.

@SciFi - Yeah, the two year old gorilla here was nursing the first time we took Lukas. Mrs. LIAYF loved to watch that and point it out to him.

@Scary Mommy - No we didn't break it to him. He was happy enough.

@DC - Hippo Farts must be pretty rank. I'd move farther away. lol.

@Lady Mama - LOL.

@Kori - Thanks for stopping by. The Pacific Science Center is also a great place for a meltdown. Lol.

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James (SeattleDad) said...

@Abegale - Thanks. Please drop by often.