But the zoo was fun, as always! Except that we keep finding new ways to wear ourselves out. This time, we finished looking at the sea lions, and we were on our way to the bird show. Logan was a little tired, but he still knew what he wanted, which can sometimes lead to difficult toddlers. In this case, it wasn't so bad; he just kept repeating, "I wan' see ee." (Ee can sometimes mean giraffe, but usually it means elephant.) He continued to repeat it even after I told him we were going to see the birds, which was what his mother said to pull him away from the sea lions to begin with: "Want to go see the birds?" "Yeah."
So I explained to him that we would go see the elephants after the bird show, at which point the refrain changed to, "I wan' buh show." Excellent, that's exactly where we're going! So we got there and found a seat, and realized, hey, nobody's here! ...because the show wouldn't be starting for another half hour. Man, that's a long time to wait even at my age--it must be like an eternity for a kid like Logan. And I told him he couldn't see the elephants until after the show! And so Athena and I decided we should take the kid and look at some animals that might be nearby, since the elephants were practically on the other side of the zoo. We got him in the stroller and walked a ways, but he started asking why nobody else was coming, and we explained what we were doing then asked if he wanted to stay with his mom and he said yeah.
But sure enough, about fifteen minutes later, Logan was bored. Just like at the fair last week, he took the stroller and started Going. So we said, "Logan, where are you going?" He didn't even stop as he replied, "I wan' see ee!"
So we thought, "Well, if we go really fast, we might make it," signaled what we were doing to the rest of the grownups, and off we went. At this point, we had about twelve minutes, so we put Logan in the stroller, and I literally ran him over to the elephants. (Athena followed at a slower pace, because she as still recovering from being sick.) We finally made it, and I made sure that Logan could see the elephants from his stroller, and when he did, he said, "No, I wan' tall ee." Oh. The giraffes.
So I ran Logan over to the giraffes, and unless he has a love of giraffes he has yet to express, the only reason I could figure that he was so insistent on seeing them is that you can pay two dollars to feed a giraffe, and we do that with him every time we go to the zoo. (Although when coloring, he has asked us to draw tall ees, which has resulted in drawings of both giraffes and long-legged elephants, neither of which got enough of a reaction to know what exactly he meant by tall ee before yesterday.) I checked the time and we still had nine minutes, so I got in line to feed the giraffes. It was probably the best giraffe-feeding experience we've had, which is why it's such a shame it was such a blur. Logan reached up to feed one of the younger giraffes, and he dropped one of his two lettuce leafs. Athena dashed over to pick it up and give it back to Logan, and the older, taller giraffe saw the whole thing and was ready to eat that lettuce as soon as it could. He was right in Logan's face. I'm impressed that the kid didn't start crying (but he did look distraught).
By that time I was pretty exhausted (because I'm utterly out of shape), so I was planning to just walk very quickly back to the bird show, but Logan turned around and said, "I wan' fa(st)," and I'm a sucker, so I ran him back to the bird show. Fortunately, none of the docents yelled at me for running, and we were not kicked out of the zoo. And then we got to see the bird show, which Logan loved as long as there were birds in the air. If there were not birds flying, he was completely bored. At one point he decided he was going to get another seat, so he left the group and went all the way to the other side of the viewing area and sat on the very edge of the farthest bench. I followed him and sat down with him, and when we were both settled, he reached out his hand and called, "Thea!" so Athena would come join us. He decided to change seats again later, which turned out to be a really good idea, because the macaws flew right over his head. Fortunately, there weren't a whole lot of people, and all the benches we were climbing around were empty. On the other hand, if they hadn't been empty, maybe Logan would have behaved better... Hmm...
Anyway, then we went to the reptile house to see the new king cobra and komodo dragon exhibits. They were super fancy and I wish we could have stayed to look at them longer, but the king cobra was getting ready to shed (according to a docent) so she wasn't in an entertaining mood anyway, and more importantly, the reptile house is the one place the docents were allowed to put up scary Halloween decorations (there are decorations all over the zoo, but most of them are of the cute variety), and Logan wasn't having fun with that. And frankly, neither were we. They liked putting (plastic) severed limbs in the aquariums. Blech.
So instead we went outside to look at the emu some more. Logan learned the word "emu" when the one came out for the bird show, and he was pretty excited about it. Lemurs became emus...which might be why emu became nemu, and then memu. It might also have come from our saying things like, "Look! There's an emu!" and sounding like, "Look! There's a nemu!" But anyway, Logan asked us to draw an emu last night, and when I was telling another toddler what all the sea creatures were in her puzzle at church this morning, he started talking about emus again.
And the emu that's not in the bird show is a great animal to take little kids to, because it likes to come right up to the edge of the enclosure and look at people. So hopefully that and dropping quarters down the little gravity well thingie distracted him enough to not have nightmares. Or Logan was just more tired than scared anyway.
When the nephew and his family came over afterward, they had stopped by MacDonald's for dinner and he was refusing to eat it. We tried all manner of child psychology to get him to eat his chicken nuggets, but to no avail. The funniest was when we would say, very loudly and obviously, "Okay, I'm going to eat MY chicken nuggets," and he would go, "No, MINE!" But then we'd say, "Oh, then you'd better come eat them!" and he wouldn't. The other funniest one was when he was trying to scare us, and Athena went, "Ooohhh nooo! The scary monster is eating all the french fries!" So he took his little thing of fries, and put his whole mouth over it. He had a couple of bites of french fry as a result, but he got bored pretty quickly.
A couple hours later, Mom was making cake, which of course meant we had to get cookies or something so he could have a treat that wasn't the cake (which was for today (tomorrow at the time)). So we got out some Scooby snacks, and Logan had one in one hand, but he likes to have food in both hands when he's snacking. So Athena said, "Here, you can have this one, too," and handed him the last remaining chicken nugget. (Athena and I each took one because we didn't have dinner and Logan's dad said if he refused to eat it we could have it. Kind of a "If you don't appreciate what you have, it's gonna go to somebody else" deal. The other one was torn into pieces to see if we could get Logan to eat little pieces of chicken if we counted to three and all ate a piece at the same time.) He took it and ate it, and then he ate the remaining pieces of the torn-up one. Either he just wasn't hungry enough the first time, or he really hates hot food.
But the cutest story! was when we were getting ready to leave the zoo. (Oh wait, first when we were getting ready to go to the zoo, grownups were getting ready to put Mickey's baby seat in the car where Athena usually sits next to Logan, but Logan stood next to the seat and blocked it, saying, "Thea's seat!" Aww! Also, since she was still coughing, he asked her twice if she was okay. It goes like, "'Kay, Thea?")
The baby seat was being put back in the car, and Logan said, "My baby!" So his mom asked him, "What's the baby's name?" And he answered, "Mi(k)e!" (There was actually a tiny hint of a K sound in there, but it was barely audible.) And then he said, "My Mi'e!" Awwwwwww!
Okay, I'm done telling baby stories for now. Hopefully we'll get back to our manga series tomorrow, or sometime this week.
Today I'm thankful for managing to have as much energy as I did yesterday, getting to see the fancy new reptile exhibits (komodo dragons are smaller than I thought! but king cobras are a looot bigger (er, longer, anyway)), having a checkerboard strawberry/vanilla cake to look forward to (for Kimee's birthday dinner), awesome giraffe experiences, and getting to help some of the youth index names today.