We went to the San Diego Zoo yesterday. This trip had been planned for months and months. I was so excited to go. Baby Bug and I read about animals in her books all the time. I thought this would be the cat’s pajamas for her to see real live “oooh oooh aaah aaah’s” (monkeys) and giraffes and lions and tigers and bears. Oh my! It would be just like Disneyland except not so fake and probably not as crowded. Sounds like fun!
Well, I was wrong. The Zoo stank. Don’t misunderstand me though, I love the zoo and I think the zoo is super fun. It’s just not so fun for one-year-olds. One-year-olds don’t like looking at cages with sleeping animals. They’d rather play with the wire fencing or pick leaves off the ground or examine dried chewing gum stuck under the bottom of railings. Anything but look at the boring animals.
I don’t know why I forgot that animals sleep all the time when you’re at the zoo because I remember clearly being very disappointed about the exact same thing when I was a young excited eight-year-old. When you go to the zoo, all the animals sleep. That’s all they do. And if they’re not sleeping then they are leaning up a against a wall looking depressed.
The worst is when you walk all the way over to the other side of the park, all excited to see some polar bears “plunging” into icy cold water and playing with rubber balls and eating fish… and when you get there, NOTHING. Nada. Zip! The polar bears are sleeping! Even worse, they’re hiding in their caves sleeping so you can’t even look at their sad yellow fur!
I turned to Toby and said, “I remember, the last time we were at the zoo, making a mental note to go straight to the polar bear exhibit in the morning because that’s when they’re up doing things.”
(We got to the zoo at two, a very sad and pathetic time to get there considering they close at four.)
Toby said, “I remember making a mental note to skip the polar bears all together.”
Hmph! So why did we both forget our mental notes and cart a squirmy impatient and very bored one-year-old with us all the way over to the other side of the park to see the icy blue polar bear pool with no polar bears in it? I have no idea.
I think it’s parental amnesia or something. Just like we somehow forgot that we are on a budget and we weren’t supposed to buy Baby Bug any stuffed animals. She needs more stuffed animals like a hole in her head.
All in all, I do think the zoo was fun. We just had to do it at our own pace. We had to lower our expectations. So what if we just look at hoofed animals and birds, that’s okay. How many little goats and deer can there be anyway? A LOT. Sheesh! I think every little goat and small deer in the world is represented along the “Horn and Hoof Mesa.”
Baby Bug did like the fish in the Rain Forest Aviary and I got a kick out of the orangutans. You can get right up close to them and pretend to scratch their hairy backs. But they did look a bit depressed. Zoo’s can be so sad sometimes, even an excellent zoo like the San Diego Zoo.
I would definitely go again but I think it will be way way way more fun when Baby Bug is three or even five. I think she’s just as happy playing in the park with leaves and grass as she is looking at giant giraffe heads coming at her. I think the best part of the zoo for her was just spending time with both her mom and dad. Even though Toby is at home every day and she plays with him every day, it’s very rare that we spend the day hanging out together just for fun. I say, lets do more of that.
This is not the pesty post. I’m still simmering on that one.