o'side daddy raisin' younguns in socal

January 14, 2007

wild animals

Filed under: — crowder @ 12:44 am

Took the boys to the World Famous San Diego Wild Animal Park today.  Drove there, loaded ’em up in the stroller, got ’em inside the property and let ’em loose.  They ran to their favorite waterfall first thing.  Five minutes were spent admiring the waterfall (a new speed record) before bustling away to admire — and feed — the mother and baby gorilla sculpture.  We were sternly advised by a far-too-old groundskeeper to be very careful of the area around the sculpture due to the apparently-deadly needles falling from the trees looming over it.  In spite of an utter lack of regard for this warning, no casualties were sustained.

After feeding the metal gorillas, we continued to the railway ride that runs in a circuit around the park.  It’s being expanded to include a roadway tram, but that work isn’t complete yet.  On the first trip down the path, we discovered that the train had just left.  Not daring to tempt fate by making both boys wait for the train before boarding it for a forty-minute ride, I turned back and instead let the boys run in circles in the switch-backs leading up to the ride.  After a good ten minutes of running in circles gleefully, Ollie announced a poo.  Myself an experienced poo-harvester, this only caused a brief delay in our excursion, in spite of what Ollie considered a “very messy poo, daddy!” (he was right, too)  After that we made another descent toward the railway.  This time, our arrival was timed perfectly with the last few moments of loading the train, so there was no waiting before the ride.  Which is good because about 15 minutes before the end of the ride, Ollie announced that he was done.  Now.

Though Ollie is a very verbal little boy, he also is a firm believer in the theory that actions mean more than words, and so he made his announcement not in words, but instead by kicking the seat in front of us, thrashing, rolling in my arms, trying to bite me (these are relatively playful bites, not the cannibalistic assaults of his younger days — but still unpleasant), and so on.  This left me in the awkward position of trying to subdue him while holding Reid — or rather the lump of sleeping toddler he had become — with one arm, while trying to prevent the thrashing Ollie from injuring myself or the people in front of me, or flipping himself out of the train.  No one died and a good time was had by all.

The overzealous, needle-obsessed groundskeeper then somehow managed to find another opportunity to scold me as I was pondering the exit sign of a restaurant near the railway ride.  I immediately turned to find the other door (the one labeled “enter,” as the groundskeeper had irritably informed me) and was in no time the proud owner of a hamburger (for myself) and two colorful plastic buckets full of a very small portion of breaded chicken and enormous quantities of chips and animal crackers.  The end to a delightful trip to the wild animal park.

After that, we headed home.  “NO nappytime, JUST home!” Ollie boldly asserted during the drive.  Ten minutes later, he and Reid were both fast asleep in the car.  Some strategic and tactical errors were made during Operation Enduring Naptime (the transfer of personnel from car to sleeping quarters), however, and so Ollie’s prophetic prediction largely came true.  He napped forty-five minutes or an hour before waking up ready to face the world — Reid wrapped up a tidy two-and-a-half hour nap just before their sitters for the evening (some close friends of ours) arrived and we left for our anniversary dinner.

Anniversary dinner at the Napa Rose at Disneyland was delightful.  There’s something very pleasant about not having to bolt one’s food down (we did anyway, of course, probably the result of a parental survival instinct which dictates that the slowest eater loses), being able to chat and enjoy food and wine, and all of the other luxuries of a nice dinner, without having to know the location and potential lethality of every piece of cutlery on the table, and without having to defend one’s drinks and plates, and without having to exhort two two-year-olds to eat anything that isn’t mac & cheese.  That’s right.  We missed them.  They apparently enjoyed an evening at home and went to sleep on schedule, without event.

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