Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Zoos and stuff

Everyone (except Don) had Monday off for Columbus Day, and it was a gorgeous day here, so we decided to go to the zoo! It's been a couple of years since we've gone - I think Scooby way 5 and Tarzan was 2 - Cinderella was just a wee babe in the stroller. Tarzan and Cinderella were apprehensive about seeing lions and tigers before we went. I tried to explain the whole concept of them being in cages, but it didn't seem to be getting through. After we got there, though, they liked it just fine. The tiger came right up to the glass and laid down with his back to us. The daddy lion roared REALLY LOUDLY right before we got up to their enclosure. I thought it was a recording. Shows how dumb and jaded we are! I had no idea a real lion roar was so loud! Tarzan enjoyed the monkey house, although since lots of other people had the idea to go to the zoo on their day off too, it was pretty crowded. And smelly. The bat cave was a big hit, and so was the meerkat tunnel. It was pretty funny - the kids crawl underneath the cage and there's a plastic tube where they can stand up and look at the meerkats right up close. From the parent standpoint, the kids popping up looks just like the meerkats popping up! Then we went to the naked mole-rat crawling tubes and played for awhile (just like the ones in McDonald land, really) Then we ate some hotdogs, and Tarzan and Cinderella went into the 2-5 year old play area while Scooby finished up. About 3 minutes later, I go over to check on them, and Tarzan is gone. I retrace our steps back to the naked mole-rat tubes, and try to find him there. Nothing. Well, lots of other kids, but not him. I get Scooby and ask him to go into the tubes to look for him. It's been about three more minutes now. Not long, really, but long enough for all the news horror stories to flash through my head. But then I turned around and he was at the food counter, talking to two zoo employees. When I ran over to them, he was telling them his brother's name, and that he was 7. After giving me a few dirty looks, the zoo ladies released him to me. I hugged him and asked him where he'd been. He said he'd gone back to the tubes and then couldn't find me, so he found someone that worked there and said he couldn't find his mom. I was so proud of him!!! I hugged him and told him he'd done exactly the right thing. I then told Scooby what he'd done, and as the big brother, he congratulated him too. Scary for a few moments, but nice to know that the lessons have sunk in.
We've been keeping pretty busy here. I've been doing one or two shows per week with the murder mystery group, and preparing a message which I'll be speaking at church this weekend. We've also been trying to locate and destroy a bees nest somewhere outside the attic windows. That involved moving many boxes and vacuuming up lots of dead bees. We then had to bring up all the air conditioners, and Don decided to seal the attic windows with plastic for the winter. That involved moving more boxes, and discussing thoroughly the contents of each one, and did we really need to save all those baby clothes? Don also replaced our kitchen sink faucet, which had rusted completely through and squirted water in every direction when turned on, and the handle to our dishwasher, which broke off the other morning. He's been quite the mister fixit!
We're working on night training with Cinderella. Not a whole lot of success so far. Scooby made a chart for her though, with rewards listed for each level of success. He's getting frustrated that he can't check off boxes on the chart, but no more frustrated than I am with the changing of the sheets every night! Oh well, we're almost there.
Oh, and totally random - one of my new favorite shows is Studio 60. Check it out, if you haven't already. It's funny, smart (although sometimes a little too self-consciously smart) and it deals in a really healthy way with some tension between a Christian character and the rest of the characters. I recommend it. (The show, not necessarily the tension!)
Peace out!

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