Saturday, September 09, 2006

Two at the Zoo !

The two of us, the two of them. Two kids, two moms. Two strollers, two pushers ... However you want to look at it, we had too much fun at the zoo today !

For the past several weeks, Eric and I had wanted to take Elaina to the Akron Zoo. With gun show season upon us and full weekends ahead, I didn't see that it would be likely that the 3 of us would make it there anytime this year. With that in mind, I happened to be talking to my dear friend, Becky, and invited her and her grandson along for the day. Becky, as you remember is one of the nurses who cared for and loved Ava in her time in the hospital.

Becky and Lucas were on board for a fun filled day at the zoo. With Elaina being almost 2 months older than Lucas, it was fascinating to see them interact and point out the animals to us and each other. They both had their share of, "uh- uh-uh's" with their little arms outstretched. Unfortunately, many of the exhibits weren't especially stroller-rider-friendly and neither Becky nor myself, were willing to gamble on getting the kids out, only to have to pop them back in their seats again two minutes later.

During our stroll throughout the zoo, we came across a kid's recreation area to let the little stinkers burn off some energy. They both did really well sitting in their seats for the majority of the time, but they were more than ready to get out and explore and play. I'm not sure what a one year old finds more fascinating; a rock wall that they can't climb or the gym mat on the floor that's cool to the touch and squishy -but no interaction. Becky, however, found a fabric wall that had the most wonderful shadow on the other side. With the kids on the shadow- side of the panel, she began to play "get-the-baby-through-the-screen." At first, she scared Elaina as I held her hand up and Becky grabbed it through the fabric, but then she caught on that it was a game and squealed with laughter.

Elaina did manage to find some entertainment on her own. She was determined to get to the top of this wall ... and she did. (With a little help from mommy.) She was thrilled ! This is the kind of girl that makes for a proud daddy - not like he could love her any more, but this could be the start of plenty of recreation together.

Just when we thought our day couldn't get any better, we ran into Nancy, the babysitter, with her daughter and grandkids. Elaina was sure that she had come just to see her. She couldn't get out of her stroller fast enough to give "Nana" a hug and kiss. She didn't want to let her go until I reminded her that I wanted to keep her for the day and then she was fine. Way to hurt a mommy's feelings.

So, it really turned out to be a perfect day. Despite the threat of the rumbling thunder in the distance, the sun was shining and the temperature was great. After the zoo trip, Elaina even let me run a few errands on the way home. She, of course, was rewarded with a shared ice cream cone at the mall after such a long day.

What a beautiful day to spend with friends and a great experience to share with my daughter ! Thanks for coming Becky ... we'll be looking forward to seeing you in the fall for " Boo-at-the-Zoo ! "

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