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I took the boys to the zoo today with Mikey’s friend Alyna and her Mom.  I figured we needed to get out of the house on the first Sunday of football season.  By the time we left the house, Pierce had had his 47th tantrum of the day and fallen asleep on the ride.  I put him in his stroller and he continued to sleep for probably about 30 minutes.  Michael and his friend ran ahead and behind and wherever they were distracted into wandering, while Bonnie and I kept reeling them in.  It was excessively hot, but most of the animals were pretty active today, so we got to see the iguanas and lizards up close.  Even the tortoise was moving, and Gus the camel wasn’t sleeping for once. 

When we got in the herpetarium to look at frogs and snakes, it was deliciously dark and cool.  However our ears bled from the kids’ loud enthusiasm.  The snakes were active, too.  The king cobra, from the interior of his terrarium followed us around the room—I’m not afraid of snakes, but I found that a bit sinister. 

There is a playground and a splash pad at the zoo, at opposite ends of the park.  The splash pad we have yet to use, but the playground is always a stop on our tour.  Alyna and Mikey played for a little bit, and then I decided to turn Pierce loose just about the time that the other two were ready to move on.  Naturally, Pierce got “pierce-ed” off, and decided not to walk.  I had to carry him arch-backed and squawking to the butterfly garden before he would straighten out and walk on his own.  We were right by this cute little fountain/pond with a giant frog squirting water at a huge dragonfly.  I’m not really sure what happened, but no sooner has Pierce gotten over his tantrum and he strolls over to the fountain.  I think he’s simply going to check it out, but he never stops.  He walks all the way down into it (it’s about 12” deep), and slips to his knees.  I don’t even have time to think!  I have to walk into this pond with my shoes on and grab him before he goes under.  The water is so warm it feels like pee, and it’s a little slimy.  Pierce is soaked to his shoulders and no worse for the wear; however, I ‘m more than marginally embarrassed as other zoo visitors are watching this wonderful example of parenting unfolding.

Well, moving soggily along, we continue to see the other exhibits at the zoo.  While Mikey and Alyna are checking out the tortoises and emus, Pierce is playing in this mulchy area, where his Frankenstein gait causes him to fall and coat his fountain dampened body in dirt and mulch.  It just gets better.  By this time he is full of it.  At one point he wanders into a cordoned off area of the zoo, to which I have to run after him because he has selectively gone deaf to my voice calling his name. 

The goats, Llama and sheep were our last stop, where Alyna pointed out a green Anole lizard crawling on one of the fences.  No sooner had she shown it to her mom, and then she had it in her hand.  Stealthy like a cat!  The kids got a charge out of “Greenie” for a few minutes, while he squirmed and chomped in terror.  Then they humanely turned him loose in the goat corral.  Hopefully they are vegetarians!

It was time to part ways, as Alyna wanted to play on the splash pad, and Mikey didn’t.  I knew what Pierce would choose, so I didn’t even give him the option.  Once we got to the car, I stripped  Pierce to his denim Huggies, and let him ride home in the raw! 

I’m tired…

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