The San Diego Zoo is running a special for the month of October: all kids under 11 are free! So, though San Diego is an hour-and-a-half away, we piled into the van and made the drive.
Once there, we visited the Children's Zoo, and the Reptile House. JBean was reluctant , but I walked her through it. She has a snake phobia, but a little bit of graduated desensitization is hopefully having her get over that. I had her walk through with Jordan, sort of on the outskirts, so that she could see from afar, but she didn't have to examine the snakes closely. I made sure she knew I was looking at them, and told her a bit about them. And finally, when there was a lizard, I brought her over to see it. She gained accomplishment, and confidence...I set her up to succeed.
I am convinced that is what parenting is...setting your child up to succeed...bit by bit.
She is at the age where the unknown is very scary, so every enclosure we approached, she had to be reassured that the animal was safe, it couldn't get her, and it was NOT NOT NOT a snake. Once she saw the animal, she relaxed and enjoyed watching it. The animals seemed to enjoy us, too. At every stop, I ended up with some great pictures. Almost like the animals were posing!
Ever the homeschooler, JBug brought a notebook and wrote down questions she wanted answers to so she could Google them once we came home. We still don't know why gorillas eat their own waste, though! No, I am not kidding!
When Mr. Mountain Lion saw the littlest one of our party...
mmmm, LUNCH, he seems to be saying as he sees her
"oh Koala Lou, I DO love you!"
"So, tell the doctor where it hurts..."
This is Calvin. He's 100 years old
The giraffe was THIS close!
The Zoo is constructing a new elephant habitat, to be opened in Spring of 2009..the animals will have more room
More Monkey Butt
T, who really loves the zoo (if it's the right one)