Looking around at the Reston Zoo yesterday, it seemed that Brian and I had the youngest little one there. Now… I know that Bennett isn’t quite eight months old yet, but do you know what I’ve noticed? When I point at an object, rather than staring at my hand and finger, he’s finally following my gaze! The minute that Bennett was able to do that, I knew it wouldn’t be long before I was taking him to explore and discover animals.
And while, yes, Bennett did notice some of the animals, it was Brian who ended up being the most entertaining.
Strapping on my Moby to secure Bennett in the joey hold, with folds of fabric twisted and tied about my torso, I looked at Brian.
Me: Do I look like a ninja?
Me, slowly alternating exaggerated stomps: Do I look like a sumo wrestler?
Brian: Yeah. A skinny, sexy sumo wrestler.
Oxymoron? Perhaps. But I’ll take it.
Over at the Reston Zoo, we enjoyed getting to feed and pet some of the animals. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen tortoises and I’m still in awe over how prehistoric they look! There were camels and porcupines and zebras and kangaroos… Bennett was partial to the ducks.
In one area of the zoo, the animals roam a much larger patch of land and we patrons explore that area by means of a wagon ride. Being of brilliant mind, I had us snag a seat in the back corner so that our view would be the least obstructed. And that seemed perfect… until I realized that this put us in the most accessible spot for the ostriches. And obviously, if you’ve ever made eye contact with an ostrich, they want to kill us.
Square Piece don’t do no biggity birds. No no no…
And while I already know this about myself, Brian was just tapping into his unknown fear of being pecked to death.
Periodically, the wagon would stop and we’d all have the opportunity to shuffle around a bit. The thing about the wagon stopping was that that’s when the animals would approach us for food. Men, women and children were holding out their cups of pellets, mostly feeding bulls and yaks while being eyed by the emus and ostriches. At one stop, I had gotten up and was hovering closer to the center of the wagon, my back to Brian, making sure that Bennett was out of reach of the bird beaks but could still see the view.
In a wagon full of children, all of a sudden I heard my husband exclaim, “Oh $#@*!” from behind me. Brian had looked to his right only to discover the intense face of an ostrich, half the size of Brian’s head, close enough to kiss him, ready to root in the diaper bag for some pellet loot.
While I hoped that his outburst didn’t embed itself into the minds of the young children surrounding us, I couldn’t blame him. ‘Twas a scary sight.