Saturday, March 8, 2014

Daddy-Daughter Date #4: Trip to the Zoo

Today we went to the Zoo of Acadiana.  Bethel has been there three times, thanks to Granddaddy Dill, who gave us a year's membership.  Sarah had to work today, so the girls and I loaded up and went in the red van.  I worked hard to find clothes for them that matched, and eventually I had them in outfits that matched each other, thought not necessarily themselves.

Bethel talked the whole way.  "Daddy, we are going on lots of dates!  Me, you, and one baby.  Auntie Anne has two babies.  She calls them Caleb!  Keep driving, we are late for work.  Daddy, I will work at the zoo! That is a big truck.  This bridge is fun.  We are going down!" etc.  Eden fell asleep.

As we drove up, Bethel saw the sign and said, "Z-O-O, that spells zoo.  Daddy, we are here!"

The zoo here is pretty good for a town of its size.  In the petting section we saw "Llama, Llama, Red Pajama", a donkey, a very pot-bellied pig, some goats, and three large tortoises.  Next we saw the giraffes, which are Bethel's current favorite animal, and one of them walked over to the fence and leaned over.  He was very friendly.

Around the corner we saw a "turtle school", and, as luck would have it, one of the pupils was just leaving.  A peacock was following us down the trail at a safe distance, and as we rounded the next corner he saw a lady he wanted to impress and opened his feathers.  It was pretty spectacular.

At the next exhibit, Bethel said, "Daddy, those are real alligators."  Sarah told me later that last time they were there the alligators were not moving, and Bethel did not believe they were real.  Finally, just before they left, one moved and she was convinced.

As we were leaving the alligators, Eden woke up, smiled, and went back to sleep.

Bethel's favorite place in the zoo is the playground.  When we arrived, I discovered that Bethel's shoes, which she had put on herself, had been on backwards since we left home.  She was not immediately convinced when I told her this.

The playground lived up to our expectations, and the slide was particularly thrilling.  Bethel quickly determined that the path to optimal playground enjoyment was up only one certain steep ladder, through the green tube, around a corner, up an extra step, to the "really tall twin" slides, and down the far "twin" slide (not the identical near one, which was regarded with a distaste that implied its total inferiority).  She followed this same route exactly umpteen times, often pausing to wait for the way to clear before continuing.

Eventually we had to continue our expedition.  We were very interested to see some uninterested zebras, and we were uninterested in an interested white tiger.

Then we saw an ostrich with an anger problem.  He was poking his head out whenever someone was within biting range.  I tried to get a picture of one of these dives, but he was too fast.

We saw some porcupines and decided that their Daddy must have done their hair as well.

We were about to leave when Bethel said "Daddy, we have-ta gotta see the sleepy bear."  I did not remember a bear, but sure enough the map showed that somehow we had missed a bear and he was sleepy.

Once again, I pointed us to the exit when Bethel said, "We didn't see the snakes!"   This I had not forgotten, but I did not want to look scared in front of my two year old daughter, so off we went.  It turns out she shares none of my phobia, and she had to examine each one of them as closely as possible.  I stood back and took pictures.  I am glad she is not scared of them, but by the time we left I was completely unnerved.

On the way home, Bethel fell into a contented sleep (Eden just stayed sleeping), and an hour and a half later we were home, full of mom's tasty leftover enchiladas, and taking our naps.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Daddy-Daughter Date #3: Shadow Theater & Tea Party

For Daddy-Daughter Date #3 we had thought about going several places, but from past experience we've learned that Saturday is a bad day to go to any kid’s places.  Bethel is not in preschool, so we have the freedom to go to parks, libraries, and the zoo while the other kids are in school.  Today we decided to stay home and create something.

I let Bethel pick the cds to listen to, and throughout the morning we listened to "The Legends of Bluegrass", "The Statler Brothers Farewell Album", and "George Gershwin Favorites".

The project we chose was a shadow theater.  While Eden was down for her morning nap, we took a big cereal box (Raisin Bran Crunch is Bethel and my favorite) and we cut a hole on both sides.

We did not get very far before we heard a squawk in the girls’ room.  Eden gotten her foot caught and was sleepily trying to free herself.  She did not go back to sleep, but was her usual cheery self anyway.

Bethel thought we should paint the box before we went any further, so we set up a paint station and went to work.  We used everyone's favorite colors; green for mommy, blue for daddy, and "light red" for Bethel.  We decided that Eden's favorite color is probably yellow, mostly because yellow was all that was left.

Bethel quickly determined that it was most important to paint the inside of the box, though when the project was done you would not be able to see that part.   Electricians and plumbers like to keep their work neat even though it will be covered up, and at least Bethel and I will know it is beautiful inside the shadow theater.
Next we had to wait for the paint to dry, and we decided that this would be an ideal time to play dress up.  Very soon the living room was filled with hipsters and other fashion elite.  You may also notice that we changed Bethel's shirt due to some wayward paint.

 Then we put Eden in the Bumbo and got the "giant purple ball".  We discovered that if you give Eden the "giant purple ball", she will try to eat it, but knock it away.  Bethel was sure that this meant she wanted to play catch, and for quite a while they rolled the ball back in forth with more excitement than the original inventors of "catch" must have had.

Due to our thorough work in certain spots, the paint was not yet dry, but it was time for a light luncheon and tea.  The tea set is from great-aunt Barbara and is one of Bethel's most prized possessions.  The gourmet cooking was courtesy of mom via leftovers.  Pink Bear and Giant Bear were invited and a good time was had by all.

 After lunch things flew by, the girls had naps and mommy came home.  However, later that day the paint had dried and, with the addition of a paper front and light from the window, our theater was up and running.