This week we went to the LA Zoo for the third time. We have a few friends with LA Zoo memberships who let us tag along since I’m too cheap to pay $20 for what will inevitably be a 2 hour trip to the zoo (between naptimes and mealtimes, that’s all we can muster). We’re lucky to have generous friends.
The first two times we went to the zoo Ro just kind of went along for the ride. She sat in the stroller compliantly and didn’t really have a reaction to the animals. She was most excited to crawl in the filthy playground at the back of the zoo. Talk about panic attacks for a semi-germophobe.
But this time it was like her eyes were open for the first time. It was a true joy to witness her excitement to see all of these animals we read about and sing about at home. Our first stop was the Petting Zoo in the children’s area. The moment we entered the gates and she saw the goats and sheep, she was sold. Someone handed her a paddle brush and she was on a personal mission to groom every animal in her path, including herself (germophobe she is not).
We visited one petting zoo a few months ago, but she was scared of the gerbils and didn’t really want to pet any animals, so I was thrilled to see her fearlessly walk up to animals and touch their faces. When it was time to leave, I had give her warning for fear of a potential meltdown. To my surprise, she let me carry her out and even passed on her brush to the next enthusiastic kid entering the petting zoo. No meltdowns, lots of laughter, truly engaged kid, and a hand washing station right in front of the petting area! All of it made for the perfect activity for this toddler and mommy.