I love the zoo. It was one of my favourite summer trips as a kid, and I still get pretty excited any time we go there. My visits to the zoo have decreased over the years, but that is why I had a child, so I have an excuse to go to all the great places of my childhood.
You may argue that Everett is a little too young to appreciate the zoo. I scoff at the notion that anyone could possibly not love this magical place. To prove my point, we recently bundled Everett up and ventured off with him to the zoo. It is a great time to take him, because they don’t charge kids under 4 years old—at 4 months old, Everett seems to get in without any need for proof. I admit he wasn’t as enthralled with the zoo as a 4 year old would be, but I sort of assumed that would be the case. He loves watching Summit the dog and Crosby the cat prowl about the house, and he is a big fan of his animal book (admittedly most of them are in cartoon form); therefore, I was confident he would at least be amused by the moving animals and creatures that were bright and colorful.
Our first stop at the zoo was the orangutans, because everyone loves orangutans. It was the right choice because Everett’s attention was captured almost immediately. Except it was the people watching the orangutans that he was captivated by, which sort of defeated the purpose of going to the zoo. The human beings were closer and making noise, and so he deemed them worthy of his focus. I eventually thought to put Everett right up to the glass, and shortly after that, an orangutan wandered right past the spot Everett was looking. Now he was quite interested in these creatures that were far hairier than daddy but walked much differently than Summit.
Once Everett realized there were hairy orange things that were gallivanting behind the glass, he was zoned in on them. He started following all their moves across the ropes and hanging apparatuses, and was quite entertained by his new discovery. I had a lot of fun watching Everett’s changing his expressions, as he first scrunched up his face while trying to work out what these creatures were, and then opened his mouth and eyes wide open as he was in awe of the antics of the orangutans. He even shot out a few smiles to reveal he had decided these were now one of his favourite things in the world to watch.
We continued our tour of the zoo, but on many occasions watching the animals lost out to watching the people, the shimmering water or colorful flowers. The problem is that Everett didn’t really know that every cage presented a fascinating new animal and so he didn’t make the effort to try to find them, but instead gave his attention to the easier to discover things like water revealing his reflection (it was like a moving mirror!) or a young child stuffing a mouthful of popcorn.
If an animal was colorful enough or it started to move, then usually Everett was captivated. He was fascinated by the polar bear, baboons, and gorillas (my personal favourite animal). An exhibit that housed many colorful and bright fish was a big hit with Everett. He ended up following several that moved around the tank. I loved watching his eyes dart all about as he tried to track the fish. You could see a bit of wonder in his eyes, as he started to realize this is a rather remarkable world he lives in.
I’d rate Everett’s first adventure to the zoo as a success. He did end up missing out on several animals. He definitely got tired out by the end of the day. The important thing is that he was excited with his first introduction with several fascinating new creatures.