Two at the zoo

Devin’s second birthday (I have two-year-old, holy moly) was a fairly peaceful and relaxed occasion, much the same as last year. And, actually, much the same as his birth day the year before that – three and half quiet hours of labour alone on the couch, a somewhat more frantic half hour of waking Jene up and getting to hospital, a fast but controlled half hour in the delivery room, no screaming (I don’t think?) – bam! There was Devin.

When Devin awoke a little after 6:30 in the morning, he opened his gifts from us in our bed. First, a set of Micador early stART Washable Oil Pastels. Then, the Uncle Goose Classic ABC blocks that I’ve been wanting for a long time. We stacked them, spelled words with them, made the noises of the animals on them, and sniffed them. (What? They have a nice woody smell.)

After breakfast, Devin opened presents from his aunties Erinn and Amanda (a swing from Swingz n Thingz) and from Grandma and Poppy (a Hot Wheels Big Air Jump and racing track). Then Jene and I took him off to the zoo. After a week of unseasonably warm and sunny weather, the clouds and cold had returned right on cue and we froze our little hands off in the 9am chill, especially since I had optimistically declared we were walking. (The zoo is a 6km circuit – you can drive, cycle, hire an electric cart, or walk. I spent a few of my teenage years volunteering there, and I walked around it a lot.)

It was soon apparent that walking wasn’t going to work out. Devin was approaching his usual nap time and Jene was hungry, so the morning wasn’t terribly exciting.

Devin was a little wary of the statues at first – he thought they were real.

These ones are real.

Devin confirming what we all suspected – he is not the world’s tallest baby.

There is a fence there – the edge of the dirt drops off down to a deep, fenced ditch. Much of the zoo is like that, and yes, we were very cautious of Devin’s proximity to it.

Have you ever seen a giraffe fight a giraffe? No? It’s not very nice. It’s quite shocking, actually.
I thought they were such gentle giants. I thought, ‘long necks for eating leaves’.
… Not so much.
(We didn’t see a giraffe fight at the zoo, by the way.)

After a few more animals, we all needed to head back to the car.

I used to be able to walk all over the zoo mainly because I knew lots of short cuts. Unfortunately, it had been a long time since I’d been there, and it had undergone a bit of an overhaul, so the best I could do was point us in the right direction and say, ‘I’m pretty sure this should get us back.’ It did. Phew.

We took Devin home for a nap, except, he didn’t nap. He spent the hour chatting and making noises in his room. Too excited? No – we’ve just figured out that his nap needed to be pushed back an hour.
After a quick lunch (and secret purchase of a cupcake) at the bakery, we headed back to the zoo – our pass allowed all-day access – and drove to the point where we’d turned around earlier.

I’m not sure how many second birthday celebrations the cheetahs had witnessed before this day. Definitely at least one, now.

He was so close to blowing out the candle on his own, but couldn’t quite get it. Jene blew it out, and Devin didn’t seem to mind. He was more interested in this…

I’ll be honest – I think that after the cupcake, the zoo was neither here nor there to Devin. The animals were understandably cold and not doing much, and he’s not overly interested in them as it is.

This elephant was all alone, and I felt sad for it. There were other elephants in another enclosure to the left, so I guess they were separate for a reason. Still. I really like elephants.

He was a slightly more interested in the siamang apes, especially when they were right at the edge of their island – there was only a narrow stretch of water separating us, and I think their human-like characteristics intrigued Devin. Then they grew bored with looking at us and pretty much turned their backs, so that was that.

The very last animals we stopped at were the otters.

Otters… are just fun to watch. That boundless energy. Oh man. One of them had a little running and flipping routine down, so predictable that Jene could make a running commentary of it.

By that time we were all tired and hadn’t even made it halfway around. A visit to the souvenir shop wrapped it up, and we went home. Chinese takeaway for dinner and a later bed time for Devy, and that was the first day into our third year as three.

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