Jack and I have started a delightful new Sunday routine. He and I go out and do something fun in the morning while Steve writes. Even better, when I put Jack down for his nap, Steve and I then go out together, usually to hunt for a new Stately Wasser Manor.
This week, we went to Niabi Zoo. It's a small zoo, but hey -- Jack is a small kid. Besides, the zoo has pretty much any animal you'd want to see, a train, a carousel, and is a 10 minute drive from Temporary Wasser Manor, so what's not to love? Plus, we got a membership to the zoo, the Family Museum, and another museum, so it's free for us to go. Jack, in fact, had already been earlier in the week with Steve.
Jack and I spent some time looking at the elephants and monkeys, then he told me firmly, "Go see Roary Mommy Daddy now." Jack then proceeded to tell me exactly how to get to the tiger exhibit. I stopped along the way to look at a map, but I shouldn't have bothered, because the kid knew where he was going.
When we got there, both tigers were out. Jack and Roary were thrilled. We spent a long time with Jack holding Roary up to the cage as Roary delightedly said, "That Mommy Daddy! Hi, Mommy! Hi, Daddy!"
Before you start spinning some elaborate (and tragic) backstory about how Roary's parents came to live in the zoo, let me tell you: Roary's Mommy-Daddy are everywhere. Any time we see a tiger or even an orange cat on TV, in a book, wherever, Roary is very excited and declares that it's his "Mommy-Daddy!" In fact, the cat doesn't even have to be orange -- Roary spends a lot of time talking to the purple cat in Brown Bear.
After a long visit with the tigers, Jack, Roary, and I spent more time exploring. We saw kangeroos, including a baby in its mother's pouch. That was cool -- I don't think I'd ever seen that in person before. We watched a bear play in the water. Jack was brave and fed a goat at the petting zoo. And Jack loved the reptile house, where we spent a lot of time watching a turtle try to get off its back. All in all, it was a really great day. I am tempted to go again next Sunday.