What a week, 5 amazing days off work, spent with the little man and his mum. We have spent the time enjoying days out and one of those days was spent at Chester Zoo. Now me and my OH love the zoo and albeit he wasn’t quite of this world yet the little man has been before. When his mum was 8 months pregnant was the last time we were there, although I am hoping the sounds he remembers are not my screams as I ran out of the bat cave like a scared little girl.
We were really looking forward to this visit as it would be his first and we felt he may be just about old enough to get something out of the day. We arrived and my usual rule of thumb is hot foot it over to the Tigers. I love Tigers, my favourite animal and I love to see them whilst they are awake and to do that you have to see them first. So we shot past everything and made it to the Tiger enclosure. Perfect timing 2 cubs playing about, toy fighting, chasing each other. Dad prowling about, protecting his family and mum taking in some sun. Tempted to throw in a lazy mum joke here but thought better of it and we will just say she deserved the downtime.
I shot a few photographs and looked over to see if my son was sharing my own excitement at these wonderful animals. Not a flicker, in fact I am not even sure they registered on his radar. I wonder what will?
Lions and leopards came and went with much the same result. Our little man seemed more interested in all of the people around him, nosey boy that he is. Bears up next and they were just being fed. A big old bear eating his lunch and a cub whom we watched sniff his out, grab it and run off. Still no real sign of acknowledgement.
After lunch we were essentially at the start and the big elephant compound (we by-passed first time around to get to the tigers). They were all congregated at one end feeding. As we stood there watching he started to get animated. His babbling increased ten to the dozen, then the most amazing thing. As one of the baby elephants wandered off from the rest he started to watch, smiling. The young elephant started playing and splashing in a pool and he was squealing and laughing with excitement. Was this something he could relate to, he himself loves splashing around in water. We spent 10-15 minutes or so watching this baby elephant and not once did his eyes divert away. In fact whilst he was infatuated with this scene he himself had become the centre of attention of those around him, as they laughed at his excitement.
Butterflies also had some impact on him, all those colours in a small environment. Much like the bat cave however I will not go anywhere near. Beyond all those pretty colours lurks a rather sinister looking creature, do not be deceived. However, I apparently cannot teach that to the little man, so he went in with his mum.
So it’s not Lions or tigers or bears. It’s not the orangutans that his mum loves to watch. He has found his very first love of something that is different from his mum and dad. Our little man likes elephants, I wonder if it will last?