Sunday, March 21, 2010

As if They Needed Anymore Material to Share with their Future Therapists

We headed down to Bolivar on Friday. Before we got there we planned to take the kids to Fantastic Caverns. But the weather turned out to be so nice we didn't want to spend our afternoon stuck in a dark, damp cave so we chose to take the kids to Wildlife Safari in Springfield.

I was half convinced it would be a rip off and we wouldn't see any animals. The opposite was true. So many animals came up to the van I couldn't even drive through them at times. Which is just what David kept trying to persuade me to do. "Just drive. They'll move. They're used to this."

I got braver towards the end. But I just couldn't bring myself to press the gas pedal as a young deer or alpaca had their head inside our van. Even when we rolled the windows up, they would come right up to us and press their noses up against it and I just knew I was going to roll over a toe, or a hoof, or whatever might be at the end of their leg.

The above video was taken right as we pulled into the park. Which was probably part of the problem. It was our very first animal encounter. What you don't see (because I quickly stopped the video 2 seconds before the camel's head came completely through my window)is me screaming, the girls screaming, and Tate's eyes getting big as he scrambled out of his seat and ran to the back of the van. Of course, David got a kick out of the whole encounter and kept trying to entice the camel to eat his little chunk of food. We quickly rolled up our windows and in came his long neck through our sun roof! More screaming ensued.

We finally pulled away but not before Drue had become completely traumatized with big crocodile tears falling to her cheeks. It took quite a bit of coaxing before she would even look out the window at the other animals. But David finally lured her up in his lap and she perked up towards the end of the drive. She declared, "If I had a "Scariest List"...a camel would be at the top!".

Drue and Tate both had to pee pretty bad right in the middle of the trail. Which posed a tricky predicament since you're not allowed to exit your vehicle. David grabbed an empty Wendy's cup and held it carefully for Tate to relieve himself in. Anytime a new potty place is introduced to him, he thinks it's ok to go there whenever he likes. He doesn't even blink when we're outside and he has to pee in the grass. And now, I fear, he will drop trou in the middle of McDonalds and pee in his cup.

It was a little more tricky for Drue to go in the cup but we managed. Odd doesn't begin to describe how it felt to be stopped in the middle of the trail, surrounded by wildlife peering in at us watching our children pee in a cup.

Tate's animal food kept bouncing off his closed window because he kept forgetting to roll it down. At one point when his window was rolled down, he tossed out his little plastic glow bug toy. After the peeing incident he looked back and said, "My bug went out the window". We all looked back and saw about 8 deer surrounding this shiny plastic bug on their trail. So I reversed slowly back towards them and David had to open his door to quickly scoop it up.

We didn't even try to feed the Ostriches or Emus. David was having flashbacks to when he was a little boy trying to feed the Ostriches and being scared to death as they pecked hard into the little bag of food he was holding.

We finished that little adventure off with a walk through the petting zoo portion. A little more our speed. Drue said more than a few times that she never wanted to go back there ever again. Ever.

Here's one more little video of the trip.

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