Since Her Highness was out of school today for Veterans Day, we thought we should go and do something fun as a family. Fortunately, Bert's boss gave him the day off too, which we were happy about since he can be a real jerk sometimes. (Bert's self-employed.) So, we loaded up the bus and headed to the zoo. I've always found places like the zoo to be somewhat depressing. Those sweet animals pacing back and forth in tiny cages, staring blankly into the crowd, or just sleeping to pass the time. I feel so sorry for them being in a place that is no where close to "home." Okay, so before you click off my site, let me finish... PETA member I am NOT. I'm just saying, it's kinda sad to watch a cheetah, who is supposed to run 70 miles an hour on an open range, pace slowly in a 25 x 25 cell. Agree or don't... moving on.
The kids had a great time. The monkeys seemed to be every one's favorite. We stood and laughed at all the ones we thought reminded us of our own family. The one grooming itself and trying desperately to see her reflection in the water was Her Highness. The little one running as fast as it could and biting the other monkeys to make them chase after him would most certainly be Lightning. There was another one swinging from a branch. Occasionally it would come down as "Lightning" would run by and try to whack him on the head before swinging back up, that was Thunder. The one sleeping through all the chaos would be Bert. And then, I caught a glimpse of me and Hail: A Momma who was trying so hard to pick through a tiny baby's hair and get every last bug out. Meanwhile, the baby who was strapped to her chest with his long arms crossed all the way around her, was moving his head just fast enough that she could only get one or two bugs at a time before she would have to shift her position again. Finally, she gave up on the grooming process and started walking towards some other Momma monkeys, I'm sure to discuss such important matters as potty training and what to do about the biters in the group... namely her wild son, Lightning. As she walked, her baby "Hail" moved in one swift motion around to her back, as if he was on a track that was mechanically operated. He never left her skin, and she didn't mind or really seem to notice.
While we were taking all of this in, Hail of course was on my hip, making his one generic animal sound that he made to each and every exhibit... heavy breathing with a slight grunt as he exhales. Her Highness, the drama queen, was saying things such as, "Are we going to stop at a restaurant on the way home or eat in the car? Cause I don't wanna eat in the car. I'm starving right now though! And, I'm tired of walking. Can I ride in the stroller now?" Thunder and Lightning, were mesmerized for a few moments and actually stood still. I couldn't believe it. The two boys who can make wallpaper peel off the wall voluntarily, who can tear the pages of a book without even opening it, who make me so thankful each and everyday that bedtime has finally come once again... actually stood still. But, not for long. Within a few moments they were back to Thunder and Lightning, chasing and wrestling right there in front of the monkey exhibit.
As we walked away to view the reptiles, I turned back just in time to see the Momma monkey... who still had her Hail strapped to her back and was still discussing with her other friends about the latest fiasco "Thunder and Lightning" had gotten themselves into... staring right back at me. I could have sworn she shook her head as if she was thinking, "Poor human girl. And they say my boys are WILD!"