There's a little local zoo that the kindergarten and first grade classes are going to this week and I got to tag along as a chaperone while getting credit for my own classes. There's not much more to win in that situation. I have been looking forward to today for weeks- ever since my mentor teacher and friend asked me if I wanted/ was willing to go. I couldn't even let her finish before saying: Yes, please!
There was such a great turn out in terms of parents being able to come along that we each only had two kids per group. I adored my kiddos. They were sweet, smart, a bit rambunctious, and loyal to the bone. Lol, those poor things. I'm the type of person that will volunteer for every little thing: "Oh, I'll carry the bucket of lunchboxes. Oh, I'll stop traffic and direct the kids across the parking lot. Oh, I'll go grab that straggler that's across the entire field." And instead of listening to my last minute "You guys know what to do- go ahead without me while I ___. I'll catch up." They would ever so patiently (mostly) insist on waiting for me, even if it meant we were last to get somewhere. Incredibly sweet of them, right?
I'm also a sucker for some (okay, more than average) animal trivia. So I was constantly showering them in information as we ooh'd and ahh'd over the critters. I tend to forget how some kids often mix up the names of "lions" and "tigers". It drove me bonkers today, lol. We probably would have been able to see just about everything if the bus that was supposed to get us to the zoo wasn't an hour late. Oh yes. As two classes and a boat-load of parents awkwardly waited in line on the sidewalk 15 minutes past our departure time, the original driver decided that they didn't feel like going to the zoo that day. So, instead, they went home and canceled. Excuse me? It's not like you have to go in there with us and it's only a fifteen minute drive into town. At least my seed catalogs were a big hit to pass the time together.
Luckily, another bus was in the area when the district scrambled to find us transportation. Our driver was so patient, understanding, and kind. He got us there and we scrambled once we got into the gates. It was an absolutely beautiful day to go. Sunny but not hot with a bit of a breeze. Many non-school families had brought their children to the zoo today too. That got a little confusing when I saw faces I didn't recognize running amuck. Nope, it is not polite to reprimand the children of strangers. XD I'm glad that many of the kids recognize me from seeing me around so much. They're so happy to finally establish a name to my face, lol. So if I give them my "What do you think you're doing? Oh, really now." look, if it was one of our kids from school, they immediate grew wide-eyed and sane again. They really are good kids.
Oh heck, here are some of the better pictures:
Green Tree Python. Reptile butt.
Zzz... I can relate.
Hairy Screaming Armadillo. We got to pet him!
Bearded Dragons. *Hugs*
Chilean Flamingos with Koi and ducks in a stinky pond.
Looking over the pictures that I've managed to take (which reminded me of all of the pictures I've taken on any vacation since my freshman year of college), you'd think I'd have some fascination with butts. I'm always in the back of the pack with people because I'm making sure that no one's left behind, etc. Then, there are these animals at zoos that could not care less about making eye contact with a human who has no food to offer. Even then their eyes are on the prize. Anyways, it led to many a colorful and honest conversations between my mentor and myself and the kids and myself. LOL. Oh, Mother Nature.
By noon, we had to be back on the bus to get a ride across the street to a nice big park for to eat our school/ bag lunches. Lots of families there too. We descended upon our lunches and the shade, even had a few minutes for the kids to run amuck on the big playground in the middle of our field. I always find amusement in their stunned faces when I get right in there and play with them on the equipment. "But I SAW you! Playing on the playground! What were you doing there?" Um, I was playing. What else are you supposed to do on a playground? "I saw you on the slide!" Well, I really like sliding. "Oh. Me too. ...Wanna come with me to the ____?" Sure! Is pretty much what happens. Then they are elated that there's an adult that is willing to get in there with them.
I pretty much win the game though. My kiddies passed out the moment we got back on the bus to go to school. I think they were the only ones, lol. An active pace physically and mentally to look at animals mixed with crazy antics on the various little play areas throughout the zoo. They are going to sleep like rocks tonight! Bam! You're welcome, two families.
Sorry, I'm still excited that I went to the zoo. I love animals, zoos, and aquariums, lol.