Thursday, April 30, 2009

Hanging Out With Some Monkeys

I accompanied my son's third grade class to the zoo last week and yesterday I received thank you cards from the group of 5 that I chaperoned.

One of them thanked me for "pertecting me from dangers." Dangers? Hmm. Not sure how much pertecting I actually did. I suppose that the lions and tigers and bears could have charged us....and had that happened, I would have definitely been there for him. So yes, he was right (and kind) to thank me for putting my life on the line. You are so welcome, sweetie.

Another note read, "the best part was finally geting something to eat." Clearly the third graders need to work on their spelling, but, regardless, I get his drift...after an early lunch at 10:30, we were all famished by 1:00. I, too, enjoyed the ice cream treat. Not sure it was the best part of the day, but definitely up there on my list.

One of the girls wrote that her favorite animal was the "peinguin, even though the room smelled like salmon." Hmm. (Note to self: be sure to check my son's spelling homework every night.) I'm not sure I'll be able to choke down my salmon dinner without thinking of those precious penguins, but that's neither here nor there.

And a very sweet little girl mentioned in her note that her favorite part of the trip was spending time with me. Clearly that child was very bored.

My son's thank you note gave me a chuckle, "I really enjoyed you coming to the zoo with me! I'm pretty sure my group did, too." Pretty sure? Hmm. Cause I think the kid I was pertecting and the girl who attached herself to my hip were thrilled that I was there. Good to know that Beck is "pretty sure". He went on to add that he hopes I can accompany them next year when their class goes to Raleigh. Darn it, I am busy that day, but surely another mother will jump at the chance (of a 6 hour round trip bus ride).

His note was by far the longest as he listed all of his favorite sites from the Amur Tiger to the merkats to the monkeys and then closed with, "But those Dippin' Dots? Don't even get me started on how good they were!" I promise not to get him started as that boy can go into some serious detail about the most mundane topics. True, a Dippin' Dot is about the size of a pea, but I guarantee he could fill an entire page with commentary on the dot: from it's consistency, to it's taste, to how it feels on his tongue, to the degree of the brain freeze it causes, to his favorite flavor, to all the places he's had the Dots, to how much the Dots cost him, etc....

While watching the ginormous turtles roaming in a field at the zoo, my son commented on the fact that it looked like somebody was controlling the animals with a joystick. Yes, he spends a lot of time in front of his Wii, clearly I need to get him out more. Or perhaps groom him to be a 3D modeler/animator. Move over Walt Disney, there's a new kid in town. (Have they come out with Wii Zoo, yet, or is that something we should jump on?)

Technology has changed a lot since I was a kid visiting the zoo. One of the girls asked if I could help her delete some of the pictures on her disposable camera. Hmm. I guess somebody should have explained the idea behind a disposable camera before entering the zoo. Unfortunately, she had taken all 20 shots of the flamingos; which were the very first animals we visited. I suggested that her friends with the digital cameras email her some of their photos and she thought that was a great idea.

It was a perfect day at the Columbia Riverbanks Zoo and I enjoyed myself immensely. Mother Nature cooperated by giving us a beautiful day and the monkeys put on quite a show swinging from branch to branch and hootin' and hollerin' at the kids. My monkeys behaved quite nicely, as well. In fact, I should be the one writing them a thank you letter.

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