But Oliver doesn’t know that. We went to the zoo to see the dinosaurs — actually, the animals, but we got to see some dinos as a bonus. They roared and moved their heads and arms and turned fearless Oliver into a cuddly little rabbit. (Unfortunately, because of a luggage mix-up, my camera ended up in Provo and I have no visual evidence that we even went to the zoo.)
The dinos were, perhaps, the wrong way to start the zoo tour, but we fixed our mistake by visiting the elephants next. Baby Zuri, who is only a few months older than Squish, proved to be a worthy antidote to the dino problem. From then on we were always on the lookout for babies. Baby animals, that is. Human babies were a dime a dozen — I’m pretty sure every single group at the zoo had a stroller or two.
The baby lemurs — less than 2 months old — were probably Oliver’s favorite, but we stayed longest at the giraffe house. The giraffes seemed to sense that Oliver has a special place in his heart for them. He has a painting of one in his room and likes to point out the giraffe-like creatures on the curtains next to his crib. He was quite excited to say “hi” and “bye-bye” to them as they got closer and then farther away while we stood and watched them for 10 minutes or so. There were a large male and female that seemed to be quite into each other, and a smaller one that we guessed was a “baby” (probably more like a teenager) that kept Oliver’s attention pretty well. I know that babies like babies, but watching Oliver watch the baby animals was new to me, and so fun.
It’s funny, but when we went to the zoo, I thought it would be all about Simon. I assumed Oliver was just along for the ride and would pass out the moment we got there, since we went during his naptime. It ended up being nearly the opposite. Not that Simon didn’t enjoy it, just that Oliver seemed much more engaged and responsive than I thought he would be.