Laelia and I went to the zoo yesterday and again this afternoon while Daddy had to work late. It was a lot of fun to see all the animals she recognized. And if you’re curious how many different kinds of animals are  at the San Diego zoo, the answer, I discovered, is three: Birds, Doggies and  Ooh Ooh Aww  Awws. :)

Birds were everywhere and  included  flamingos,  ducks,  peacocks, fish, leaves off trees, lizards, small children,  the sky lift and restaurant  awnings. :) Monkeys were called  “Ooh Ooh Aww Awws.” And we also  saw a vast array of doggies, ranging  from the dirty doggies (pigs), the big doggies (elephants), the doggies we got to pet  (goats), the little doggy (bunny), the big, white sleeping doggies (polar bears),  the doggies that played in the water (hippos), etc, etc. Any time I corrected her, she ignored me, leaned over,  looked right  at the animals and said, “Woof woof woof woof!!” It was kinda cute, and VERY stubborn. :)

One time (yesterday) we accidentally brought  our stroller into the petting area so the nice zoo keeper had to turn us right around. But when he saw  me carry in Laelia in her  casts, and realized why I wasn’t putting her down so she could run around, he quickly felt unnecessarily guilty. He told me in a quiet voice that he was sorry about the stroller and that he understood a bit of what we were going through since  his wife was in a wheelchair. [As a short aside, it is very common in my experience for someone to find out that Laelia is disabled and then say, "Oh yeah I know exactly what you're going through! My uncle's brother's cousin's best friend's nephew  has (fill in condition that has NOTHING to do with arthrogryposis and usually involves some sort of mental condition)." At least in this case it was his wife, not some distant relation, and he really did feel a camaraderie with us.]

Then the zoo keeper (nicest guy in the world)  got out a bunny from  the back area and let only Laelia pet  it. When the other children started to gather around,  he put the bunny away because the bunny “was shy.”


Doggy!!! (No, dear, that’s a bunny.) Woof woof woof woof!

Despite enjoying the special treatment, I will probably cover up her casts next time we go to the zoo. I got too many negative comments about Laelia’s “broken legs” by other parents. Not negatively directed towards me, but said amongst themselves in a disapproving tone, or explained to their curious children in the same disapproving tone. Sometimes said with the obvious intention of me overhearing! One time I realized what was said a little late  and even though they were heading in  the opposite direction from us,  and we were more than ten feet away, I called back, “She had surgery! She didn’t break anything!” Yeah embarrassing, but I felt it had to be said. :) Next time we go I’m definitely going to have to cover them with something.

But then there were plenty of nice people who were not judgemental at all. They mentioned something and I just explained that she had club feet that finally got some surgical attention (MUCH shorter answer than that she has arthrogryposis, etc.) and  that was fine. Those nice people just said she was cute, or wished us a quick recovery, or continued to wonder aloud why  my daughter  was  barking at the giraffes. :)

It was fun to see how much Laelia enjoyed the zoo now that she’s older.  She  was very wide-eyed for all the animals she could see.



And not so wide-eyed when the animals were hiding. :)


Face plant! :)

Oh and Laelia now says, “Bye bye zoo!” :)   And if you ask her what sound a donkey makes she says, “Aww Eee!” (Instead of Eee Aww.) :)


One Response to “Zoo”

  1. Melissa Rowe says:

    Arrrg…why do people think they always need to enlighten the world with their opinions? *rollseyes*

    Well, glad Laelia had fun!

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