Yesterday I pried my cold-ridden Father out of his bed and essentially forced him to drive Charlie and I to the nearest train station, then guide us to the Calgary zoo.
Yes, the zoo. I've never much liked zoos but it was on my parents' List of Things To Do with Infant Grandchild and so on we went to tick it off. Handily this was a great excuse for me to catch up with old and very good friends of mine and their three youngest children who came along, basically, as spud-sitters.
We saw many animals. The spud even called some of them by name. He even went 'wow' and begged to be taken back to the elephants for a second go round; unfortunately all of this seems to be lost to him now as if you ask him 'Do you remember what you did yesterday' all he can tell you is 'Four trains!!!' because we had to take two C-trains into the zoo and two more back to the car. He also demanded we rent a little cart to drive him around in and then spent the entire day sitting in it and flirting with my friends' daughters or trying to push it into handy passers by.
Some of the time however he wanted to walk around and this is where having three babysitters who shared some of his interests was pretty great. It's a case of setting a thief to catch a thief. When your two year old darts off into an impenetrable crowd of zoo visitors, who better to dart after him and bring him back then another small person who can fit through the crowd? When he wants to climb the stairs over and over again in the elephant's viewing area, who better to handle the situation then a few responsible youngsters who also fancy a bit of a climb? It was great, I have to say, truly great to be able to watch him enjoy himself so much without lifting much of a finger. It's an argument for older siblings, really; I'm wondering if I can rent some.
Grandad for his part was dragged hither and thither and by the time we got home was wiped out completely. The spud awoke twice in the night: once to ask 'How many trains Mummy?' and once to say 'Two trains Mummy, two trains', each time plopping back to sleep immediately after I said 'Four trains, Charlie'. As he is sleeping in my bed here he has easy access, meaning that each time I woke up with his big eyes about two inches away from mine and his hot breath in my nose.
In the meantime, he finally got to see some real monkeys rather than his very favourite toy monkey puppet who travels everywhere with us; I just hope that the next time our monkey 'visits' I'm not going to be asked to mirror some real monkey actions as well; swinging from the ceiling I just might be able to manage; licking my privates however is totally out of the question.