A trip to the zoo

For Father’s Day on Sunday, we loaded up the car and headed down to Marwell Zoo. From an animal-viewing perspective, it has to be said it wasn’t the world’s greatest success.

Zac was excited enough when he arrived, making a bee-line straight for the road train. After that, he asked for an ice cream, climbed all over the playground, showed a complete disinterest in any animals, had lunch, showed a complete disinterest in any animals, went for a ride on the miniature steam train, had another ice lolly, showed a complete disinterest in any animals, played with some stones while chatting up some older girls, took a second ride on the steam train, then engaged in a sit-down protest as we walked back to the car park.

Trains - yay! Animals - meh

Toby, meanwhile, chilled a lot and generally peered curiously all around him as he got pushed from pillar to post. I thank God on a daily basis that our younger boy is considerably more low maintenance than his brother!

Toby's chilling

Not that it was all bad, by any means. The weather turned out much better than we had been expecting – sunny and pushing the mid-twenties temperature-wise. We had an enjoyable picnic lunch in the middle of the day, during which both boys managed to sit quietly for ten minutes at the same time, which is virtually unprecedented. And Marwell is a fine place to see a good variety of exotic animals up close out in the open. I managed to get a few good shots with my camera as I pushed a sleeping Toby around in the afternoon – see the bottom of this post for a sample.

It was just a shame that Zac continues to show little or no interest in animals, meaning we (and Heather in particular) actually got to see very little. In fact, the only time he expressed any real interest was when it became clear that we were leaving, at which point he started wailing that he wanted to see the meerkats. Go figure.

No doubt he will eventually enter a phase when animals are the most interesting and exciting thing in the entire world, but he certainly isn’t there yet. Maybe there’s some kind of delayed reaction that goes on in his head. At the moment, he seems to be developing quite a liking for riding on trains. In fact, he keeps asking about going to Reading on the train again – a trip we did about three months ago during which he fidgeted and moaned and wouldn’t sit down for more than ten seconds, but which clearly left a lasting impression on him.

So, while I don’t think we’ll be taking the boys back to Marwell for a while, I think Zac and I may be toddling off to the station again some time soon …

Meerkat
Giraffe
Leopard