lions and TIGERS and bears, oh my

March 3, 2010 § Leave a comment

Did you know that there are Siberian tigers in Greensboro?

That’s what I thought.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Lena has had a bout of sickness that has left her a complete mama’s girl, which is a new experience for me, and wow to I have more respect for my mom now. (Hi Mom!) It’s an ego boost for sure, it calms that one fear in my heart, the one that was afraid L wouldn’t know who her momma is, but no, I’m definitely her person. I’m her person! I’m someone’s person!

The downside of this, 7:45 and I’m about ready to pass out and I say, Lena, Don’t you want Nana to read you that book?–No! Do taco with mommy! [Taco: This great (sarcasm) game that Alex invented than involves a person (the taco filling) lying on the pillow (the taco), having that pillow folded up around you (ala a taco) and being lifted up into the air. Lena loves this game. Alex gets more air than I do, although recently Lena has been doing taco to various stuffed animals, and when we were talking to Alex on the computer the other day, Lena said, “Do taco Alex?” And Alex thinking futuristically says, “yeah, sure” and before I can stop her, Lena lifted up the computer and set it back down on the table.]

Sorry got off on a tangent. But as I was saying.

So this weekend we go to visit Alex in Greensboro. We’ve hit a year. Lena and I have been making this trip for over a year, and thinking about it in terms of Lena, it’s really crazy. A year ago Lena wasn’t even talking, and our weekends consisted mainly of walking around outside and cooking elaborate dinners. This weekend Lena happily repeated “Pizza’s here!” And declared firmly at 9 PM that “I like pizza.” And we could do nothing but acquiesce.

But this weekend we decide to go to the Natural Science Center of Greensboro.

Have I mentioned how much I love Greensboro? The science center is one of those humble institutions run, predominantly it seems, by volunteers. A nice old man greeted us as we entered inquiring as to whether we had been here before (we hadn’t) and if we were sweethearts (his words, not mine). We were informed that the otters were being fed in 30 minutes, and that the tigers were Siberian tigers so they love this weather. Uhh…did he just say tigers?

THE TIGERS WERE SO COOL. Did you know that tigers are the largest solely carnivorous land mammals? Or, that if you shaved a tiger it would still have stripes? I didn’t.

The tigers were not only HUGE, seriously, this thing had a head the size of a microwave, and they were CLOSE too. This one tiger was pacing back and forth right in front of the glass.

They also had a cheeky little sign up next to the fence that said “Tiger Spray Zone”.

The Natural Science Center has a lot of really cool things going for it, besides the tigers too. They have a boardwalk over the maned wolf enclosure that’s made from recycled telephone poles. A lot of the tires and pipes and play things in the monkey exhibits were recycled and donated. Pretty cool!

Okay I swear I’m not being paid by the Natural Science Center of Greensboro, but it was super cool. You could walk right up to the wallabies, and you could pet the sheep. The otters were really playful and came right up to Lena which she was tickled about.

Oh and they had a TWO HEADED TURTLE. SERIOUSLY. TWO HEADS.

And the play area was great. They had all of Lena’s favorite things, mini shopping carts and cereal boxes and plastic veggies. I watched her push her cart to the cash register and “scan” each item. Another story for another day–but it was a cool lesson in gender roles, boys and girls were both happily playing house.

Lena had such a great time we had to literally drag her kicking and screaming to go home.

Having a two year old is so much fun.

No really! I wasn’t being sarcastic! Because she’s so little and so full of emotions, it’s so fun to watch her cope and categorize. She now says “I’m happy” or “I feel better” after she’s been crying, a perfectly succinct way to just get back on track. She’s so matter a fact about it it’s as if she just decides it right then and there. I admire her resilience. She’s a really cool kid, getting more and more kid like each day. At this point I’m just doing my best to keep up.

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