Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Zoo

What kind of self-respecting mother/blogger goes to the zoo and forgets her camera? Yep, you guessed it! ME! We took the whole family to the zoo on Aaron's birthday Saturday and I forgot pictures! I was so disappointed, I bought a disposable Fuji camera. I am so used to being able to take any picture I want without running out of film, that I ran out of exposures an hour into the trip. I'm really bummed that I can't share the cute pictures of the kids with you, but I can share a funny little story from that day. Pictures aren't necessary for you to grin. (I hope!)

We were at the Dallas Zoo. In each of the different zones/areas/whatever of the zoo, there are footprints from that type of animal. For example, on your way up to the elephant habitat, there are huge elephant footprints in the cement walkway. The girls found this extremely exciting. Avery would ask, "What kind of animal made this?" and then walk in it to see if its footprints were bigger than hers. She was obsessed with going to see the gorillas, so the monkey area was our first destination. As we walked along the cement path, she would say "Mom, look at these Chinese footprints!" I'm like, "What? Chinese footprints?" And then I would look around, hoping that there were no Chinese people around to question why in the world my daughter would assume that Chinese people were a zoo exhibit. I can assure you, we are much more worldly than that. First of all, we don't think people who are different in us belong in a zoo. Second of all, Avery knows all about Chinese people because we have neighbors who are from China and who visit there every year and bring us homemade Chinese food. So you can imagine why I was horrified that she would assume Chinese people were so amazingly different that they would be on exhibit.
Anyway, every time she saw a footprint on the way to see the gorillas, she yelled it. "Look! More Chinese footprints!" I was beginning to get a bit irritated (I don't like for other people to embarrass me. I like to be the one in control of embarrassing myself.) I said "Avery, those are not Chinese footprints! These are all animal footprints! Only animals belong in the zoo. Please quit saying that!" She looked at me as if I had two heads, then simply shrugged and walked on. She didn't say much more. Until we got to the chimpanzee cage. And I said "Look, Avery, there are chimpanzees!" She said, in a whisper so I wouldn't get onto her for saying it again, "Did they make the Chinese footprints on the sidewalk?"
All of a sudden, I understand. Chinese is her word for chimpanzee. DUH.

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