can it seriously have already been two years since nathaniel was born? in a way it seems like he just showed up a few weeks ago. in another way it feels like i’ve been exhausted forever. either way, i can’t even remember what it was like without him around.
actually, on the rare occasion i have the house to myself, or it’s just julia and me at home, we do a lot of napping.
in honor of his birthday, we decided to do something special – we went to the bronx zoo.
after we spent the morning with nathaniel playing with all of his new toys (which he received at his little birthday party on sunday afternoon at our house) for about 10 minutes before moving on to the next toy, nathaniel decided to fall asleep for a nap around 9:40. we had planned on leaving for the zoo around 10 so this was an issue. we decided that our game plan would be to get everything packed and get ourselves ready before we woke him up, got him changed and into the car. everything went without a hitch, and nathaniel fell back asleep by the time we pulled out of the driveway.
of course, the day you want the drive into NYC to take a little bit longer than normal (for napping purposes) is the day it takes us about 15 minutes to get across the GWB and off the cross-bronx about 5 minutes from the zoo. nathaniel woke up at some point around when we were getting off of the bridge because he was excited to see the trucks in the city. as we were in line to get into the zoo parking lot, julia and i were prepping nathaniel for what to expect. he mostly ignored us as he saw the animal pictures and was shouting about what animals he saw. when we told him he was going to get to see real animals, he didn’t seem to excited.
we finally got in and managed to find a terrific parking space pretty much back on the bronx river parkway and set off for the zoo. this was the conversation nathaniel and i had while julia used the bathroom –
a – “do you want to see the elephants?”
n – “nah”
a – “do you want to see the lions?”
n – “no”
a – “do you want to see the giraffes?”
n – “no daddy”
a – “ok, it’s you day, what do you want to see?”
n – “daddy, i want to see a dragon.”
a – “a dragon? really?”
n – “uh-huh” (julia comes out of the bathroom)
a – “julie, he wants to see a dragon, nothing else. i don’t have the heart to tell them they aren’t real.”
well, we didn’t manage to see a dragon when we were there, but he sure loved the animals. when we got to the tigers, he was more excited to see the fish in the water than he was the tiger (which was sleeping). actually, an awful lot of the animal were asleep. the worst part of the day for us all, was when we decided to go on the wild asia monorail. the line wasn’t too bad when we got on it, but of course there are no strollers allowed so nathaniel was just standing with us. when he saw the first train arrive, he got super happy, practically jumping up and down about the choo choo train.
and then the train pulled away.
nathaniel was not only confused by why we weren’t on it, but also completely crushed it was gone. luckily a new train would show up every 5 minutes or so. unfortunately that new train would leave with us still on line. we went through the full range of emotions from elation to despair and over again for about 35-40 minutes while we were on line. when we got up to the front of the line, it looked like we weren’t going to make that train either. luckily, they asked for groups of 2 or 3 people because there were empty seats. julia and i both shouted “we’re 3! we’re 3 people!” and were ushered up and onto the train. nathaniel was super excited, as were we, that he was done with his tantrums.
we didn’t get a chance to see everything at the zoo, but we managed to do about 2/3 of it in about 4 hours. with a two year old that you have to keep taking out or putting in to his stroller depending on what you were seeing, we think we did a pretty good job. next year, we’ll probably head to the right from gate B instead of to the left to see the other animals first.
over all, it was a pretty good day – and we didn’t even feel the earthquake that hit virginia but was apparently felt from atlanta to toronto. maybe next year for that too.