Amy: The fuckin' zoo sucks, dude.
That Weird Kid From Jerry Maguire: YOU SAID FUCK!
Amy: Fuck yes I did, fucker.
Anyway. Hi. We went to the zoo today. Why did we go to the zoo today? I DON'T KNOW. It sounded like a good idea at the time, which was while Jason (who took an impromptu day off, or maybe he got fired, I do not know nor do I care, all I know is he woke up this morning and vacuumed the house) and I lingered over a lunch of wine and stinky cheeses, gazing at our angelic sleeping child. The zoo (which was just a few blocks away) definitely seemed like a good idea right then.
Jason: Noah loves animals! He'll love the zoo!
Amy: (thinking) Noah loves animals on the TV, just like he loves anything that's on the TV, including commercials for erectile dysfunction aids and So You Think You Can Dance.
Amy: (out loud) That's a great idea! Yes, let's go to the zoo.
So we went, and for several hours we wandered around the heavily-under-construction-completely-all-fucked-up National Zoo. Because it's the law, and because we love America, we went to see the pandas first. The female panda sat on a log. The male panda scratched his balls. Noah refused to even look in their general direction. Jason suggested we move on, but God DAMN it, I was not leaving the zoo without seeing that baby panda, who was born last July when I was hugely pregnant, marking the first and (hopefully) last time I actually felt insanely jealous of a panda.
The baby panda was sort of hiding behind a tree. I maneuvered my way through a crowd of photo-takers towards the far, far corner of the viewing area and sort-of half climbed up on the guard rail (WARNING: KEEP OFF GUARD RAIL) and twisted my torso over the rail until I saw the top of the baby panda's head.
I walked back to where Jason stood with the stroller. "Okay. I saw the stupid baby panda. We can go now."
"What did it look like?" Jason asked.
"Like a panda." I shrugged. "Although between you and me? I think Mei Xiang was stepping out on Tian Tian, if you know what I mean."
I elbowed him in the ribs suggestively. He did not have the foggiest idea what I meant.
We wandered around for awhile, marveling at the complete lack of visible animals, although this did nothing to damper our enthusiasm or determination to create magical awesome moments of childish wonder for Noah.
"NOAH! LOOK AT THE MONKEY! Wait, no. That's a rock."
"NOAH! LOOK AT...." (scanning exhibit for sign) "LOOK AT THE BAMBOO!" (pause) "Bamboo? Seriously? What the FUCK?"
"That's even worse than that sign over there labeled BEES AND WASPS, and there aren't even any of those either."
"Not that I'd really want to actually SEE bees or wasps..."
"No, me neither. I just dislike signs that LIE."
Finally, we actually saw some real live hot animal action.
"NOAH! LOOK AT THE BEAVERS! LOOK AT ALL THE BEAVERS! THE BEAVERS ARE EATING CARROTS, NOAH. AND THEY ARE ALL WET. HA HA HA WET CARROT-EATING BEAVERS."
Jason offered to buy me some ice cream after that, possibly to get me to shut up. I took Noah over to the sea lion exhibit so he could become entranced with a nearby garbage can. Jason returned right as one of the sea lions began barking loudly, which evoked the tiniest hint of a smile from Noah, which made both of us LOSE OUR DAMN MINDS.
"NOAH! LOOK AT THE SEA LIONS NOAH! NOAH! WHAT DO THE SEA LIONS SAY? ARF ARF ARF ARF!"
"Oh my God, you seriously bought a Choco Taco? From a stand called the BEAVER HUT?"
After the sea lion, the only other animal that Noah paid any attention to was a pigeon. He was actually pretty jazzed about the pigeon.
"Perhaps we should have waited until he was older to do the zoo," Jason said morosely as we stared at a map, desperately looking for the exit.
"Perhaps we should have remembered that we kind of hate the zoo," I sighed, "Every time we come here, we spend half the day staring at empty pseudo-exhibits of bamboo and fucking PRAIRIE GRASS and...wait. Where are we?"
Somehow we'd ended up on some remote outer walkway of the zoo, behind some kind of administration-like buildings, and as we tried to figure out WHERE THE DAMN ZOO WENT, a huge truck rumbled by and went through a large and imposing gate.
"Holy shit, " I whispered. "It's Jurassic Park. They so totally have raptors in that truck."
Jason (wisely) ignored me and pointed out that we were actually coming up on some kind of weird petting zoo thing. "Look," he said. "Goats!"
"OMG GOATS." I gasped. "THAT ONLY PROVES MY POINT."
We decided to not force Noah into petting the goats or cows ("He'll only get attached, and then it'll be that much worse when the T-Rex eats them.") ("God, Amy. It was barely funny the first time. Let it go.") and continued our march towards the exit. Noah saw another pigeon and shrieked with giddy delight.
Noah also seemed to really enjoy his very first cab ride (because fuck this walking shit, I think were my exact words), and on the way home Jason mentioned that hey, at least at this age Noah was too young to throw a temper tantrum and demand that we buy him some expensive stuffed animal from each of the zoo's 30-odd gift shops.
"Totally," I agreed. "Especially since it'd most likely be an animal that we hadn't actually seen that day."
"Seriously. Like a bee!"
"Or a raptor!"
"Exactly. Although after today, I'd have no problem buying him a nice stuffed beaver."
Our cab driver gave us only the slightest glance in the rear view mirror as we both dissolved into laughter. It was a great, great day.