Oh Hell, Please Don't Make Me Write Sentences Yet
The Nanny Bloggeries

Let's Go to the Zoo. Let's Go Right Now!

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.

Comments

BeLinda

I am first! FIRRRRRRRST. Next time you go to the zoo pretend to see animals. get excited. Yell and point. You will soon draw a couple of other peole who will actually think they see something. Great fun.

BeLinda

I was reveling in my firstness and forgot to say I LOVE YOUR BLOG. You are awesome.

jonniker

I'm totally confused. I thought you were still at the beach! Beach? Zoo? NO! Why? Did you leave the beach early so you could go sweat at the zoo?

Or was this an old post you resurrected because you forgot you wrote it?

Beach. Zoo. CANNOT RECONCILE EVENTS IN MY FEEBLE MIND.

LCR

Love the part about Jurassic Park - that's totally what I would have thought!

foodmomiac

Ha!

(oh, and did you REALLY say OMG? because, there have been a few times when I almost said "LOL" and I would be happy to hear that I'm not crazy. or that you are crazy too. or, whatever)

PaxilMama

Not that you have time to serve as my personal tour guide (what with your wine and stinky cheeses) but we are headed to DC in a week or two. Should we skip the zoo? I didn't realize that it's "heavily-under-construction-completely-all-fucked-up". Geesh. Thanks much.

Amalah

Jonniker - We came back from the beach late Tuesday night (Jason had an unmissable important meeting on Wednesday, which SUCKED). I think my last post mentioned that while I was no longer *technically* at the beach or on vacation, I was still taking an impromptu posting vacation, because blaaaaaaaaaaaah.

Your confusion probably proves my point that I am in need of further vacation time.

Amalah

PaxilMama - Eh. I don't know. There's a HELLUVA lot of construction going on at the zoo right now. Most exhibits are open though, just be prepared to walk a little more than usual.

Also, go in the morning, not the afternoon. All the animals sleep in the hot, humid DC afternoons, a fact that we repeatedly remember when we show up at the zoo in the afternoon.

Erica

The last time I was at the Nat.l Zoo I ended up on a similar path that was not part of the main zoo area. That was where I saw the monkey with four asses. It was asstacular. No raptors though.

Tracy

Last time I was at the zoo was chaperoning my daughter's kindergarten class. And the first thing we saw was two camels -- um... "hooking up". It was LOUD. And not pretty. And all the kids wanted to know what was going on. Good times.

Heather

I love the cheesy Jurrasic Park references. Would've cracked me up, and had the cab driver looking at me funny too.
And try living in a country where the national symbol seems to be the beaver. Yeah, that never gets old. ;-)

kalisah

Our zoo has special late summer hours so that you can see the animals when it's not quite so hot and they're a little more active. You should check on that....when he's a little older.

HollowSquirrel

We were actually thinking of going to a zoo-ish thing this weekend for Jojo. But you've confirmed for me that I'm kidding myself.

Sarah

You only live a few blocks from the National Zoo? I've totally been there! (Okay, seriously, I'm not a stalker, I just like that neighborhood.) At least it wasn't like the time I went to the zoo with my neices and nephew and the bear was playing with himself and the lions AND the leopards were getting it on. My neice said her first phrase. "Look at that!"

Mary Tsao

You have discovered why parents like myself take so many photos. It's to relieve our BOREDOM of yet another zoo, another playground, another music class... You get the idea.

Next time fill up a big 'ol Nalgene bottle with some wine cooler. That's another parenting tip.

kathy

the last time I went to the zoo? i saw a woman, a really pretty on, with a man and two young kids. and she was wearing a t-shirt that said:

I have a pussy.
I make all the rules.

I SWEAR. TO GOD. AT THE ZOO. and I thought - well I have one too, what am I doing wrong?

Did you see her by any chance?

Contrary

Huh. I usually sit here all jealous because look at all the cool shit Amalah has by where she lives.

Restaurants, historical monuments. Tourists to make the large fun of. That kind of thing.

But! We have the best zoo here! A zoo at which there are animals. That you can see!

I might live in B.F.E. where our idea of fine cuisine is the Texas Roadhouse (their salads, ironically, are the by God best thing on the menu), but we have a better zoo!

Hah!

(Please forgive, I've been out in the hot Texas sun wrangling a 3 year old whose favorite word is NO!!! and I might be just a teensy bit...well...psychotic)

Angela

See though, this post, in all of it's hilarity sums up all that I love about the zoo! No matter how shit of a time you think you're having when you're there you always, ALWAYS end up with a fantastic story. Always!

Silly Hily

And that my dear, was a great, great post. Hilarious! I didn't want it to end. Enough about that:
Noah, dude, who do you think is going to win So You Think You Can Dance? I like SO many of them but think it might come down to either Natalie or Allison. Oh but I like Donyelle too. Your mom might disagree but I say take tips from Benji on how to have fun and be silly while taking tips from Dmitry on how to be just down right sexy and you will have to beat the girls away. Not that you won't already have to do that and not that your mom won't be carrying a whoop-ass stick of her own. (running from Amy who will beat me for even mentioning Noah and girls and sexy in the same sentence)
Oh, and Noah, did you maybe see the host at the zoo? She might lead a secret life as a giraffe or at least that's what she kind of looked like a couple of weeks ago. You know what, just have your mom do a post on SYTYCD.

babka

Panda cafe, my darlings. Go to the Panda Cafe--no tourists, no twisty wires, and a far better view of the pandas. even the baby.

Vaguely Urban

At the LA zoo, the animals are out and about (maybe because it's cooler?), but you're still regretting the visit, because all they do is crap and piss.

Unless you're me. Because an elephant pissing? Is fascinating. The volume! The pressure!

hillvalley

You forgot to mention that the zoo was built on a rediculously steep hill and after you have seen all the nonanimals on the way down you have to shlep back up.

Here's a metro tip for all you touristas coming to the nonzoo....don't get off at the zoo metro stop, Woodley Park/Zoo. It's a pretty good walk up hill to the zoo. Instead, go one stop past Woodley Park (if you are coming from DC) and get off at Cleveland Park and walk down the hill. It's only a few blocks and a much easier walk.

haley-o

I was going to go take Joey to the zoo...I thought it would be fun. But, no one else wants to go....I think I know why now...! Sounds dreadful....

bluepaintred

WET CARROT-EATING BEAVERS.

i uh really took that the wrong way, i re read it and it is stiull a very sexyal post . u do know you will get wet beaver google hits now


LOL

Corinne

Oh Jeebus, that almost made me wet myself.

My funniest zoo story involves a 3 or 4 year-old at the San Diego Zoo who was dangling a rubber snake over the monkey exhibit. He, of course, dropped it - and two monkeys fought over it until one wrestled it away from the other and ran off into a tree.

We laughed and laughed. So did his mom.

Allan

I enjoyed today's entry. It was particularly sweary. Can't do that at your other blog, can you?

Teri M.

Tomorrow morning we are going to have Early Hours with a Keeper at the WORLD FAMOUS San Diego Zoo.

Mine's 12 though, so I don't get to indulge in wet beaver humor. At least not out loud.

Cagey

Too funny!

I felt slightly ripped off when I went to the Zoo back in February. Furthermore, it doesn't sound like the pandas have expanded their repertoire much. :-)

bonnie

oh my god! that whole jurassic park thing is hillarious :)

anne nahm

Loved the choco taco at the beaver hut. But must admit long moments of confusion when I mistakenly thought I read this sentence:

"The male panda scratched his balls. Noah refused to even look in their genital direction."

Erm. Sleep deprivation. That's all I can say.

brighton

My favourite zoo memory is of the mommy who kept pointing out animals to her young son who was strapped into a stroller. Sadly for the kid, all the exhibits were surounded by hedges and they were above head level for him, so all he probably thought was, "Damn, all these fucking animals look like hedges".
Perspective.

Aly

Bahahah!

Well, *I* found the Jurassic Park references funny.

*beams*

-Aly

RAS

Ha! I so hate the National Zoo. I've always contended that 80% of the exhibits are empty, and that they just put up signs so people will think that there really are animals in there and that they're just sleeping, or on vacation or something. I swear, I've been there a dozen times and have never once seen a shred of evidence that the wolf exhibit is occupied.

Matt's Mom

I love choco tacos!

Catherine

I love the National Zoo, but you don't want to go there in July. This can't be your first July in DC?

It's like going to Disney's Animal Kingdom or Busch Gardens in the summer. All you will see are the ass-ends of animals napping in the shade, because they are way smarter than we are. Take Noah back around November, he'll be older and the animals will be moving around.

And the photos of that child on the beach? Cutest things ever.

Linda

but it's the baby panda's first birthday! didn't they have cake, or carrots, or something?

(I love your blog!)

amy

I must have seen the zoo at a FREAK MOMENT because I think we saw everything we set out to see:

zooooooo pictures

at least at this age, you don't get much of a protest when it's time to leave. they get into it when they're older, but the downside is they don't want to leave (i got a picture of my daughter throwing herself on the ground because she wanted to stay at the zoo forever).

Julie

Our Easter tradition is to go to the zoo. We've done it every year since Tacy was a year old, even in 2005 when CJ wasn't even three months old.

2003-2005 were all at the Bronx Zoo, which is a wonderful zoo, but really fucking expensive. 2006 was at the Denver Zoo, which is a somewhat less wonderful zoo, but doesn't nickle and dime for every attraction (and parking is free).

I never did make it to the National Zoo when I lived in NoVA.

waywardgoddess

I live in North Carolina. On Sunday, I drove to Richmond, Va with my three kids, to my friend's house (who also has three kids). Together we took our 6 KIDS!!!! To Springfield, Va to hop on eth Metro and go to DC to see the zoo. We did this on Monday (the 3rd). We took our 6 kids through the metro, walked the half mile to the National Zoo, then walked around the Zoo, downhill. One kid got lost. For about 30 mins we looked, secruity looked, we freaked out...then he wandered up and said "Were'd ya'll go?" Apparently WE were the ones lost. At that point we looked at the Pandas, because you can't see those in NC, and then decided that it was too hot, and crowded and we were so not in the mood anymore, to walk downhill then turn around and walk back uphill. So we left.
My kids had more fun on eth metro anyway. We don't have those in NC either. We could have spent the whole day just rising back and forth on eth train and they woul dhave been thrilled. It was the adults were were dead set on seeing teh damn Pandas.
I thought about you while we were there though

earlyduckie

We took Will to the zoo last Sunday. I kept pointing out the animals, and he kept looking at leaves. Finally he showed some interest in a peacock, and then ohh... "a leaf" Logically I know that 7 months is too young to take him to the zoo, but for some reason we have now ben twice. And for the record Cincy may be an armpit, but we have a rockin zoo. Tons of animals, pretty plants, and yummy ice cream with sprinkles!

Starbuck

We went to the zoo in Seattle last month for a first grade field trip. Despite the pouring rain, we saw practically everything because I am a map maniac, plotting a course and tracing our journey in pen so we don't accidentally retrace our steps. (you should see me at Disneyland!)

Also, mating season at the zoo.

Nosila

We went to the Zoo a few weeks ago (okay, like in May), when we visited D.C. and in my parent's zest to do everything D.C. had to offer in a week, we walked all around the entire thing multiple times. I have seen every animal in the zoo. I was really excited at first, because I am 17 and I haven't been to a zoo since I was 1, which doesn't count. Then, later, as my father pointed out, wherever you walk you are still going in an uphill direction, and it was exhausting.

I was hoping you would possibly walk by at some point during my trip and then I could be really squeally and you would sort of nicely make fun of me on your blog, but you didn't. Although I don't know why you would be hanging out at the Washington Monument, the Capitol Building, the Jefferson, F.D.R., Lincoln, WWII or Korean War Memorials. Or the Metro.

P.S. Your three-story-long escalators are the COOLEST THING EVER.

Kelly

We've had pretty good luck with family pets and livestock (local state fair?) with our little one. I'm sorry your zoo experience sucked but at least the pigeon didn't traumatize him by pooping on him or something after he fell in love with it!


(oh, and btw, thank you SO MUCH for your revelation about goldfish crackers! I thought I was the only one and such a damned pig!)

Heather B.

This is the reason for why I haven't been to the zoo since my 8th grade class trip.

My uncle wants me to go with him and my three cousins to the zoo next week. I politely declined and told him I'd rather be trampled during a stampede.

JustLinda

I want to say something witty and entertaining that will bring people linking to my blog in droves, but honest to god I just can't stop laughing. You are a funny, funny woman.

I'm trying to figure out if the choco-taco or the Jurassic Parks jokes were funnier. hehehe Thanks for the entertainment. Awesome post!

Heather

Upon seeing a beaver for the first time, at the zoo, all close-up like, my thoughtless comment was:

"God. I didn't know beavers could get so big."

*snort*

Marie in Kourou

You realize that from now on, you'll get at least one clueless person a month finding your blog after doing a search for "wet beavers," right?

The Wet Carrot-Eating Beavers would be great name for a rock band, it must be said. Or, erm, some kind of band, anyway...

Great post, Amy.

Is Noah still pooping sand?

Brighton's comment at 6:50 PM made me giggle. Poor child.

jonniker

Oops, sorry Amy. I obviously read that one a little too quickly, distracted by the pictures of Noah's little adult expressions and sand-laden feces. And then I read Tracey's account that she was still there, and I was all, "Fwalah?"

supa

The Baltimore zoo has a handful of live, awake, viewable animals. And a baby chimp. Take your baby to see the baby chimp and prepare to have your mind blown.

B-more's isn't free, though. And, uh, kind of far. But still. Baby chimp. Mind blown.

scoutsadie

1. I'm sorry you had a crappy zoo trip. My husband and I had an awesome spontaneous-zoo-trip a few weeks ago... and I got a frozen Snickers bar from that VERY SAME vending machine whence came your Choco Taco. Kewl.

2. Panda cam. The zoo has at least two panda cams at its website, and I have derived much baby panda viewing pleasure thanks to those - maybe they would satisfy your craving. Also, all sorts of other fun cams. Next time you get the urge (and it may be awhile), you could try showing Noah the cams first to see if he reacts to the animals... though it may just be him reacting to the TV-like computer screen. But maybe worth a shot?

3. OMG if you ever do go back, please please go to the invertebrate house and spend some time with the cuttlefish. That thing blew our minds last time, with the changing colors and flirty, coy movements to and from the glass -- I swear it was looking at us; its pupils (very weird, W-shaped pupils) were dilating and it was flashing spots and colors at us. We spent more time with it than anything else that day, and it was totally awesome. If only they had a cuttlefish cam!

The end.

countrymom

Go to the Baltimore zoo- okay, its far and its not free, but you can see the animals up close and there arent those damn hills - been there, done that!~

cai

I was at the zoo last week. They also have a little sign pointing out "poison ivy."

???

Odd zoo.

Lynn

"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'M SO PROUD OF MYSELF!!! I get that one! Oh oh, yay.

I don't actually like the zoo...hubby guy and I live by the wild animal safari and it's too much fun to see giraffes slobbering my hand with their tongues just for food. Or to pet little baby deer (fawns?) and take pictures of a piggy.

Hmm. I think I need to go again.

Kate

Every time I take the red line, I think that I should go visit the Zoo, because the metro conductor makes it sound so fantastic when he announces the station stop. Someday I suspect I too shall be deluded into going back there by the Barry White-like quality of the station announcement and then will be very aggravated and annoyed with myself. Especially when I end up buying a $40 stuffed panda at the gift shop...

the bee

You have to live in our area to appreciate how truly crappy the National Zoo is . The bathrooms make the port authority bus terminal at noon seem clean. Every exibit you go to reports the latest animal death by surgery that is the hallmark of the zoo . The non dead animals look suicidal.
The tourists scream at their kids to have fun, the food costs a weeks salary and still we go ...
I always wonder why .

RAS

I can't help responding to Nosila's glee at the three-story long escalators. Those things? Not so great when they're not working (like, 80% of the time), and you have to slog your butt up every one of the stairs. Several years ago, a man actually had a heart attack after climbing the one at the Bethesda station.

But if you're still in DC and want a thrill, head out to the Wheaton station on the red line. I think it has the longest escalator in the system. It's gotta be at least a quarter mile long. Too bad it ends at one of the world's worst malls.

pete

it sure is nice when the old amalah comes back!

Not your mother, but still....

Dearest Amalah,

You are so clever and smart. And you are such a good writer.

Why does someone so full of talent feel the need to cuss so much? I'm not saying I don't cuss. It just goes so over the top that the cumulative effect is getting to me. Really, you are wonderful and funny and I only mention it because I think of Noah reading these when he gets older and because I'm running for the mouse whenever my own kids are looking over my shoulder.

But you're practically perfect in every other way.

TamariskTree

I've always loved the zoo in Omaha...what with the indoor jungle and the sweet aquarium and now the new gorilla habitat...but I cannot bring myself to go to another zoo. I just know that it will not be as wonderful. I was born in DC and all my family lives within the span of Dewey Beach and Waldorf, but I've never been to the National Zoo, probably because we don't love America enough.

We live in Dallas now and last year a gorilla escaped and scared the crap out of a bunch of people, which would make a zoo trip pretty freaking exciting, but I think they thwarted any future attempts of animal freedom after people got all bent out of shape about that. So unless there is at least a thirty percent chance of animal escape, I think I'll stick to the shopping districts instead.

Frema

Whether Noah knows it or not, I'm sure he had a great time. :)

S_S_S

If you go to the Natl Zoo with your little mammals, take them to the little mammal house. You can get close enough to the animals that even my 7 mo old appreciated them (giggles, feet kicking . . . that's all I need to claim success).

Suburban Turmoil

Give it another year and try, try again! My two-year-old loves the zoo, but I only take her to two or three animal exhibits closest to the entrance- then we go to the toddler play area. Of course, it helps to have friends with memberships so that the whole thing is FREE. :)

julianna

Haha! The zoooooooooooo sucks more and more the older I get. I want to be young and have it be magical again. And ride the giant tortise. Because the San Diego zoo giant tortise rocks. My husband made a comment that we could take our kids to the zoo and have them ride camels. If this occurs, I will be laughing the whole time about camel toes. And if I see any wet, carrot-eating beavers, I will probably just die.

Chantel

This was such a funny read. My 5 month old daughter enjoys those erectile disfunction ads too ("Now Bob has a new spring in his step" with accompanying suggestive BOING sound). How weird/sick/hilarious is that? Also, I rather enjoy the curse words.

catharina

Reminds me of the first time my cousin took her little girl to the zoo. The lions, tigers, zebras? Not in the least bit interesting. But she positively FREAKED OUT with glee when she saw a random black cat cross her path. Go figure...

lorrie

My kids liked to feed the giraffes, but other than that it's usually an expensive washout.

mandy

I hate the zoo! My husband says, "what kind of person HATES the ZOO??!" I am that kind, I HATE the zoo. I hate the humid heat of D.C., and walking in it at the ZOO. Plus, it stinks.

Her Bad Mother

A TACO from the BEAVER HUT?!?!

Seriously?

Do they have hot dogs, too?

~*M*~

Here we thought we hit the zoo on an off day LAST YEAR. Guess they are just really slow there. You'd think being the National Zoo and all that they'd be out to impress. Hm..guess not.

Well hey at least now I can stay home and not waste the time and money to visit knowing it is the same nothingness.

But still, sorry your visit sucked!

Oh and tell the hubs to zip it it WAS funny the first time :D

~*M*~

Oh and please keep up with the swearing. I spend all day long zipping the curse words in so the tiny people running around don't spout them off to random strangers. Hearing swearing after they are all in bed is like candy. MMmmm sweet!

:)

Peyton

So...the Zoo. My husband thought it would be the best things EVER to take Ella to the National Zoo on Father's Day this year. Remember Father's Day? It was 95 degrees in the shade. We had to park in Lot D and hike to the Zoo. I'm not sure what variety of crack my husband was smoking because he wanted to see EVERY possible animal there. We saw the sea lions, the elephants, the giraffes, the pandas, the chimps, the orangutangs, whatever wasn't actually passed out from heat exhaustion. On the plus side, we did get a couple of cute pictures of Ella petting the goat. That was in the first fifteen minutes, before she melted in her stroller.

We won't be doing the Zoo again for a while. Like, not until WINTER.

Kelly

Yesterday I too went to the zoo with my nearly 6 month old son. I don't know why really. He looked at, I think, one animal. Maybe. Mostly he looked at other kids, trees and fences. At least we didn't have to pay for him to be there!

Boozie

Considering how quickly the animals are dying at our zoo, you had a pretty good time!

sarah

A choco taco from the beaver hut. heee hee hee!

I will be going to the National Zoo this coming week with a 2 month old, so except for pushing the stroller, that means basically by myself. Hopefully I'll find some of these animals they're always bragging about having there...

Amber

I went on a trip with my college group to D.C. once and fell in love. the only part about the trip that i hated was my experience at the zoo. I LOVE zoos. my husband and i go to one every time we have a chance. so i was very excited to go to the nat. zoo. i had to borrow money to go across town by myself to go to the zoo by myself and saw NO ANIMALS. and it was also under construction. that was er 3 years ago. or more. I was quite angry. Stupidest zoo in the country is in DC??? what the hell? the one des moines IA kicks the national zoo's ass!! for pete's sake. IOWA! erg.

mom2werogers

Um yeah - Choco Tacos Rock and zoos always SUCK! Lazy animals. What do we pay them for?

The Ray's the Steaks Fangirl

You've got to approach the National Zoo like it's running errands at CVS. It's free, so what do you lose if you stay for only half an hour and leave only $5 poorer? That's precisely what I do: Park in Lot D, do the giant pizza and the Big Cats, then leave.

The best thing is you TOTALLY get credit for a major zoo outing!

(This only works until your child learns to tell time, of course, but you've got a good six years to keep up the charade.)

Real Girl

While I laughed out loud at your zoo derision, I confess to a loooove of the Bronx Zoo. Like, push children out of the way to see the baby gorillas love. And maybe, just maybe, I watched the National Zoo baby panda grow up on the panda cam.

Also? Maybe I unexplainably love So You Think You Can Dance.

mark

Apart from never seeing any animals at the D.C. Zoo I hate whoever decided to put it on a hill that you have to walk all the way back up at the end.

Maybe next time you can enjoy some of these delights I've experienced at other zoos: mating tortoises at the Honolulu Zoo - the sound of climax for a tortoise isn't music to the ears, and an ape pooping on the glass window of its cage and then picking it up and further smearing it on the windows at the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo - primitive finger painting?

Your blog is exceptional and I enjoy it often. Keep up the fine writing.

Isabel

I've been dying to take my 3 month old to the zoo since he was born. I am sick.

JennC

Is this the panda that you were trying to take pictures of?

http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/07/09/panda.ap/index.html

Don't you hate it when you see perfect photos in newspapers of something you tried to take a reasonably decent photo of?...

Me too.

tara

i'm delurking on this one (not becaue i have anything cool or funny to say) because i just have to tell you how much i love your blog!! you crack me up! and i was just thinking that i might take my 9 1/2 month old daughter to the zoo sometime soon and now i will so NOT go there because, hello, we have our own grass and birds to look at here. regular zoos are okay (oh my gosh, the smell!), but i love me some drive through zoos!!

Emily

I read this on Friday and laughed at you.

AND THEN MY RELATIVES CAME INTO TOWN AND WANTED TO GO TO THE ZOO YESTERDAY.

Yesterday.

That damn panda's first birthday. I am putting it mildly when I say it was hell.

Ivie

Amalah, I couldn't help but think of you when I checked out Yahoo! News and found pictures of the baby panda all over the damn place. LOL

LB

The zoo is pointless in the summer. Too many people and the animals are just snoozin' in the shade. Best time to go is in the fall. Try to get there late morning as the field trips are leaving and you practically have the place to yourself.

the zoo DOES get better as the kids get older. When they start reading the info and scrambling up to see animals- it's a great feeling.

emma

The zoo does definitely get better as they get older and turns into a great place to let them loose outside of the house.

We learned to get there as soon as they open in the morning since its not crowded and the animals are usually active.

My son has turned into an animal junkie and now knows so much about animals that he can rival the crocidile hunter on animal trivia.

Ann Coleman

The Baltimore Zoo is pretty good [http://www.marylandzoo.org/] but it is HUGE (acreage-wise). Really!! So don't go on the HOTTEST MOTHERF'IN DAY OF THE YEAR like I did 2 years ago and frighten children with your red-faced sweating and cursing. (I don't have kids. Yet.) Because at one point, at the rear part of the park, I realized we were going to have to walk THE WHOLE WAY BACK and I thought I was going to kill someone. They may have wished I did. Unpleasant. I'll take the aquarium any day, even if it costs a fortune. [http://www.aqua.org/]

Christine

Ok, no more of your blog until my c-section incision is better healed. Because of the insane laughing.

But thanks for bursting yet one more of my new mommy dreams of a perfect childhood experience for Owen. *Scratches zoo/6 months off list.*

Kidding. You rock.

fcali

What great memories you'll have! That is so funny.

Jess

My last visit to the zoo, we passed through exhibit after exhibit which had no animals and until we saw one from a distance that looked "active." We raced over and were so very excited to see something moving besides a leaf. "Prairie dogs!" I exclaimed, obviously delusional and devoid of any knowledge of my own lameness. (Who gets excited about prairie dogs?)My boyfriend quickly took my hand, leading me away while I protested. He whispered quietly (so as not to disturb the kids around us that I had unknowingly lured there falsely), "Uh, those were rats, each and every one of them." I looked back to confirm, thinking he must have been mistaken, but he was correct, RATS, the enclosed area was full of RATS, huge ones! A few weeks later, displayed across the front cover of one of the sections in the Washington Post was a picture of the same thing and the article attached addressed a mile long list of all the numerous problems with the zoo. I was appauled!

It's a sad, sad site. Having grown up there, I've seen every inch of every museum on the Mall, and I can't believe what a fucking disgrace the zoo is in comparison.

However, I do love beavers and I would have been happier to have seen them "munching carrots" than a man made prairie full of rats who I'm convinced ate the prairie dogs.

warcrygirl

"HA HA HA WET CARROT-EATING BEAVERS"

Bwahahahahaha! I love you, Amy, but not in a creepy stalkerish way.

abogada

We've learned the hard way that the only time to go to the zoo is when the outside temperature is around 65-70. Comfortable for us, and the animals will actually move around so we can see them. Otherwise, they just hang out in the shade and in their caves looking out at the stupid sweaty people.

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