Today we went to the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory. I feel like it’s a must-do in the winter: a chance to see green plants and feel humidity again! We invited our friends Lora and W; I’ve known Lora for ages (ie, decades), and W is 1.5yrs older than M — and both Lora and I are pregnant right now! I’m biased, of course, but when it comes to toddlers/preschoolers, you couldn’t ask for two better kids to take on an outing. Zero drama the entire day.
This was the first time I’ve taken M to a zoo when she’s been actively interested in seeing the animals. Last spring, she was quite nervous about the big animals, but this time around she was actually excited to see the zebras and giraffes. Her favorite animal that we saw today, bar none, was the little mouse running around in part of the conservatory. She thought he was ‘soooo cute’ and wanted him to sit on her hand (he didn’t). This is playing nicely into my plan to get ‘M’ a pet hamster in a couple more years! M napped the entire way home, and as soon as she woke up, she said, ‘I saw Squeaky Mouse!’ Squeaky Mouse being the name of our imaginary mouse — and therefore all mice.
I’m trying to do more structured/intentional activities with M, so I took our outing as an opportunity to do a little ‘extra’. Last night, we sat down and made a list of the things we thought we would see at the conservatory. I thought up most of the list, of course, but M thought we’d see bees, a mouse, water, and the sky. M added some color to the drawings (I helped her choose the colors of some of them), and then we brought our list with us today. When we stopped for lunch, we crossed off the things we’d seen. I think the only one we never found was ‘bees’. Which, you know… maybe in another five months!