I’m not a big zoo fan, as a rule. But babies seem to bring about lots of exceptions to these kind of rules – especially when they’re restless and grizzly and need to be entertained. So we had a day out at the zoo today with three of Scrip’s friends (and three of mine). It’s the first time I’ve been to London Zoo and it was a good experience overall – although I did think some of the animals needed more space to roam.
Scrip’s had a nasty tummy bug and now has temporary (I hope) lactose intolerance again so she’s not been herself. So whereas she’s usually interested and engaged, today it was only a few animals – namely the meerkats, monkeys and peacocks – that made her chatty and smiley. On the other hand I loved them all – from the beautiful, graceful giraffes to the African wild dogs padding along beside the canal.
We chose half term to go, without realising it, but luckily it wasn’t too crowded. Lunch was a bit hectic, but I think that’s partly because they’re building a new restaurant so we ate in the temporary one. The changing facilities weren’t great in all parts of the zoo, and they could have done with a bit of an inside play area for smaller children – our little crowd got quite restless towards the end of the day. But it was still a great way to entertain urban 1ish year-olds whose animal spotting repertoire doesn’t tend to extend beyond pigeons, dogs and – Scrip’s particular favourite – cats.
All in all, it was a good day out, if a pretty expensive one – £23ish just for me as Scrip went free. Let’s hope they put a bit of that money towards more building work – namely extensions for some of the animals’ enclosures.
It’s here, with all its festive jingles, glittery tinsel and sparkly lights. Not to mention midnight masses and harmonious carols. I’m certainly getting into the spirit – I had a lovely evening at Regent’s Park on Monday listening to some beautiful Christmas songs sung by some amazing singers. And much as I thought it would be just another season for Scrip, passing her by in much the same way our first summer holiday and first Autumn walk did, she actually seems to be taking note. The baubles are a frequent source of wonder and the advent calendar is better than any pop up book.
I won’t be rushing out buying mammoth lists of toys and games and helping her write a letter to Santa just yet, but we’ve agreed she would actually like a stocking and a few bits and pieces wrapped up in tissue to open on Christmas morning. Not to mention a satsuma or two, which randomly seem to be a good teething aid (provided by Abel and Cole, of course…)
I can’t wait for the break – to spend more time with her and equally to be able to let other people enjoy time with her too. And for her to see both sets of grandparents – particularly my dad (or ‘Grandy’, as we affectionately call him, repeatedly) who hasn’t seen her since August. She might even enjoy her first taste of turkey (I’m hoping it goes down better than chicken which, judging by her reaction, is akin to sprout pate for her fledgling taste buds). And I can’t wait for our annual (or now every other year) trip to the beach on Christmas day. She may not be able to walk off her lunch independently, but she’ll definitely enjoy a look at the roaring sea and dogs racing up and down the shore.
So, I’m pleased to say the first Christmas may just be marked in 9-month old Scrip’s calendar as much as it will be in ours.