Anna, peanut that she is, loves big animals. She is fearless. She loves driving around the nearby farms and looking at all the horses. She's especially thrilled when the horses are in this one particular field, because there's room to pull over on the side of the road and the animals will come right up to the fence. We're careful not to touch them, but she loves seeing them up close, larger than life. (Conversely, when Mary met my former voice teacher's horses, she planted herself firmly behind my leg.)
So it shouldn't shock me that Anna's favorite animal at the zoo is the elephant. We visited on Monday and I had a hard time prying her off the fence to get her to visit other animals.
|Anna last year. Love at first sight.|
The zoo was crowded but Anna was not disappointed. She saw one elephant walking around, one eating some hay, and one playing near the water. All in all, a successful zoo trip.
Tuesday we had our Gymboree class. Part of the class involves the teacher (the sainted Miss Marsha) pulling items out of a blue canvas bag and letting the two year olds guess what the week's theme is.
"I have an animal...it has black and white stripes..."
"Anna, what animal has black and white stripes?" Anna is in a particularly participatory mood this morning but eyes me doubtfully.
"I don't know."
"It looks like a horse," I prompted. "We saw them yesterday..."
Okay, maybe not. Marsha pulls out the zebra.
Okay, it is a particularly equine-looking zebra (thanks, Beanie Babies) but we finally convince her of its true identity. Next up was a monkey, which Anna immediately identified properly.
"Now," Miss Marsha said, "Where would we see these animals?"
"Anna," I prompted, as the kids sat there in silence, "Where do we see monkeys and zebras? We were there yesterday."
I knew driving by the horse farm on the way to class was a bad idea.
"That's a good guess," Marsha said, undaunted, "but where ELSE do you think a zebra and a monkey might be?"
"IN A STORY!" Anna said loudly (well, loudly for her). This gave even Marsha pause.
"True..." she started. "But where in real life do you think we could see these animals?"
And yes, the children's book Mommy Calls Me Monkeypants - a house favorite - does in fact contain both monkeys and zebras.
"What about the zoo?" Miss Marsha suggests. Anna deigns to conclude this is also a good suggestion.
"Anna, it's zoo week!" I said. "Do you want to pretend to be an elephant?"
And we spent the rest of the class playing with playground balls and ignoring my suggestions about pretending to be a monkey or an elephant or a zookeeper.
Anna loves elephants.
But much like she loves Miss Stacie, I guess that adoration doesn't extend to the play floor.