We had a good ol’ family day out today! I’m a bit ashamed to say that I have lived within an hour’s drive to the Bronx Zoo for over five years and yet today was my first visit there. A travesty I say! As we neared Exit 6 on the Bronx River Parkway, I could see the zoo through the trees and I was actually giddy with excitement! As the day went on, I wasn't disappointed! I had a blast and walked my legs off! The kids seemed to enjoy themselves as well... at least my daughter eventually enjoyed herself.
My daughter, for all of her six years, has never enjoyed walking around. She has no patience for it and really becomes miserable any time she can't get out of doing it by conning someone to carry her on their shoulders (Yep, she managed to con my husband into doing it today as well). I had my camera with me today, as usual, and wanted to take photos of basically everything, which included my children. She wanted no part of that for some reason. I usually have no trouble getting her to play up to the camera, but lately she's shown me clearly that she wants nothing to do with my camera about as much as she wants nothing to do with long walks. I had yet to get a decent photo of her and after about the upteenth time of asking her to please let me get a nice photo of her, she declined again. I finally, just said "I really just don't even want to take your photo now. Just never mind!""Oh, fine!" she says to me to which I replied "Nope, I don't want a picture of my daughter behaving like a brat anyway." I know, not the most mature thing to say, but I'm not perfect. Her father told her that it's a lot easier to smile for the camera than to be difficult about it and if she couldn't be bothered to simply smile for the camera, then maybe we can't be bothered to wait in line for the carousel. Well, that seemed to do the trick! She not only smiled, she stood behind one of those ridiculous stand-ups with the faces cut out! I was thrilled to get a picture of her not looking away, but I knew it was going to be short lived. As soon as we get her on that carousel, she'll go back to being a sour puss.
But she didn't! She kept on smiling, even after the carousel! She smiled while putting together her lego tile for a mural, while going through the congo exhibit, while checking out the zebras. She smiled the most while searching for animals during the monorail ride... actually, that makes sense! She didn't have to walk!
Well, I was proud of her for turning around her attitude and as much as I enjoyed the zoo (and I certainly did), we were all able to love it all the more because of the light that glows from that girl when she smiles. I love that twinkle in her eye! Even when I said that there was a Children's Zoo and I wonder how many children they have in the exhibit, she grinned! When her father wondered if they take donations, she twisted up that twinkly smile into an intensely thoughtful face. When I replied "Ooh, maybe we can donate you! Wouldn't it be cool to live in a zoo?!" Her mouth upturned slightly on one side, the twinkly charm came on strong and she says "noooo." Well, she got the joke at least. We all left the zoo smiling today, whether there was a camera or not!