Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Animals on parade

Gus loves animals. All types--big or small, furry or feathery.  We're really lucky that we have a little lake near the house (about a 10 minute walk away), and on our way to the grocery store and playground, that is home to many a water fowl, including a pair of swans and their babies. One of his favorite activities is to go down to the lake and watch the ducks. Although he does seem to think that it is a good idea to walk into the water to try and get closer to them. Yeah, I have to hold on pretty tightly there. (Oh, did I mention that Gus is walking? A lot? And has been for a month now? Sorry blogworld, I am neglectful. I am hoping to [record and] post a decent video of his bipedal talents any day now. She says for the 25th day in a row.) And I swear that he can say duck. Sure, da is the "word" he says most often, but when he says it while looking at the ducks, I do like to think that it is intentional.

Gus petting Jon's childhood dog, Flopsy. Who just died last week.
We'll miss you, Flopsy!

We also have many cats that roam the neighborhood. Which I generally don't think of as a positive thing about our house. But Gus certainly rates it highly. The other day, there was a cat in our back yard, and Gus and I sat together for about half an hour, just watching it sit, and clean itself, and chase the ants. It was very sweet. Gus, I mean. Not so much the cat. I mean, the cat was pretty regular. I am not really a cat person.

Gussy looking at the geese when we went to the farm last month.
It's really difficult to get a picture of a baby
while wearing him in a sling on your front.

So last weekend, Jon, Gus and I were in Bristol for a wedding on Friday and had all day Saturday to have fun. Knowing his love of animals, we decided to take Gussy to the zoo. Oh. my. goodness. did he love it!  It was as if each animal was more exciting than the last. He actually had a bit of a cold (which of course he came down with the night before we left for a long weekend, but it didn't seem to hold him back too much) and was kind of sleepy by the time we arrived, but he would not let himself fall asleep when there were amazing animals to be seen. We saw flamingos, lions, several types of monkeys, penguins, and seals, and walked through the butterfly house. Probably some other things too, but those were the ones that I remember him liking the most. It is just so lovely to see his little face light up with pure delight as he looks at the various animals. Jon and I kept saying to each other, "I am so glad we brought him here. Look how much he likes it!" I had thought that just a morning would be more than enough time for such a little one to spend in the zoo, but when we had to go to meet some friends for lunch, I felt so guilty making him leave a place where he was clearly having so much fun!  And he did fall asleep eventually--as soon as we walked away from the animals to look for a place to change a very wet diaper!  Guess we'll postpone that nappy change for a little bit :)

Knowing how much he loves animals, I am really very tempted to get Gus a pet for his birthday in a couple of months. Nothing big--I am not up for the responsibility of a dog and, like I said before, am not really a cat person. But maybe something little, like a guinea pig or hamster or something. Does anyone know about these animals, if they are good for toddlers and easy for moms to take care of? Or is it a silly idea for me to bring a pet into the house? Do I really want one more thing that I need to clean?!

6-day-old piglets at the farm.
Maybe we should get on of these--they are so cute!
Nevermind they grow up to weigh about 400 pounds!


  1. We haven't decided whether to take Peter to the zoo yet. I'm not sure he's observant enough to notice animals in cages, although he loves our neighbors dogs and hearing the birds. We'll see.

    As far as rodents go, gerbils are the easiest to care for and fairly entertaining to watch. Guinea pigs need their cages cleaned often or they stink in a few days. (Gerbils can go a couple weeks!) Hamsters are sort of in the middle. I wouldn't recommend letting a toddler hold any of them, though. They all can bite if annoyed.

    We've talked about getting a puppy for Peter, but decided he doesn't have an attention span to make it worthwhile at this point, plus it's an expensive "toy." If you end up getting a pet, I want to hear how it goes for you!

  2. Way to go Gus! Can't believe he is walking that is great. I hope to see video sometime soon. :)

    It is so cool watching little ones react to animals. Doc too loves animals too (especially his puppy brother Payton) but a few months ago we went to the zoo and some of it was great, but most of it was so far away from us and the animals were just laying and not doing anything so it wasn't very exciting. He did love the dolphin show though! I would love to bring him to a farm/petting zoo which is much more intimate.

    Pets are awesome! I agree with the whole cat thing but a little rodent might be fun. I've never had one though so I can't really help out there.

  3. Any furry pet can smell very fast unless you change it a lot. Also, if he pets too hard or something most gerbels, etc. could bite gus. Does he like fish? A betta would be VERY easy for mom to take care of but still give him something to look at.
    -Julie A

  4. Thanks, Julie and Catholic Mommy, for the info. I've never had any rodents before, so even the basic things you have said have given me a lot to think about! I'll have to do more research and think about whether the benefits will be enough to bring a wee animal into the house, or if it would be better left for a few years. And I don't know if Gus has ever even seen a fish! An interesting option, though.

    Dacia, I can't believe he's walking either! Even though he's been doing it for a few weeks, he still looks too small to be able to do something so grown up as walk!