I'm always looking for a great "threat" by which to scare my children into brushing their teeth more expertly, efficiently, and often. When I saw opportunity for teethbrushing wisdom at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo I leapt at it. That particular zoo, this was our first visit, has a feed-the-giraffes experience. It's really quite spectacular (though certainly the most -- if not the only -- impressive thing at the zoo) and involves buying strange wafers, handing the wafers to your kids, and asking your kids to go up to the fence and feed the giraffes.
I mistakenly thought it would require that they actually stick the wafer through the fence. Oh no. The giraffes stick their gnarly black tongues through -- about 9 inches -- and snitch the wafers before the kids even know what has happened. (This is actually very funny and in the case of my temperamental Mason, cause for some serious pissed-off-ed-ness.)
As soon as I saw that big nasty tongue I told the kids their tongues would look like a giraffe tongue if they didn't brush their teeth. Mason winced. Cooper looked at me, then cocked his head ever so slightly (as if to mull over my credibility) then said, "Gaffs are gross!"
Photo Note: Ouch! Metal ants are kinda hot!
We had a great time and wrapped up the day with a ride in the zoo's chair lift. This was an activity that I didn't quite think through before plunging ahead. Two toddlers, one mama and a wet chair lift (it was raining). If you've ever been on a chair lift you know there are no seat belts or really any other restraining mechanisms except for a lap bar that doesn't really come anywhere near your lap. So, basically either kid could have slipped through quite easily at any time. Coop was a pro. He didn't budge and gripped the lap bar with just a hint of fear. Mason fell asleep, in my arms of course, and missed the whole thing. I wish I had some pictures of the chair lift thingy. But I really couldn't manage holding sleeping Mason, guarding Cooper from falling through the seat, and taking a picture. I'm crazy, just not that crazy.
Photo note: Mason thought the Howler monkey was a bit intimidating. Frankly, I wanted to strangle it, SOOOOOO loud.
One of Cooper's friends traveled with us to this zoo (road trip). She's darling and I couldn't resist taking this picture of the two of them sacked out in the car on the way home. It was a long day and they fell asleep nearly as soon as their little head's found a comfortable spot -- cheek to cheek.