Jennie had a plan to go to the zoo over the weekend, but for a few reasons, it didn’t pan out like she had hoped. For her actual birthday, however, I was able to take the day off and get her there. It’s pretty ideal, because Eli loves the animals and there’s lots of walking and discussing and learning. He soaks it in and it’s fun for us to watch.

When we got there, the parking lot was full of school buses. We navigated through hordes of kids of various ages, and once we got inside, it was pretty empty. The cooler weather and threat of rain must have kept everyone away, save for the school kids. For us, it was a pretty typical visit – we saw a few favorite animals, Eli played vet for a while, and we brought snacks, but also bought some, too. On the way out, we saw hyenas leaping for some carrion suspended from a rope. It wasn’t some little jump – they were flying. I haven’t seen that before, so that was interesting.

On the way home, we discussed possible dinner options for Jennie’s birthday but Eli threw a bit of a fit in the back seat. He insisted that Jennie fix his stuffed dolphin toy. We could not figure out what was wrong, but he kept saying “wrinkles!” and pointing to its belly. Just before bed, he went back into hysterics, begging us to fix it. After lots of triangulating to determine what was actually wrong, I asked him if he somehow caused the wrinkles, and he said he had.

Then he showed us – he put a hand at the nose and a hand at the tail and smashed in, like an accordion. Mystery solved, but I’m still not sure how it’ll work out tomorrow. We might need to attempt to iron a plush toy. Better hit the sack – I have a feeling I’m going to need all of my mental strength tomorrow.