Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Of Goat Turds and Babies
Well, I can't believe I'm posting this before my child's birthday party post... but hey, I am working on that post too...
First and foremost, the new baby Clouded Leopards at the Nashville Zoo are the cutest things I've ever seen. If you've ever been to the zoo with me, you well know that the Clouded Leopards are my FAVORITE exhibit. I make no secret of it. BUT, after today's visit, I have 2 bones to pick with the zoo. Where should I start?
Location, Location people!!! Upon first entering the zoo, I asked the nice lady where the babies were located. She replied: "Oh, just walk past the Meercats, pass the amphibians and the snack shack and you will see the petting zoo on the left, they are in there!"
I'm silently cringing and thinking to myself "This woman has to be nuts, WHY would they put the baby leopards in the petting zoo, if you can't pet them?" UMMM, nope, she wasn't nuts.
After an hour in the 'jumpy-jump' and a potty break, we make our way over to the petting zoo. Let me just say, that I have NEVER let my kids go in there, and had NO intention of EVER letting them experience this gross germ, poop infested place.
So here I am, waging war in my head:
"I can NOT go in there....
....but the baby leopards, they are going to be so cute....
....poop, poop, poop; dirty children with dirty hands running everywhere, with poop caked into the tread of their size 8/9 crocs.....
.....oh, but the clouded leopards, they are your favorite....
......look at that nasty camel with the crooked hump spitting in that kid's face, ewwwww.....
......cute little cuddly faced clouded leopards, you have to see them.....etc."
You get the idea. This conversation went on in my head for what seemed like an hour. Grace is pulling on my hand, dying to enter this promised land of fun and excitement that I have never let her experience before... What do I do????
I reluctantly park the stroller, unstrap Harper, grab the camera and walk toward this land of germ infested poop caked animals, that are roaming around for a scratch or two. As soon as we make it inside the first gate, I sternly say to Grace, "Honey, we are NOT going to touch any animals and if they walk toward you, run the other way... and look down so as not to step on the millions of goat turds that are scattered all over the mulch. We don't want to get poop on your new purple size 8/9 crocs, do we?" She looks back up at me, a little confused and says " OK, mom... but that little boy is petting the baby goat... I want to pet the goat too...!" "Well, no, sorry we are not going to pet the animals this time, we are just going to see the baby leopards."
I carefully tip toe, examining the mulch beneath each step, and instruct Grace to do the same... we finally make it to the babies! Well worth each tip-toed step! (for me at least) Grace holds interest for maybe 3 minutes, and that darn baby goat catches her attention.
Now, let me interject this point here, there IS a zoo worker hired solely for poop-scooping, and she is there doing her job diligently, but do you know how much a goat can crap? This little one, smaller than a house cat is walking around flicking it's tiny tail in the air spraying what seems like thousands of little marble sized turds EVERYWHERE. It was like a poop sprinkler, I've never seen anything like it. There's no way on earth that one poop scooper can scoop the sheer volume of turds flowing from this little tiny goat's behind. Imagine if one of the adult goats had decided to get up and walk around, you just might need a rain slicker.
In a moment of pure weakness, Grace takes off running after this tiny bundle of poo, desperate to pet it, and steps right into a little nest of freshly sprayed goat S#*%. Awesome; not only that, but one of the turds eeks through the little hole in her crocs and now resides between her toes. DISGUSTING. Now she is wishing she'd listened to dear ole mom, and had not tried to catch the little bugger. But I am left with the job of fishing the turd out of the shoe, cleansing the foot and the shoe and restoring order to Grace's little world. Sounds fun doesn't it.
So, please dear zoo official, MOVE the non-pettable (sp?) animals OUT of the petting zoo/turd farm and to another location where we can all enjoy them. Thanks!
Here's beef # 2: I'll try to make this short and sweet. I am not sure whether to direct this statement at the parent's/caregivers of the children who visit the zoo, or at the zoo itself, but we'll go with the parents/caregivers: Please, for the love of all that is good and holy, DO NOT let your children just up and urinate wherever and whenever they so choose (unless wearing a diaper)! I am not kidding, today alone, I saw 3 children just stop, drop'em and pee wherever they got the notion. And their parents did not even think twice about it. Grace looked at me and goes "MOM, that is yucky... why is he doing that??? Did he just pee on the freet (street)??? Eewwwww."
Maybe the zoo could benefit from a couple of additional bathrooms, but people, please... stick your child in the stroller, or pick them up and take them to the bathroom yourself. This is disgusting. Trust me, I understand potty training, but folks, that is what potty training is.... TRAINING your child to USE THE POTTY, which INCLUDES holding it for the necessary 5 minutes it takes to walk to one. If you are concerned about the child having an accident, bring a pull up, or an extra change of clothes. And, if your son (or daughter, yes there was one of those too...) tells you they have to pee, turn your lazy tush around and walk to the restroom, that's what they are for.
Ahhh, I feel better.