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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Trip to the Aquarium

 We just LOVE taking Bunny on educational and exploratory adventures.  She's finally old enough, this summer, to really appreciate these types of things.  And she remembers them and talks about them afterwards--that's the best part! We've taken her to a nature center with lots or reptiles she was able to hold and we've taken her to a sweet safari zoo nearby.  Yesterday we took her to the aquarium.  We told her the entire way that we were going to see the "big fish" and during the 1-1 1/2 hour drive there she didn't fuss or complain once about the car ride, she just said excitedly, "We're going to see the BIG FISH! The BIG FISH, Mommy!"  It was awesome!

She enjoyed herself thoroughly as she ran from one aquarium to the other excitedly calling out all the fishies and their colors while standing on the ledge holding grasping or touching the window. By the time we got to the huge wrap-around aquarium that you can walk through--the one with some sharks in it--she was pretty much done and ready to take a nap--she'd seen her share of big fish.

 We always try to get her a little toy that helps her remember the occasion.  When we went to the nature center, she took home a finger puppet chipmunk and a sand filled little gecko (which she adores).  When we went to the zoo, she took home a bufalo.  So I was hoping to have her take home some small stuffed animal or figurine that would help her to remember all the fish we saw.  We got into the gift shop and said, "Bunny, you get to pick a toy to take home.  Go pick a toy!"  I wasn't sure if she understood.  She certainly enjoyed running around the store taking sweet toys off the shelf and trying them out for a moment or two.  Then we'd show her something else and she'd drop what she had and grab the new toy. 
 At one point, she found this silicone(?), hot pink penguin.  Dave and I don't really like toys like that because they get dirty and wear out.  We were waiting for the moment where she got over it and found another toy.  But now.  She walked around the store snubbing everything else and cuddling that little penguin and playing with it's spiky, silicone hair. She even walked right up to the check out counter with it.  It was at this point that I realized that she had, in fact, understood our proposition of picking out a toy she liked.  We tried the "switch and wow" method.  I snatched the toy away as Dave shoved a dolphin in her face.  But she wasn't having it.  We almost had her to the point where she was ready to buy a hammer head shark but there was sadness in her eyes as she hugged it.  I understood, then, that we're no longer at the point where we get to pick out what she likes.  She has decided preferences and we're going to have to go with those when we give her options.  "Dave, I think we're going to have to let her get the penguin," I said reluctantly.  So I grabbed her hot pink penguin and gave it to her and she joyfully snuggled it and caressed it like a long lost friend.  Because I really wanted something to help her remember what she had actually seen in the aquarium (we hadn't seen penguins), I bought her a little finger puppet shark and a cardboard book all about many of the different species we had seen.  She didn't care about them at the moment, but she will.  And hopefully it will help her to remember. 

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