We took Faith to the zoo yesterday to celebrate her second birthday. The original plan was that we go to the zoo in the morning and have a party at her grandparents’ flat in the afternoon. But Robin’s piano recording session, which was supposed to have finished then, ended up taking place later than planned because the piano tuner had to reschedule. So he didn’t feel he could come for the whole day, and was thinking of coming down on the train at lunchtime and just coming to the party at the flat.
But when we broke this to Faith on Wednesday she didn’t like it at all. She shook her head saying ‘No, no’ as we explained the plan to her and told her that Daddy would be busy playing the piano. Then she looked at Robin and said ‘Pease, Daddy,’ and paused, obviously trying to work out how to say what she wanted to say, before settling for ending with ‘go zoo?’
Of course we rescheduled. I took Faith to the supermarket and then the library in the morning, leaving Robin to do his recording. Faith was probably better pleased by this anyway, as she very much enjoys the sing-song for children and babies that they have there on Saturday mornings. I told the librarians it was her birthday and we all sang the Happy Birthday song.
Then after lunch we drove down (Faith napped in the car) and met up with both sets of grandparents at the zoo. Faith had gone through a list of all the animals she wanted to see when she got up in the morning.
‘Effants at zoo!’
‘No, there aren’t any elephants at this zoo, sorry.’
‘Riraffes at zoo?’
‘No, there aren’t any giraffes either, it’s too small.’
‘Yes, we’ll see monkeys at the zoo.’
‘Yes, there are apes, we’ll see the chimpanzees.’
‘Chimp, an zeeeees!’
‘No, we won’t see any orang-utans. But there will be koalas.’
‘Wahlas. An yorikeets!’
‘Yes, and lorikeets.’
And so on. I think of the animals that actually were present in the zoo we got most of what she wanted, including zebras (and two zebra foals), the penguin parade, and her favourite by far, the tiger. We went through the shop afterwards and she rummaged through the toy animals, but lit up when Daddy called her to look at the cuddly tigers. She would have run straight out of the door with it if I hadn’t grabbed her and steered her towards the checkout.
She enjoyed the party, though we had to save most of her presents for another day — she was getting very tired by then. She crashed out in the car on the way home and only woke as we were putting her to bed to make sure she still had her tiger.