Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Funky sheep and burping monkeys: And how was your weekend?

This weekend, we took the rare road trip to Evansville, Indiana, to see my parents. It's a rare treat for my children, as my remote-loving father has his gadgets far too close to the ground and my mother's scrapbook room is packed with tempting toys for the children to attempt art with. (In other words, it's far easier on them to keep the kids on our turf and for them to come visit.)

What to do when it's too warm to get outside much and you have excited children? Sometimes, you bite the bullet and run them off.

Saturday, after reading my lament at the Green Phone Booth that the kids wouldn't go marketing that weekend, my mother had stumbled onto a few "market" ideas. We found a Saturday morning market in Newburgh (by reading the paper), hit a farm stand (air-conditioned building, horray!) and a fourth-generation orchard that tempted me with rows of boxes of peaches, the last of the season.

But the greatest memories for my kids weren't food-related at all. No, it was jumping on grandpa's spare bed, not to mention the funky sheep and burping monkeys.

Be careful what you tell your kids.

We hit the Mesker Park Zoo, one of the oldest zoos in the country, early Sunday morning. As all kids are at that age, it's see the animal, and what's next? Until we saw a sign for the burping monkeys.

Yes, apparently as part of their socialization, belching means friendship. I started laughing about it, and of course, that is what they remember. Not the cheetahs they wanted to see for two hours. The burping monkeys.

The same goes for our stop home. We stopped at Lincoln's boyhood home, which the kids had grabbed a sheet about at the visitors station. (Incidentally, they have kids' days every other weekend in the summer.) My 3 year old was ticked that Lincoln was nowhere to be seen, but finally settled into going to see his house and the living farm. Not impressed by that. My 6 year old loved the attempts to carve wood pegs (which I'm sure impressed her woodworking grandfather!). But then, I heard these words: "Let's go see the funky sheep."

Funky? I have no idea what prompted that particular adjective.

Yep, you can try to teach your kids history, try to teach them about animals, try to teach them about eating local, and they'll just remember about burping monkeys and funky sheep!

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