One of the things I have been dying to do with Kristen and her kids is take her to the Wildlife World Zoo in Phoenix. Phoenix has a huge main zoo called, aptly, The Phoenix Zoo. We went there together last time they were here 4 years ago. It’s a great zoo. But the Wildlife World Zoo is an entirely different experience. It is smaller and much more intimate. You can literally stand 3 feet from a zebra or a rhinoceros.
We totally scored in that Natalie and Beza’s classes were going there on a field trip on Thursday and so we all got to go for the group price which saved us about $50!
The best part of all is that you can feed a giraffe. By the way, did you know a giraffe tongue is 18-20 inches long?
You can also feed the Lories.
The kids had a fantastic time. Kristen also got to witness some of the family drama. The girls were having a great time. pushing Jake around in the stroller but Beza got upset because she felt she was not getting as much stroller pushing time as Natalie. “I no have long turn mama. Natalie have long turn.” We had one short session of pouting, recovered and then launched into another one at which time she lost her stroller pushing privileges. There were tears, sulking and withdrawal – fun times. She eventually recovered.
It’s hard to explain to non-adoptive parents but when you encounter a situation like this, there is this extra stress in how you handle the situation (vs. a bio child) – at least this early on in the relationship. You have to try and consider where they are coming from, their experiences, and above all their “attachment” to you. For example, in a normal situation where you might put a child in time-out, you don’t want to do that with an adoptive child as that just further alienates that from you. So instead you do a “time-in” so to speak. There is lots of second-guessing and trial by error stuff going on.