The day after the aquarium experience, Summy and I went to the zoo with my cousins and her cousins. Getting there was easy, because I didn't drive. Summy enjoyed being in their car.
On a side note, again I had mixed feelings about this trip. I don't like zoos very much, and in our last zoo visit the animals didn't look happy at all. But we went anyway because I knew Summy would enjoy an outing with her cousins.
It was noon when we got there, so the kids had a bite to eat. Then there were carousel rides, pony rides, a playground, and so on right outside the zoo entrance, to be covered before we got into the zoo. We made fast time, and entered the zoo at around 2:30. (two and a half hours not bad, eh?)
We went to the dinosaur exhibit first. This consisted of a narrow trail through the woods with robotic dinosaurs placed at intervals. The first one was about waist high, and Summy insisted on staying far away, but looked with interest. The second one was roaring a little, so she clung to me. The third one was large - large. Summy hid her face in my legs and started to whimper. The next one was around a bend and again - big. And close. Summy started to cry. I knew she had all she could take. I didn't want to turn around and risk missing the others in the group. So I carried her and walked fast to get through the trail.
Bad idea! As we walked further, the dinosaurs by the trail started to get larger and more ferocious looking. Poor Summy was screaming when we finally walked past T-Rex and out of the exhibit. Then she instantly calmed down and was herself again.
It was puzzling how scared she was of these dummy dinos until I remembered a previous conversation with her.
"Mommy, Are we going to the zoo?"
"Yes, the zoo has animals in it."
"Just pretend ones."
"No, Summy, the animals in the zoo are real. Not pretend ones."
Doh! How was I to know there was going to be a dinosaur exhibit? That must have been pretty scary to Summy if she thought those huge, roaring dinosaurs so close to us were real. I explained to her too late that they were just robots.
The rest of the visit went smoothly - the animals did not look too unhappy, and there were no lions or tigers in cages. I think she liked the gibbons best. A baby one was clinging on to its mother while the mother was swinging on the trees. Awwww!
I think all the children had a good time most of the time. When asked about it, her smart cousin Aditya said "It was fun, but it would be funner if we went to Sameera's house." So the fun went on into the evening, and though there were no pictures taken, I think the day was memorable.
At bedtime, Summy's own (now predictable) response to whether she had a good time was "Yes. I don't want to go to the zoo again." :) Amen.
The good news is that she is still eager for another outing or visit with her cousins, just as long as it's not to the zoo.