Tuesday, December 26, 2006

I Bow My Head

Well, I guess gloating gets you a humbling kick in the ass. Tonight we went to the Wild Animal Park Festival of Lights with Olivia and her parents, and let's just say Jarrah won't be gathering any more laurels for her sophisticated attention span. Riding a rhino on the carousel was fun, and stringing plastic beads on a pipe cleaner bracelet surprisingly absorbing. Running amok in the dinner line was par for the course, as was the terrifying diaper that preceded the meal. We were right on target for a typical evening in a crowded public amusement spot as we made our way to the piece de resistance: the doot doot. Now, strictly speaking, the Tramway is not a doot doot. There is no doot, for starters. No chug-chug sounds, and no "All aboard!" (an exclamation that Jarrah recently has begun shouting at surprising intervals.) But we figured that these deficiencies would be nicely corrected by the addition of actual wild animals frolicking to the right and left of the cars. Well, we thought wrong.

She was quite excited as the tram exited the station, and seemed to be waiting for it pick up speed. Instead, of course, it poked along at about 5 miles an hour, and stopped frequently so our laconic guide could point out rabbits (truly, it was a slow night for the African plains.) Since it was, as mentioned, NIGHT, there wasn't much to see, and what there was was sort of beige and difficult to differentiate from other less kinetic patches of beige around it. And most of the beigey beasts were snoozing anyway. Which is what our own more colorful beast would have been doing, had she been at home.

Within five minutes, she was over it, and began pacing the length of our car, ramming her way past our knees and those of our companions. Soon after, she added climbing onto the bench in any available crack between occupants, and either burying her hands in the hair of those in front of her, or staring impolitely at those behind her.

The real delight came when she fixated her affections on a slight, bald fellow behind her and considered him thoughtfully while murmuring "Ma-muh. Ma-muh. Ma-muh." in plaintive tones, while the poor guy tried not to notice, difficult since her face was about three inches from his and he had nowhere to go. At this point, David and I tried to contain her in some fashion, quietly suggesting she sit in our laps or admire some Chinese cows, but that was when she started whining, moving dangerously close to the tantrum zone. The histrionic sobbing, like a final pinch of paprika, was added when our companions quite brilliantly diverted her with a talking cat--unfortunately the cat was also the beloved companion of their daughter, so this arrangement could not continue peacefully. At this point I just leaned my head out in the cool night air and wished us back into the station.

Jarrah's birthday is Thursday, and we had planned to take her for a ride on the Coaster train to meet David for lunch. I figured she'd find this plan to be heaven on a stick. Now I'm reconsidering. ;)


Anonymous said...

I enjoy hot dogs on sticks myself. ;-)

Is she 2 already? Wow.

I feel your pain about the embarrassing public behavior. We're going through the whole "we can't treat her like a baby or she'll act like one" And I'm all, can't i just strap her to something?

Unknown said...

That tram is awful for the wee ones. The animals are too far away to be interesting. We learned it the hard way too. Jarrah will be all over it in a couple of years. Keep the faith.

Anonymous said...

I've been on the Wild Animal Park night tram, and I'm with Jarrah:
booooring!!! ;)

Best, Gail

P.S. She'll probaby like the coaster cause it toots it's horn & whizzes by things she can see. But be prepared for aisle walks, & take snacks

Anonymous said...

OHHHHH NOOOOOOO, as Joy would say.