A little text intensive ...sorry.
Our major stop in Philly was the Philadelphia Zoo. We had read some wildly contradicting reviews online so we decided to try it out. Most people said that it was great while there were others who felt that the animals were depressed and that it was too much like a traditional “zoo”. Well, I won’t pretend to diagnose animal depression and didn’t know that there was a new movement in zoos. So I decided to go with an open mind. One major point against this zoo was that it was really EXPENSIVE. The entry fee was almost $18 and kids over 2 had to pay about $14. Online we had read about a couple of cool rides like the Zooballoon which is essentially a hot air balloon that takes passengers up for a nice vantage point of Philly and the zoo. There was also a boat ride. However we found out that almost everything was an additional charge. The Zooballoon was another $10. Although cool, we decided against going. Aside from the expense, I think it was a good zoo. It had lot of big cats which are always fun to see. Some animals that are not very common in other zoos (like snow leopards, panthers, etc) were there. However I do have to say that some of the animals did appear lethargic. NOW that could very well be because it was 90 degrees and sunny. I did feel bad for the polar bear as he lay baking in the sun. I seem to feel like he should be in a more temperature controlled environment. It also seemed like some of the environments are really small. It does make for a really interesting perspective. The panther truly was just on the other side of the plexi glass. I did get an amazing insight as to the scale of such an animal. Overall it was fun although I would have opted for a cooler day to go.
Next day we were off to the Museum of Natural History. The main attraction was the butterfly exhibit. I have to say though that there was little else other than that. They had a requisite stuffed animals (not the cute and cuddly kind) and a dinosaur exhibit. If you have been to the Natural History Museum in NYC, then this would have been a slight disappointment. We had bought a ticket to the butterfly museum specifically because we had thought g would enjoy it. She disabused us of that notion within seconds of entering. I guess she had been much younger the last time we had taken her to the butterfly exhibit but the butterflies fluttering around her truly FREAKED her out. She screamed and would not stop. So we ended up hurriedly exiting which disappointed G a little. So we decided to take her to the kid’s area upstairs where she played in a sandbox. I was not aware that g had developed a huge aversion to sand in her shoes. While playing, she unknowingly stepped into the sandbox. Now if I didn’t have s strapped to me and I was purposefully keeping quiet so that s could continue napping, I would have either cracked up laughing or grabbed a camera. I know it is horrible that a mom would laugh at her daughter’s “suffering” but it was a moment that I wish I could have on video. When g realized it was sand that she had stepped on, she froze and immediately her face contorted as if in pain. She started crying and not wanting to take a step in any direction. So her dad saved her. Oddly she is fine with playing with sand just not stepping on it.
At the end of her play, we decided to try the butterfly exhibit one more time. This time I held her in my arms. I tried to show her that it was alright. She didn’t freak out but she obviously wasn’t thrilled to be there.
This is such new territory for me. I have no idea where all this fear of butterfly and anxiety around sand in her toes came from. She had seen butterflies before and had been to the beach. I am not quite sure how to deal with. What would you do?