This week we went to Colchester Zoo. I haven’t been there since I was pregnant with J so was very excited…until I saw the prices!!! Wow! Luckily I found that booking online saved us 20% so that was helpful.
I even drove. I’m a total wuss when it comes to driving so was very impressed with myself. Anyway, the zoo was brilliant. The place is huge and full of interesting animals. I think we picked the worst time to go though as every time we went through the ‘walk through’ enclosures all we saw was foliage. Never any animals, haha.
Anyway. J had an amazing time. He loved seeing the lions, the hippos and the monkeys. He would laugh as they all moved around. But his favourite parts were feeding the animals. Now J has no fear of animals AT ALL. I swear he’d climb in the water with a crocodile if he fancied it.
If animals are soft and not wet at all, then he will stroke them and hug them and kiss them and poke them in the eyes and…well let’s just say he’s very tactile (overly so). He wants to feed them but prefers to drop the food on the floor for them. He did however feed TWO animals by hand. First the goat, which he quickly regretted and needed to wipe his hands (then changing to feeding from the cup), and then ASKING to “meet giraffe”.
We were lucky that it was feeding time and J had chance to feed the giraffe leaves. J held his hand out and laughed as the giraffe used its tongue. It even licked J, which he thought was hysterical. The fact he was able to balance his need for ‘firm touch’ with the needs of the animal was great. The fact he actually let the animal lick him and not freak out is great.
It may not sound like much but actually it’s a giant leap for J. He would have thrown the leaves or had a meltdown at his hands feeling wet/sticky/bits of food on it. This shows a great development in his confidence and ability to regulate himself.
It was also just so adorable to watch. By the end of the day J had reached his limit so we left before we saw all the animals so that we left on a high. You can tell by J’s movements, level of eye contact and how his speech changes when he’s almost at meltdown or shutdown. J ended up falling asleep in the car so he was definitely done.
I’m going to print some of the photos for J to put up or in his album. I want him to remember this day and everything he saw and did. Even if he forgets, I won’t x
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