There is a Board of Education meeting tonight so I decided to dedicate the day to doing stuff the kids would enjoy. I figured that I owed them this much if it was likely that I would be staring at the computer screen and they would have to be quiet for 4-8 hours.
After breakfast and packing up the campsite, we headed downtown to Dakota Zoo. Like the small city zoo in Buffalo, the Dakota Zoo is attached to a large, beautiful park. The boys played at the park for a little while and then we headed to the zoo.
It is funny how community playgrounds don’t seem to generate the same kind of free form play that campgrounds do. At the campgrounds, the kids almost always form a large, age-diverse, and inclusive group where all the kids end up playing some game that is democratically chosen after more or less debate and rancor. Today, like many other days at the city or community parks that we stopped by on the road trip, the kids at the playground mostly played alone or in small groups.
Before too long, we walked over to the zoo. The zoo is a little depressing. Chain link fencing is a bad choice for fencing at a zoo. Since little kids don’t think about such things, they had a good time. The boys new favorite thing to do when they encounter an animal is to quickly suss out whether it is a boy or girl by doing a visual pee-ner check. With the exception of the birds and reptiles, the boys made their way around zoo while loudly proclaiming either “it’s a boy, I see a pee-ner” or “no pee-ner, it’s a girl.” Occasionally, an animal was laying down, which led to debate about the animal’s sex and brief and mostly polite catcalls for the animal to get up so they could verify its sex.
In an effort to wear the boys out before the BOE meeting, I booked a hotel with a water slide. They ran around for an hour or so before we had to head back to the room for the Zoom BOE meeting at 6:30. Wearing them out didn’t work as well expected. Will didn’t fall asleep until 11:15 and Lucas was up to 10:30. I was up even later, with the meeting not ending until 1:45 AM. Ughh.