Yesterday, I went on a field trip with Mischief's grade one class. We went to the zoo. Sounds simple enough, right? But when you live where we live 'a trip to the zoo' means an hour and a half ride each way. In case math isn't your strongest subject, I'll add that up for you. That is three hours on a bus with twenty something six year olds!
The ride to the zoo was filled with low key Lego playing, comic book reading and excited chatter. No big deal, really. It was nice to chat with the other parents and I hardly missed my morning coffeejuice. When we got the the zoo we were divided up into groups, each with a different animal name. There were Tigers, Toucans and Bears but I had the Monkeys ... go figure!
After a day of running around and exploring, I thought the ride home would be pretty quiet. Not even close! I'm not sure if the kids caught the 'zoo spirit' or if they were afraid to sit still because they might fall asleep, but the ride home was louder, sillier and wigglier (I know, its not a word but I think it is a condition that six year old boys frequently suffer from!) that the ride to the zoo.
While I dodged flying hats, an intergalactic Legoman battle and incessant questions like "how many plants are in that field" and "why those birds are allowed to be free but the ones in the zoo aren't," I had a revelation; Kids are just like animals. They can't help it, they just are. They are loud, unruly, cunning and gross, just like their zoo counterparts. The only real difference between a six year old boy and an average zoo animal is that no matter how much we might fantasize about it, we can't put our wee nasty, rambunctious humans in cages to contain the chaos!
Here are a few of the similarities between the zooers and the zooees ...
Kids are like kangaroos because they would rather hop than walk any day.
Kids are like flamingos because balancing on one foot is no big deal, except that it is.
Kids are like camels because they stuff their pockets (and their cheeks) with more than you think is humanly possible and inevitably stuff comes spilling out (of both!) leaving a trail of mess behind them.
Kids are like prairie dogs because they wrestle and chase each other around until they get caught. Then they scamper away and hide.
Kids are like peacocks because they scream for no reason and love to show off for their pals.
Kids are like leopards because they can seem like they are doing nothing, sitting still and behaving themselves but in truth they are scheming, waiting for the the perfect moment to pounce and create chaos.
Kids are like llamas because you never know what's going to come flying out of their mouths next.
Kids are like possums because they pride themselves on hands free stunting.
Kids are like hippos because once they get into the water its very tough to get them to come out.
Kids are like antelopes because they do gross things to impress their pals.
And finally, kids are like monkeys because they climb and jump and swing from things, pick at their sibling, squawk and yell and fight, make a mess and generally wreak havoc wherever they go but ... they are just so darn cute!
I have been studying the traits and dispositions of the "lower animals" (so called) and contrasting them with the traits and dispositions of man. I find the result humiliating to me. ~Mark Twain, Letters from the Earth, 1907