Monday, December 3, 2007

Our Two Years at the Aquarium

This month wraps up our second year of annual passes to the aquarium. Man, have these boys enjoyed it. We have been able to go enough for Asa and Addison to really get to know the fish. We have gone with Hal, with Ellen and Anna, with Charles, Grandpa, anyone who is willing to come! From the first trip, I was amazed at the amount of information my two boys require. The other three and four year old would walk past and talk about the pretty yellow fish. Mine would ask me for the details, I had to know their names... their real names, what they ate, why they follow that shark around, how the workers clean the tank, and on and on. Each exhibit took me three times as long as the other parents, and a lot of times I would have to track down an expert to find the right answer. The employees were always thrilled to answer their questions. I loved watching them learn as much as they did doing it.

It is very funny to me the animals that captured their hearts. For me, it was the beluga whales. If I had been able to go without two active preschoolers, I would have watched them for hours! (This last time we went we were able to see them at feeding time. They were lined up at the aquarium wall with their heads above the waterline. We could watch their bottom half from the aquarium and the feeding live on the t.v. screens!) For the boys, they were much more enthralled with animals that were smaller in scale.

Their favorites are the giant crabs, the garden eels (little worm-like fish that stay with their tails in holes in the ground. One of the first times we went, they were poking out of their holes and fighting each other, which resulted in belly-rolls and about 20 minutes at the garden eel tank.), the jellyfish, the grouper, and a tiny fish called a jawfish. The jawfish is a little tiny white fish that spends all its time in a hole, digging up rocks with its mouth and spitting them outside. Asa and Addison love him. There used to be two, but I think there may only be one now.

The visit before last, the jawfish were nowhere to be found. The boys were devastated. Where were they? Did they die? Did they move them? I had to go to the information desk and ask about the well being of a tiny fish in a little tank in the tropical section. The very nice, very old woman had no idea. She saw that this was not going to fly and gave them both a book with pictures of the jawfish inside. It wasn't an answer, but it sufficed. We never found out what happened that trip, but there was one little jawfish back in his spot this time.

This trip, we took Grandpa on his first voyage. All the animals were out and on the move. Even the octopus was visable. The boys had a wonderful last trip. I'm sure we'll be back one day, but our two year ocean adventure has come to a close.

"Look Mom! I can catch the FLU!"