Two Extra Monkeys Visit Jersey Zoo!
Jersey Zoo is amazing. My children get to go there every week, sometimes twice a week.
When we go as a family we have a little routine, I take the children to the desk to show our membership and my husband goes to get a coffee from the opposite side. We need this perk to take away from the fact we are about to be bossed around the zoo by our nearly 3 year old. I once highlighted to my children how lucky they are to visit the zoo all the time and that I only went twice in the UK my whole life. My daughter looked up at me and the sheer empathy and dismay on my behalf was incredible.
Anyway, my daughter is a creature of habit… and before we can start actually looking at the animals she has to go and say hello to the statue of Mr Durrell (the founder). Now just a bit of perspective, this little darling corrects anyone who calls her doll a ‘baby’. In fact she refuses to give her doll a human name as after all, “it’s just a doll mummy, it’s not real!”. However, she has double standards when it comes to Mr Durrell… she climbs up and throws her arms around him like she’s 21 and being reunited with her lost childhood sweetheart. Then she kisses his shiny shoulder and asks him how he is… this encounter is full on elaborate and everyone who walks through the entrance can clearly see this absurd display of affection. I have a line that I throw out to onlookers… “Awh bless, Its because he looks like her grandad”. This chap couldn’t be further from resembling any of her grandfathers and she very honestly tells me so, “No mummy, that’s silly, he’s not Grandad it’s Mr Durrell!” Seriously darling, I was helping.
PDA over, we now continue on with our little tour guide. My one year old son trying to stop to pick up gravel one by one.
Unfortunately, my daugter’s favourite creatures are in the reptile house, which due to the heat and obvious content, does tend to feel like you’re trapped in a sauna with 100 teenagers who’ve failed to shower for a week. In there we spend a good 10 minutes looking for the chameleon… A French tourist taps my shoulder and says in his beautiful accent, “it is empty”. Haha, Mr French man you are mistaken I am a regular here… “Oh” I chuckle casually flicking my hair back, “It’s a chameleon, it can be tricky”. He gives me a very cocksure grin and points to a bold note on the side of the enclosure which reads, “This enclosure is currently empty”. Red faced and now with beads of sweat forming on my scrunched up brow, I stumble my way back through the small crowd who played witness to my complete dunce moment. I gasp for air as I open the reptile house exit and like a puppy who’s been told off I sulk my way to the next attraction.
The zoo has a brand new and really impressive soft play area within its Dodo Restaurant. It is so new it has that amazing PVC type odor as you walk through the door (maybe I’m a bit strange). The children love it. I’ve never known a child be so strategic in her thought process and negotiation skills, determined to go in there. My cute little thing flutters her long eyelashes, which frame her big blue eyes and enquires, “Daddy, would you like another coffee… and a cake…?” The cakes are amazing and all homemade. You can even select a ‘gluten free’ or one topped with fruit and convince yourself it’s the healthy option as I often do!
Just a reminder we have two small children both under the teeny-tiny age of 3 and although both are small, both have very different levels of ability. My son should be fooling around in the baby area with the ride on animals and funny mirrors and my daughter, well she wants to climb the ropes and come down the dark, tall slides. Generally, I have a rule… if you cannot do it yourself then you’re not old enough for it. However, it’s really hard to stick to that rule when there are children smaller than her being helped up. So, I cave and agree to help her up the first part if she can do the rest. The trouble with this is that I have to keep one eye on my son across in other part of the play area. Knowing he is currently formulating an escape plan, I quickly shove my daughter through the hole with her feet accidentally kicking me straight across the bridge of my nose causing uncontrollable and yet painless tears to stream down my cheeks and race back to him and repeat several… million times (or so it feels).
It is fantastic to be able to have both children in the same nice clean and big area though. I sometimes find that the baby areas are very separate, which was great when I had just one but now I have two I understand why older children always end up playing in the baby area.
The husband is enjoying a coffee and ‘working’ on his phone. He is apparently always ‘working’ on his phone. From my point of view his work must be hilarious as he’s always chuckling to himself and when I look over he’s collecting Gifs to send on. We must have become so separated along the way because I was sure he worked in finance and not Pixar Studios!
My daughter needs to use the loo so I grab my little boy as I may as well kill two birds with one stone and the three of us head off to the family/Disabled toilet. The facility is perfect for a group bathroom break, very large so my boy does not have to be inches away from the temptations of the toilet bowl and a nice easy reach sink. There is also enough room to take a pram in too if you have a non-mobile baby or you just like them to be restrained, which would have been ideal on this occasion as when it comes to my turn, my darling daughter opens the lock on the door and I am not within reach to hold it shut with my foot!!! I pee like the wind and she is chuckling away like it’s the funniest thing she has seen. Me shouting “Don’t you dare, don’t do it, Noooo”.
When everyone has calmed from their hysterics we decide to visit the new butterfly house, which I thought might freak me out with them flying around and landing on you but it was rather tranquil and very beautiful to see them all. Ok, ok when they land slap bang in the middle of your chest and stare up at you, almost willing you to jump and screech it is a little bit chilling, but they fly off as soon as you move… really fast!
After so many laughs we decide to head to the cafe beside the entrance (Cafe Firefly) as the children love the cheesy pasta off the children’s menu. I much prefer the Dodo restaurant inside the zoo as the changing facility in Firefly is not big enough for a pram and can be really tricky if you’re on your own or just have two pickles to wrestle within the cubicle.
When the weather is nice or at least not raining we tend to gravitate towards the zoo as it is so family friendly and the children can have the freedom to walk around with you and the only worry is how much duck poop they will get on their shoes…
PomPom Guest Blogger Vic Kelly can also be found on https://notnowmummy.blogspot.com/