Taking Kellen to the Zoo

Before I left for Abu Dhabi I had a chance to fly home and spend about 10 days in Texas with my family. One afternoon we went to the Fort Worth Zoo with Rachel and my nephew Kellen. It was a gorgeous day and the temperature was still low enough that we hoped many of the animals wouldn’t be hiding in the back corners of their enclosures. I was also excited because it was my first chance to really try out my new camera (a Canon Powershot SX20 IS).

Because we lived in New York, we only ever got to see Kellen a couple times each year when we’d visit for holidays. It’s amazing to me how much he grows and changes between each visit. The downside, however, is that because we see each other so infrequently, I feel like we have to spend a lot of time simply getting reacquainted. Kellen can be very outgoing, but it normally only comes in short flashes when he’s around lots of people.

One of my favorite “Kellen-isms” is how he likes to serve food when guests come over to his house. He’ll go in the kitchen and get a box of crackers and bring them out to the living room where everyone is sitting. He’ll then hand out individual crackers to each person in the room and kind of wait for you to eat it before moving on. Once he’s made a full circuit, he just starts over and goes back around the room. No matter how hungry you are you can only get one cracker at a time, and no matter how full you are the crackers will just keep coming.

Taking a 3.5 year old to the zoo is also a great parenting lesson in what keeps children entertained. Forget all the animals we saw. Forget expensive toys or rides. At one point as we were walking between the elephants and the bears Kellen decided to run circles around a tree in the middle of the pathway. He must have gone around close to 20 times and he loved every minute of it. My parents and I tried to coax him onward, but he just wanted to run around that tree. Later, in the penguin habitat, Kellen wanted to play store, not watch the animals.

Probably the coolest part of the day, however, was the parakeets (parakeets, I know, right?). They’ve put the birds into a large enclosure that guests can enter and explore freely inside of. For $1 you can buy a popsicle stick with birdseed on one end. The birds will then jump right up on the end of the stick and go to town on the birdseed. I think we must have bought 3-4 sticks for Kellen.

  • Flamingo
  • Sleepy Crocodile
  • A Big Chameleon
  • Rachel Shows Kellen a Snake
  • Kellen on a (Fake) Termite Mound
  • Kellen Feeds the Koi Fish
  • That Famous Tree
  • White Tiger
  • Parakeets
  • Kellen Feeding the Birds
  • Kellen Feeding the Birds
  • Kellen Feeding the Birds
  • Fishing for Birds
  • A Young Michael Jordan?
  • Grandpa Helps Feed the Birds
  • Looking at Penguins
  • Jaguar
  • My best shot of the whole day
  • The Thinker

One Response to “Taking Kellen to the Zoo”

  1. Rachel Hawkins says:

    I feel the need to mention that I was very pregnant, not just chunky when these pictures were taken. And I love the shot of the gorilla!