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Swings, BBQ, Jumperoo and Scolding Goats - Elizabeth Unexplained
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greyautumnrain
greyautumnrain
Swings, BBQ, Jumperoo and Scolding Goats
We’ve been enjoying our new park. Duncan has gotten old enough for the swings!

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With only two toddler swings in the park, having both kids in the swings at the same time is something that I can only do when the park is not busy. I take full advantage of those times, and judging by the reaction the kids love swinging together.

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My current favorite thing in the whole world is watching Margaret and Duncan play together. I can’t think of anything that might possibly beat it.

The slide is also a crowd pleaser.

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We went to a BBQ this past weekend. We had a ton of fun. There were lots of kids: 4 babies ranging in age from 4 months to 8 months, and 6 older children ranging in age from 2 to 10. I noted that it was the folks without kids who left the party first, and Warren commented that the mommies all wanted to stay as long as possible so as to prolong the amount of time the childcare burden was shared. Yeah, guilty as charged. Here’s just about the only picture that doesn’t contain someone else’s kid (those are locked to friends & family only):

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At the BBQ we also did the traditional nerd thing of two people who live close to each other handing off something at a distant location. Our jumperoo had been on vacation at chez chenoameg, and the time had come for it to return home. I’m glad the jumperoo had the vacation. While it is the best toy ever if you are a baby between 5 months and cruising age, it does take up a lot of space. Also, it’s absence from our house seems to have helped Margaret’s acceptance of the jumperoo being for Duncan’s use. Add to that Baby S getting to use it for a few months, and it’s a win all around.

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Duncan loves it, and even better, Margaret loves showing him how to play with the attached toys.

On Monday I took the kids to a petting zoo. Actually it was more a farm stand with a couple of donkeys, a couple of rabbits, a turkey, a chicken, some ducks and a half dozen goats in a couple of pens out back. I have fond memories of feeding carrots to small goats on my second birthday (yes, I have a freakishly good memory of my early childhood), and so I’ve been looking for a good petting zoo to take the kids too. This place was better than the first place I tried, but I’m not yet ready to declare it the one true petting zoo. The price was right, though. For $1 you got a plant pot full of alfalfa pellets to feed the animals. Sadly you can’t bring your own carrots to these things anymore, and handing something as long as a carrot over to the animals is less scary to tiny kids.

Margaret was understandably wary of the whole thing at first. I can’t blame her a bit, as the larger goats were a tad overeager for treats and jumped up and put their front hooves over the top of the fence at the sight of a small child bearing a plant pot of alfalfa goodness. That was scary, but I gave the goats a glare that hopefully conveyed my willingness to turn them all into kabobs if they hurt my kids, and I spent some time feeding the better behaved donkeys. Margaret warmed up to the whole affair. I showed her how to hold her hand flat to feed the animals, but while she was willing to do that, she wasn’t actually willing to get close enough for them to eat off her hand. I considered this prudent of her. Besides, she has minions to do stuff like feed animals for her, so it evolved into a game where she would indicate the lucky animal, and I would give the designated animal a treat. We managed to kill at least 90 minutes this way, and by the end Margaret was scolding the naughty goats who tried to get a treat not meant for them. “No, no no,” she’d say, wagging her finger at them. (Duncan took the entire thing in stride, as is his way, but he was strapped to my chest in the Moby wrap nearly the entire time.) I’d have to say that Margaret had a good time, because she was entirely unwilling to leave the animals under her own power.

I think I’m going to have to continue the search for the ideal petting zoo. If people have favorites in the area suggestions are appreciated.
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Comments
enugent From: enugent Date: July 8th, 2010 02:12 am (UTC) (Link)
One of my earliest memories is being mobbed by goats at the petting zoo trying to get my ice cream cone full of alfalfa pellets. I tried holding it up over my head out of the way of the goats, which caused several of them to try to climb up my body. A couple others ate my little brother's brand new coat right off his back.

I'd say that Margaret had it right.
remcat From: remcat Date: July 8th, 2010 03:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love, love, love Davis Farmland. It's a haul to get there, and it's not cheap, but the animals are very nice, everything is clean, they have playgrounds and a water feature, nice bathrooms, and (oh yeah) ice cream. I would advise packing a lunch and making it a day trip - they do sell food but it's pretty low fare.

Barring this, my next favorite is Great Brook Farm State Park. They have sheep, baby cows, ornery pigs ("We Must All Value Our Fingers"), goats, chickens ... price is free, if you are getting ice cream, or $2 for parking in a state park.
greyautumnrain From: greyautumnrain Date: July 8th, 2010 10:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
Great Brook was the first one I tried. The baby cows weren't interactive, so it was mostly just the sheep and goats we could feed, and the tiny pellets from machines weren't as nice as the second place: smaller pellets and the machine sometimes ate quarters without dispensing pellets. I'll have to check out Davis Farmland. I'm willing to pay more for nice facilities, but there is a limit given we're talking about a toddler and an infant.
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