Thursday, May 13, 2010

How To Tell if a Pregnant Goat is a Male or Female (and, Other Fun Stuff)

Is it the fact I turned forty the reason that nostalgia seems to hit me more often or at unusual times? Today, as I watched #3's second grade class do the pledge of allegiance before we left for our field trip I had such a lump in my throat. I remembered my elementary school days, my field trips, then #1's & #2's field trips and then landing at the sad reality that my field trip days are starting to end. The feeling rather reminded me of when I gave away my last pack of diapers and packed away the crib for #3. Yup, pretty much like a kick in the gut.

There was not much time to linger in those thoughts as we boarded the school bus to take us to Lake Tobias Wildlife Park. Upon sitting down, I realized I had the seat with the "hump" (what was it, the spare tires??). Then, #3 and a friend sat with me. Oh goodie. We were tightly packed into the bus, three to a seat. That's fine when you are under the age of twelve, but mommies should NEVER have to sit three to a seat. for an hour. on the hump seat.

So, with my knees almost touching my chin, I folded myself into a fetal position by the window. I figured I was safer being squashed in there rather than on the aisle seat where a bump in the road could leave me sprawled on the floor. Thankfully, after what seemed like we drove to Florida and back again, we arrived at Lake Tobias. Please allow me the indulgence of plugging this wonderful place. I have been here many times before and it does not grow old. It is family run and I learn something new every time I go (yes, I am starting to sound like a total dork now). They have Safari Tours, which are buses with the tops cut off, and the animals come right up to you if you wave a cracker at them. There are amazing animals to see like Zee-Donks (half zebra/half donkeys....sorry Hershey, but it makes your zoo look very bor-ing). We visited the Reptile House for the first time and #3 was surprised there were no dolphins there.  What in the world do they teach them at school?  Then again, #3 usually keeps us entertained with her complex thought processes....

Since it was May, pretty much every female was showing signs of being pregnant, including a goat in the petting zoo that had to be carrying a ton of babies...she looked like a Christmas ornament if you held her up by her neck. At first, her horns threw me off and I asked some other parents if it was a male...they laughed and said there was one sure way to tell. So, I looked under the goat and seeing only one udder (which I mistakenly thought was a male goat part) I concluded that it must be a male with a large tumor in its stomach. Thankfully, I think everyone thought I was kidding because as they were laughing I looked again and saw the other udders....ruling out my original conclusion. I just backed away and started petting some other goats. Subtle and smooth. Yeah, that's me.

While curled up on the ride back home with my right leg numb, I took a moment to thank God that I get to share these times with my kids. I always have a great time watching them enjoy these "mental health" days where we all escape reality for a few hours to just have some fun!

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