There is something immensely enjoyable about being around babies I tell you. You ask them the dumbest questions and they buckle down, crease their foreheads in deep thought and give you serious answers.
“Where is your nose?”
“Where is the car?”
“What did Curious George do?”
“Did you throw the blocks outside?”
The infant son enjoys sitting on my lap and reading stories. There is one he particularly enjoys about an elephant playing hide and seek with his friends. You see, the pages are filled with illustrations of a baby elephant, a zebra, a giraffe and a crocodile. In that book, there is one whole page dedicated to a giraffe. When I get to this complex page, I ask the son “Where is the giraffe?” He sticks out his little index finger at the giraffe and I beam like Einstein’s mother. Pride pouring forth.
The sister watched me carefully as we did the ‘stick-index-finger-in-giraffe’ routine. There was another book that had pictures of animals in it.
“What does a lion do?” He roars impressively every time he sees a tiger or a lion.
“What does a dog do?” He barks (bo-bo) in response.
Just to prove that the man can think about tougher questions, I ask “What does a snake do?” He hisses like one.
WE high-fived, low-fived and fist-bumped in glee.
Finally convinced of his zoological knowledge, the sister took him to the zoo. Aunt and nephew made a great show of it. They packed snacks, milk etc and headed off. Midway through their visit, I got a frantic call from the sister. Apparently, they had stopped in front of the giraffes and she asked him where the giraffes were. The question seemed to excite him quite a bit. He clapped his hands in glee, jumped in excitement, smiled and pointed to a bunch of lions gamboling nearby.
All that effort into the little giraffe book – anyway….
Never one to brood, I decided that what the guy needs is real life exposure. So, we headed out to this almost magical eucalyptus grove that is filled with monarch butterflies during the Winter. While in the grove, we were watching the beautiful butterflies flit past, and I asked my little zoologist “How does a butterfly fly?”.
The fellow pulls on his thinking look, creases his forehead and whips out a model of Lightning McQueen and goes “whiz…whiz…whiz” and demonstrates the flying motion.
One can only hope those butterflies don’t fly the way cars do.
I need a new set of questions.