On our way home from Annapolis Royal this weekend, we stopped at Oaklawn Farm, a small zoo. The following exchange demonstrates why children two and under get in free.
David (in a tone of great excitement): Look, Vivi! A zebra! And an ostrich!
Sylvie (in an equally excited tone): Ook, Daddy! A butterfly! And a cat!
Longtime readers may remember our first family visit to the gorgeous Annapolis Royal three years ago, when Luke was three years old and Vivi was only a twinkle in her father's eye and a dream (or perhaps, more accurately, a recurring nightmare) of mine. I remember that I was desperate to go into the bookstore/cafe/chocolate shop* but couldn't manage to. I laughed about that on our first evening there this time, remarking to David that I had had only the one child then and why on earth hadn't I gone in? I declared that, if I felt like it this time, I would certainly go in, with two riotous children in tow and propriety be damned. The next morning after Luke followed me into a folk art boutique on the way there and almost knocked over a thousand dollar carving** of, coincidentally, a tired-looking woman holding a cup of coffee, I changed my mind. We went to the park instead.
*I mean, really. Books, coffee, chocolate. The only way for that place to get any better is if they rented out clawfoot bathtubs by the half-hour.
** Really. The statue had been purchased only the day before on our side of the province at a special sale of Nova Scotia folk art in Lunenburg. On the plus side, I probably could've carved a fair replica myself and had the kids paint it. The difficulty would have been in convincing the propietor that our work is as valuable as the stuff produced by one of the guys around here who is formally considered "folk." For that I guess you need to be handy with a chainsaw and possibly have some sort of interesting physical quality, like slightly crossed eyes. I am debating whether to give up my battle with weight and let myself grow morbidly obese in order to qualify (that would be a lot of fun) but I'm afraid that once I started working with the chain saw I might cut off one of my own thumbs. Of course the absence of a thumb could only add to my folksy appearance but at this point I still need ten fingers to wrangle Vivi in the bathtub. Perhaps once she starts school.