1 August 2011
I try not to be a pushy parent. My son is only 19 months old so I don’t expect too much. In fact, things are going quite well on the whole. He can say ‘m…m…m..m’ when he wants his milk, ‘bi…bi….bi…’ when he sees Daddy’s bike, and does a mean monkey impression. Worryingly he can also unlock my iphone.
One great thing that he has achieved in his short little life is being the youngest person ever to feed the tigers at London Zoo. Before you call social services it was all under the supervision of zoo keeper Paul who I met a few months ago when Heart Breakfast came live from the zoo. Back then I fed the meercats, but who wants to start their relationship with the animal kingdom with a cute, fluffy meercat when you can come face to face with an adult tiger? A hungry one at that.
I bumped in to Paul this afternoon by the kids petting zoo and he said if I wasn’t doing anything else I could help him feed the tigers later on.
“Erm ,ok,” I said, “and what about him?” I asked pointing at Louis who was busy being enthralled by a turkey.
“Oh he can help”, he said.
I wondered what my husband would have to say about it when I got home but I decided to check it out anyway. We were led in to the secret zoo keeper bit behind the tiger enclosure and Paul opened and shut a series of gates and checked locks before letting the tigers in for tea.
“In 30 years not one tiger has got on this side of the gate,” he said, probably noticing that I was clutching my son very tightly and wondering again how I was going to explain this back home and imagining the news story and people horrified at the folly of this mother who took her toddler to feed the nice animals at the zoo.
But the pushy parent in me surfaced and the lure of my first born becoming the youngest person ever to feed the tigers proved an overriding factor. Louis and I crouched down and together clutched on to a comfortingly long tong that gripped an unidentified piece of horse meat. Gently we pushed it through the bars to the patiently waiting tiger.
I have to say the tigers were beautiful and perfectly behaved. It would have been tempting to think you could reach out and stroke them but that would be ridiculous, right? Who would get their kids close to a tiger?
Despite my efforts to appear calm and reassuring, Louis knew he was doing something special and couldn’t stop smiling afterwards. So not matter what he becomes in life or how long it takes him to say ‘milk’ rather than ‘m…m..m..’ he will always be the youngest person ever to feed the tigers at London zoo. That is until I take number 2 who’s due in October. You think 1 month old is pushing it?
One Response to “1 August 2011”
Wow, Louis is a lucky boy! Wish my little boy could do that! And I don’t think 1 month is pushing it… But maybe you should wait until he can stand up
Comment by Cynthia on 01/08/11 at 9:52 pm