I am so shocked at what I learnt about my own baby, and all it took was a trip to the aquarium! Mama’s and dadies, don’t hold your babies back, encourage them to see everything and learn whatever they want to. Young girl, you are so smart, don’t let the world tell you otherwise- climb onto the aquarium windows if you want to, you can see the fish better from there anyway.
Check this out. You are already quite smart, we know this, you pick up on things easily and now we know full well, that you do not do things that you do not want to do. So you have made your way through words and actions as many have and we are so proud of you! So, you being you and liking things like your mother but in your own way, I made it my mission to make sure that we went to the aquarium together. I love aquariums. I was hoping you would take some interest and at least like what you see, even if you do not understand. Basically, I didn’t want you to just run around the place without taking anything in.
I hounded your dad and told him that it is an absolute must that we go and that even if you do not understand what is happening, we will have pictures for your memory box of your first ever trip to the aquarium. You must know you poor dad loves to relax, and here I was, in his home town, trying to be a tourist, because you and I have not experienced the whole of Cape Town. He has done everything there is to do in Cape Town, and my only selling point ever is ‘Yes, but you haven’t done it with Amari and I!’. So, off we went. We were lucky enough to have Uncle Mike and Aunty Katleho with us on this trip too, so it became a family affair. Gogo was too tired to be a tourist with us.
Your dad told me to book tickets online. I heard him, but I didn’t do it. So a tip for any Two Oceans Aquarium goers, get yourself a ticket online and skip the queue’s!
By the time we got to the end of the queue, you were asleep and I was unhappy. Though, I am the ultimate lemonade-maker, and even when we took the family picture as we went in, I thought it would make for a lovely memory, to have you sleeping in the picture with the photoshopped coral, or penguins or whatever behind us. It will never change the fact that you were there. And that picture will be here forever.
The parents took a quick tour of the aquarium, I held people back, a lot, because, well, this is my thing. We took turns carrying you through the whole place. We came out and went to get sushi at the restaurant at the aquarium. It is a little weird isn’t it? To have sushi at the aquarium. Another post. Moving swiftly along. You woke up at the restaurant, had some sushi and juice and off we went! Back to the aquarium! This time we didn’t have to carry you much- thank God.
Mambo D. I completely underestimated how engaged you really would be. I am ashamed to even admit it. What I thought would be a day of cute pictures and a quick walk through, ended up being a full two hour excursion, with your word for the day ‘Woooooooow!’ Another delightful word I taught you- I am proud to say. We do not know the names of most of the sea creatures, but you were so engaged. Not wanting your hand to be held all the time, you marched right up to different windows to stick your face right up to the glass and see what was in the water. Your eyes widened so much when you saw the schools of fish pass or the stingrays come to say hello. You were so intrigued by the Jellies Exhibit and wanted to run to all the different towers of jellyfish. You and I lost the rest of the group at some point because you were refusing to leave. I wonder where you get that from?
Our highlight however, that I will tell anyone who listens, was this:
After we were done with most of the exhibits and we thought we were tired, there was just one more place we needed to go before we left. The Predator Exhibit. I legit thought you were going to freak out and want to go once you saw those teeth. What happened next amazed me. We saw the sharks in the middle of many other fish, and it was a none event, there were too many people. As we went through the tunnel though, we had a little more time and when you saw the shark coming towards us and had a clearer view, you looked at me and said ‘Mummy! Mummy! Doo doo!!’ You were so delighted and clapped your hands and I called your dad. He took you right up to the glass to watch the sharks keep going around and around.
On your own, all 19 months of you, made a distinction between a real shark and a cartoon you have seen over and over, or people pretending to be sharks, over and over- depending on the version you stumble on. I was so amazed. Literally, gobsmacked. Jaw on the floor. Amazed.
Context for you, and of course our readers: You watch Baby Shark on your tablet. ALL. THE. TIME! Seriously, kudos to Pink Fong, or whoever it really is who made the original Baby Shark, I need to write about it. I am so over that song, but my child loves it.
To cut the rest of this story short- we went to see Nemo after the sharks, who also really let you live your best life, but the rest of the trip is really history to me.
My story is, I am still in awe of how your little brain computes things that surprise me all the time. Our trip to the aquarium was literally an ADVENTURE SUCCESS! I feel so equipped to teach you everything I know! We are going to be the best mommy and daughter team ever! Ever! EVER!
You inspire me.