A Small Zoo

Often living in a house with 5 little children can feel rather like running a small zoo, full of strange exotic birds and monkeys who are liable to climb everything, and constantly build themselves habitats all over that seldom-seen thing called “floor.” Like clever chimpanzees they like to create modern art pieces with supplies like finger-paint and spaghetti sauce…any surface is a suitable canvas, from walls to couch covers. Ever innovating, they know how to turn toilet paper and bath water into paper-mâché tile art. Don’t be surprised to find a small one bathing in the bathroom sink, making steam art on the mirror, or having a healthy snack of toddler toothpaste. There is always something fun to do, like scatter puzzle pieces around the confines like wood chips, or paint boxes with the smallest monkey’s diaper cream.

All these endeavors make the animals extremely hungry, so there are frequent feeding frenzies. The feeding area is swarmed with little birds chirping “Me! Me! Me!” and there is no silence until all the little feeding dishes are filled with animal crackers and other suitable snacks. If the offering is deemed worthy, the birdsong “More! More,” will be heard; however, if the animals are unsatisfied with their rations, they will resort to scowls, whines, and rude barking, sometimes followed by a purposeful tipping over of said feeding dishes, or the use of a dish as a small missile, hopefully in the direction of the floor rather than the zookeeper’s head. The baby hippo often gets so messy it is placed immediately in the wading pool, and gets a thorough scrub.

After their meal, the animals usually head off to the recreation area and engage in elaborate displays of beauty, strength and agility, including leaping off the furniture adorned in princess feathers, or circling about repeatedly in brightly patterned skins that would help camouflage them in a tropical coral bed. Like chameleons on hyper-speed, they are liable to change their skins as often as every five minutes, scattering colorful heaps about the confines.

We won’t go into a discussion some of the animals’ bathroom habits, for their lack of refinement in areas of toilet training, their parading about without proper rear covers, and their enjoyment in leaving surprise droppings and puddles for the zookeeper, would be thoroughly reprehensible if they were not such small animals.

It is sometimes with great relief that the zookeeper puts them all in their cages for the night, with the blissful thought that at least for several hours, no busy little creatures will be burrowing about the living room in blanket tunnels, or scattering paw covers outside until the zoo’s garden becomes an Easter egg hunt for missing shoes. How peaceful and sweet the fuzzy beasts seem, with their limbs flung out in the abandon of sleep, and their little purrs and dreamy sighs…

You might think that the evening would bring peace and quiet to the zoo, and rest to the zookeeper, but don’t forget one important thing: night watch! After all, many animals are nocturnal…

6 thoughts on “A Small Zoo

    1. Anna Eastland

      Thanks, Clara! Isn’t it good to know we’re not alone when we’re up at night with the kids? Amazing moms all over the world are pulling the 24 hour shift!


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