A beautiful February day, filled with frosty air and sunshine. And whipping, icy winds, but still…
The Littlest is my green smoothie enthusiast in the house. Little Boy figured out a while back that some smoothies come out tasting better than others, and I think the lack of predictability, combined with some pretty funky combinations, make him a little more reticent to chug the whole glass on the first gulp. But, for both of the boys, green smoothies has been a simple way for them to get some greens into their diet. Today, the Littlest discovered the whirling tornado that creates them.
And today, continuing on my determination to get outside and remind my muscles that they exist, we loaded up in the bike trailer and went to the Nature Center about a mile away. I could write a small pamphlet on why I love the Nature Center so much: the deep and dimly lit caves that excite the children, how despite the inevitable mess one employee continues to put out a giant sand table filled with sand and footprint casts….and lets us bring diggers and elephants in to roam the sandy dunes….hmmm…just realizing Mr. Elephant was left in the sand dunes today…but I digress. The reason why Mr. Elephant was forgotten in the sandbox was because one of the other great things about the Nature Center is that there is a gigantic African Spurred Tortoise that we sometimes get the fun experience of playing with, and even feeding.
Technically named Chomper, Little Boy remembers him as Cruncher, and so he is. The Littlest finally accepted that Cruncher wasn’t sturdy enough to ride, and chose instead to give him snuggles.
And when the Romaine was busted out, he knew exactly where he wanted to be.
Listening to this big tortoise crunch lettuce leaves in half, it was quite obvious how he got his name.
I am so grateful for the publicly accessible places that enable kids to have an interactive and fun experience without all the accompanying work of caring for your own turtles, frogs, fish, snakes, or tarantulas. Seeing and touching these guys too is so vastly different and more engaging in real life, and the interactions spur imagination, conversation, and storytelling while giving the boys a point of reference for how a real turtle is it’s own unique pooping and peeing being, just like them. This is a good point of reference for little people learning to separate real and pretend, alive and capable of being hurt, and toy, plastic, or inanimate. Good stuff.
Little Boy announced he wanted to eat salad for dinner too, just like Cruncher. Well, twist my arm!
Thank you Nature Center!