Yesterday morning, Robby and I ventured downstairs for breakfast still uncommitted to any activity for the day. He immediately introduced himself to the chef, Miguel, as well as the receptionists Bob and Marsha. After eating breakfast, Robby and his new friends raided the brochure rack and came up with several viable activities for the day. After reviewing the options, Robby was adamant. He wanted to go to the aquarium.
I agreed, and we set off to the Aquarium of the Pacific. One look at Robby's face let me know that he made the correct choice. He was elated and ran towards the first fish display. He was absolutely mesmerized by the colors and the movements of the various fish. Just when I thought that the experience couldn't have been better, we made our way to the outdoor exhibits.
Wow! This aquarium has a touch-and-feel tank full of sharks and sting rays. At first I was hesitant to let Robby participate. Then I saw the look on his face and knew that my protests would be useless. Obviously the sharks and sting rays were benign and wouldn't cause him any harm. Still, it made this Mommy's heart skip watching her little boy willingly dip his hand into a shark exhibit.
We alternated between the shark/ stink ray tank and the starfish touch-and-feel exhibits for the next four hours. We did take one run through the bird house where he was excited to feed nectar to brightly colored parrots. Occasionally we paused to watch the sea lions play, but there was no keeping him from the touch tanks.
When I was dressing for the aquarium in the morning, I opted to wear my activity leg in lieu of my Proprio foot. I reasoned that, should the aquarium be a disappointment, we could always walk along the beach and look for shells. In retrospect, I think that this decision was more the result of my mother's intuition. My Proprio is not meant to be submerged and, as it turns out, I needed to get wet today.
Just as I was relaxing with Robby around the shark exhibit, he fell in. I saw him fall, but there was nothing I could do to stop him. He was on his belly, reaching to touch the bat like black sting ray. He overreached, sending him into the exhibit. He was sitting in the bottom of a shallow pool with sharks and sting rays swimming around him, looking surprised.
I went into "Super Mommy" mode to step over the shallow pool wall and grab my little boy. He was smiling ear to ear. I was shaking like a leaf. If I had been in my Proprio ankle, the computer components would have been ruined. Thank goodness for intuition!
The incident did not keep Robby away from the touch exhibits. He walked around with wet clothes until he dried. I had a squishy wet foot for the rest of the day. (At least I only had to contend with one wet foot!) I did see one other drenched child during our aquarium visit, so I know that this must happen frequently.
After he dried off, I managed to convince Robby to go back inside to visit the other exhibits. He saw a man in a scuba suit swimming with the tropical fish and told me that he was going to do that someday when he was "big like Daddy." I suppose falling into the fish tank may just be his first fish swimming adventure.
Despite getting wet and "swimming with the sharkies" Robby had a fantastic day. As I was tucking him into bed, he told me that it was "the best day in the whole wide world." I have to agree. Of course, tomorrow may be even better. Tomorrow we go to Disneyland!