Sunday, 7 March 2010
In half term I met my sister and her two boys, aged 2 and 1, in Plymouth, to visit the aquarium. I've been to aquariums before, and like to stroll through at a leisurely pace, reading up about the creatures and their quirky ways (some fish are all born male and the best ones turn female, and seahorses are bisexual). But my two-year-old nephew had other ideas. So we set about ticking sea creatures off Vinny's list. 'I want to see fish, turtles, sea horses, crabs, stingrays, sharks and an octopus' he said. The only problem was that he wanted to see them in that order, and he only wanted to see them, not really learn about, watch, or even look at them. Each time a helpful aquarium worker was spotted Vinny would approach, asking politely 'Excuse me, I'm looking for a ...', and off we would go to the appropriate area, only satisfied once the creature had been spotted. This involved zig-zagging through the multi-storey aquarium with mummy, auntie, pram and baby brother in tow, at least three times. It's fun racing around aquariums with two-year-olds, but I'm kind of with Zac on this one, who clearly just wanted to sit and watch the fish swim by. Needless to say, we were all exhausted by lunchtime, and stopped in the shop on our way out, where I suggested to Vinny that he choose a souvenir. Vinny, certain as ever, made a quick and definite choice, and we left with some bath toys, three fish and a turtle named Scally, Scrally, Scrabby and Thomas. Disaster struck on the way home, when we realised that Scrabby had escaped, but Vinny's tears were tempered when mummy told Vinny where he'd gone. The best part of the day? Hearing Scally bravely explaining to Scrally in the bath that evening 'it's ok, don't worry, Scrabby swum back to see his mummy'.