At the National Zoo on Friday
James is two years old and has been to the zoo three times. His favorite things to do at the National Zoo in Washington DC, include leaving the zoo, running over children slightly smaller than he is, and chasing subcontinental rodents in five-hundred-degree rooms while shouting "NO NO NO" every time the subcontinental rodent tries to do something vaguely resembling its natural routine in a not especially large plexiglass box.
Taunting a small mammal
My wife has been to the zoo four times with me. (The first time was the perfect zoo trip: There were no children, and everyone was drinking because it was a wedding.) Her favorite things to do at the National Zoo in Washington DC, include complaining about the absence of pandas (actual quote: "I'm going to write a letter to the editor to the Washington Post about how there are no pandas), complaining about the absence of giraffes (one of the few animals James reliably recognizes), and complaining about the ubiquity of fried dough (actual quote: "Is it weird that THIS ENTIRE ZOO smells like fried dough [editor's note: the entire zoo actually smells like animals pooping]). She also enjoys comparing the present iteration of the zoo unfavorably to her memory (unreliable) of the National Zoo and trying to coax James into appreciating animals, leading to exchanges like the following:
Wife (pointing to five-ton Asian elephant): James, what's that?
James (picks at infinitesimally small speck of dust on the floor)
Wife (pointing more emphatically): What's that?
James (backs into several small children, spins around, smiles, tries to steal whatever is in their hands)
Wife (picking up James and holding him before five-ton Asian elephant): What's that, James?
James: A hippo!
1) Wait until James is old enough to appreciate zoo or renounce it as inhumane
2) Only go to zoo during childless social events featuring alcohol
3) Do anything else in New York City or Washington DC other than zoo (hard)
We were assured cheetahs "cannot jump or climb" and so were unlikely to eat James