Thursday, April 22, 2010

Vietnamese piglets, giraffes, HIP-popotami..and the dissection of male/female anatomy

A few days ago, Papadada was granted a day off from work and suggested we explore the Sigean African Reserve , a relatively short drive from home. We jumped in the car in time for Sticky Baby's lunch-time nap. Lights out by the time we round the corner and I begin my usual car-ride-crooning to some random french pop song. Is it really the vibrations of the car that sedate him, or rather my incredibly 'special' (bad) singing voice that drives him to a semi-unconscious state?? Hmmm....yet to find a stash of airplane earplugs on Papadada's side of the I'm going with car vibrations. Yesssss!!! (fist pump, fist pump)

The animal park was superb. Wide open spaces for the wild beasts to roam. Just as nature intended. Nearly. The whole set-up is very 'Jurassic-Park-esque'. You remain in your vehicle and drive through the 7 different parks - Bears in one, Lions in another, Wilderbeast and other generic horned animals in yet another. Instructions are clear: Drive slowly, do not stop the vehicle at any time, windows must remain firmly shut. I SO felt like Laura Dern, with Sam Neil (aka Papadada) at my side and a very short and not-so-dark-and-curly-haired version of Jeff Goldblum in the back.

We enter Park 1 - the giant ostriches. Did you know just how hellishly BIG ostriches are?? Papadada immediately breaks rule #1, by speeding up to one of them, tapping on the car window, and screaming, 'HUUUUGGGE'!!! Yes, he's an exciteable one. I am sure not tapping on windows is also a rule...or at least it is in pet shops. I take rules very seriously, ok?!?! I beg him to drive a tad slower, triple-check that his large finger is not about to press the down arrow on the window control (i can just see he is dying to pluck an ostrich feather), and we move to Park 2.

Rules are continuously broken by Papadada - mostly the one about stopping the vehicle. He does it repeatedly. Damn you Sam Neil!!

The driving portion of the trip over, we proceed to the lovely 'walking' area, where the less-risky of the animals live. Let me say this. I am IN LOVE with Vietnamese piglets!! Wilbur out of Charlotte's Web has nothing on these guys! I have included a photo in this post (Sam Niel took it) for your viewing pleasure. Get on board the Vietnamese piglet love train, people!

Nearing the elephant enclosure, Sticky Baby decides that the pram is so last season, and requests to be carried. Papadada does the honours. And so begins our dissection of the male and female bodies...You see, Papadada is struggling to get Sticky Baby comfortable. He goes from 'basket hold', to 'over the shoulder hold', to 'sitting on shoulders' position. I suggest he put Sticky Baby on his hip, just like I always do. Impossible. Unworkable. Sticky Baby does not 'go' on Papadada's hip. What?!?! How can this be?? He fits on mine like a Ravensburger puzzle piece fits on my grandfather's hobby table. We begin work-shopping the phenomenon. Why doesn't he fit? What is wrong with the world if a baby can't fit on his father's hip? The answer soon becomes apparent. Papadada is a big unit. Think 'He Man and the Masters of the Universe'. Gorgeous. Love him. Big. Sticky Baby no fit around He Man's hip. End of story.

After a bit of research I found this very interesting excerpt that further confirms our discussions at the zoo:

Harvard University anthropology researcher Katherine Whitcomb found two physical differences in male and female backs that until now had gone unnoticed: One lower lumbar vertebra is wedged-shaped in women and more square in men; and a key hip joint is 14 percent larger in women than men when body size is taken into account.

I'm not sure I like this research. The words 'wedge' and 'large' don't sit well with me. 'Wedge' makes me think of wedges with sour cream and sweet chilli sauce, which is only going to make these hips LARGER!

Anyway, there it is. I would be very interested to know if all men find it difficult, read impossible, to carry their babies on their hips, as successfully and effortlessly as the women in their lives do.

I still love watching Papadada try. And the look on Sticky Baby's face when his poor little legs are forced to split like an Olympic gymnast doing a floor routine. Yeouch!


Post a Comment