Last week we had a break in the rain so Mom & I decided to take the kids to the Jacksonville Zoo. I love the Zoo and try to take the kids there at least once a week but it ends up being 3x a month really. I know that seems like a lot but when I had A, we bought a Zoo pass. The Zoo pass lets our family + 1 more adult come to the Zoo for free as many times a year as we would like. Hence, me trying to take the kids there once a week. It is great because H & A get to see and learn about the animals and we get exercise walking the Zoo. It is a win for everyone.
So... last week Mom and I went to the Zoo. I get to the Zoo as soon as it opens so that we can be home by nap time. The fantastic thing about getting to the Zoo when it opens is that we are normally the first people in the zoo, it isn't busy and a lot of the animals are active because it isn't hot.
Man, I am really digressing here. I swear that I have a story to tell.
So, there we are first thing in the morning heading to the first exhibit, the Rhino's.
H loves the rhinos. They are the first animal that he talks about when I mention the Zoo. Since he loves them so much, we typically spend about 5-10 minutes at the rhino exhibit.
There were 2 Zoologist standing there watching the rhinos. We see Zoologist all the time so we don't think anything of it. We are spending our time getting down and showing H the rhinos and trying to teach him about them. They were eating breakfast so we were talking about what the rhinos eat, etc. As I am talking to H, I notice that one of the rhinos seems to be drooling and the more I watch the more I realize that it isn't drool... it's bile and the rhino is making what sounds like a coughing noise. This bile and coughing lasts the whole time we are there. I start to get kinda worried about the poor guy.
So, I decided to strike up a conversation with the Zoologist as to whether he has a cold, etc. She tells me they noticed his cough this morning when they were bringing the food and are observing the rhino. They think maybe he has some food caught in his throat. I think "cool. good luck with that" and get A out of the stroller to show her the rhinos.
|This is the picture taken as I am about to bend down.|
As I am leaning over to show her the rhinos, the Zoologist behind me is trying to lure the rhino closer to get a better look at him. Since the rhino is getting so close, I squat down with A & H to look at the rhino up close and personal. This was a mistake. A mistake I will NEVER make again. At this point the rhino looks up ( and I swear to god it glared at me) and coughed all over me! I am not joking when I say coughed. I immediately put A down and kinda look around like "did that just happen?" Neither H nor A seemed to get anything on them but I had spit dripping off my nose. And I think that the nose is the worse place to have rhino spit/bile land because it smelled like death/poop/rotten meat all rolled into one wonderful mouth.
I am off the side trying to get myself cleaned up and H was dying. H thought this was the funniest thing he had ever seen.
He didn't want to leave the rhino exhibit. He kept saying "rhino cough. spit mama. HAHAHAHAHAHA." Looking back it is funny but at the time I was trying to clean myself off and try not to throw up from the smell so my 2 year old laughing at me just wasn't calming me down like it normally does.
Since we had driven all the way to Zoo, I was not about to leave after the first exhibit. So, as we walked the rest of the Zoo I was pulling bile and spit out of my hair all day. (You will not see anymore pictures of me from this day at the Zoo because I threatened my mom's life if she took a picture).
The rest of the zoo was uneventful. Mom kept making jokes loudly about people needing to hold their breath around me (so hilarious Mom).
Even after a shower I smelled like animal. JJ actually asked me to shower 3 more times before he would let me get into bed that night because he couldn't sleep with that nasty smell.
So..... Moral of the story: if you see an animal at the zoo coughing, don't get too close.
Has anyone else had an experience like this? Please share because I feeling that a complete weirdo that this happened to me!