Today was the combined first birthday celebration for our antenatal group held at Wellington Zoo. We headed to the zoo a little early to walk around while Alayna was still fresh after her morning sleep. It was a sunny but cold afternoon and many of the zoo animals were sleeping in the sun but therefore not very active. Exceptions were the meercats who were zooming around their enclosure and Alayna was quite captivated. The squirrel monkeys were playing around near the perspex wall of their enclosure and some of the younger ones seemed as interested in Alayna as she was in watching them.
The new Australian animal area was good fun with free ranging kangaroo, wallabies and an emu keeping a close eye on everyone and sending a group of unsuspecting children running away while screaming. I guess if you’re not expecting a 5-foot tall bird to appear before you I guess that could be quite frightening. There weren’t that many people at the zoo so it was a relaxed if short visit before we headed to the zoos Living Room for our get-together.
It was great to catch up with everyone and see how all the babies have grown, a few now walking and most happily standing against suitable support such as tables, people and walls. Alayna is the youngest of the group at 11 months and 1 day she and seemed a little shy, though maybe she was just a little tired. There was plentiful good food and good company. We had a visit from a zoo staff member who bought along a special visitor, a tortoise. Everyone got to feel the tortoise’s shell and get a good close look. The tortoise must be used to company as it didn’t really seem to mind the attention, I guess when you’re slow and heavy there isn’t much choice in the matter.
We all sang happy birthday and the babies were each given a celebratory cupcake. This was the first time Alayna had eaten a proper sugary treat and she gobbled it down making quite the best of her hands. Unfortunately something didn’t agree with her and she soon gagged and bought it back up so I guess she’s not ready for the sweetness yet.
The last act was to share presents. Alayna recieved a pretty dress and a picture book with tactile elements that was very well recieved. There were a lot of happy babies, happy with their gifts or in some cases just as happy with the wrapping paper. All that was left was to tidy up and then say our goodbyes until we catch up again soon.