This morning my parents treated us to a trip to the Georgia Aquarium. We had never been and it was totally amazing. I kept expecting to have to pick Grasshopper's eyeballs up off of the carpet because of the way they kept bugging out. To say that he was enthralled doesn't really do justice to how incredible he obviously thought it was.
His favorite animals by far were the whale sharks. I thought that he might be afraid when something that freaking HUGE swam overhead, but he wasn't. He smiled, he waved, he said, "Hi, whale shark!" every time they glided by. When they went to the other side of the exhibit he pouted until they returned. He loved them.We had gone to their tank first, and in order to get him to go and see other things, we promised to come back again before we went home.
By the time we made it to lunch he was hovering on the edge of a meltdown and just being a tired, hungry, over-stimulated 2.5 year old. He wasn't listening, and he wasn't obeying. All I had to do was threaten to take him home without going to see the whale sharks again and he shaped right up. Too bad that only works at the aquarium.
So when it was time to leave (which of course requires going through the gift shop) I was not terribly shocked when the item he decided he could not live without was a small (thank goodness) stuffed whale shark. He howled when we had to take it away for the cashier to scan, and he clutched it the whole way home.
"Grasshopper," I asked, "what is your whale shark's name?"
"Yes, I know that he's a whale shark buddy, but what is his name?"
"Okay, you're a little boy, right?"
Enthusiastic nod from Grasshopper.
"And your name is Grasshopper, right?"
"Well, don't you think your whale shark should have a name like you do?"
"Your whale shark's name is Naughty Girl?"
"Yes! Naughty Girl!"
And so Naughty Girl the whale shark has joined our family.
Maybe I should have just let him call it Whale Shark.