November 11, 2007


As most of you have read over the last few weeks, the engine that seems to make this blog run is my pain. I haven’t posted in four days for no other reason than the fact that all is well in Shreveport. That is until last night. We’ll get to that in a moment, but I want to get to another highlight of our new town. Yesterday we went to a park that has made itself a refuge for retired chimpanzees. is an organization that provides a natural habitat for chimps that were used for medical research, acting, or kept as pets that are now retired. During the year they hold a few public viewing days and yesterday we went to the last one of 2007.

I’m not much for causes, but this one seems pretty noble. The fact that they haven’t turned the project into a for profit zoo makes the undertaking alright with me. When you enter the park they only ask for donations, usually bags of fruit or nuts, and blankets for the winter. Overall, the setup (other than the parking) was great. Watching chimpanzees climbing in the trees of northwest Louisiana was a lot more fun than I expected. Annie was too young to get it, but my wife and I had a nice time. The only downfall was the other people.

The habitat is open from 9 to 12 on Saturday, so the crowds and parking were a little crazy. When we finally found a place to park, yours truly started the day off with a bang by standing on one of our many ridiculously large anthills that we have down here. Of course I didn’t realize what was happening until the 20th bite or so, and I had to do some quick swatting to make sure my assailants didn’t make it past my ankles. My skin still itches this morning. The only other scenario that hindered the enjoyment of the day was the large number of poorly behaved ten-year-old boys in attendance. There was no shortage of kids rooting for the man who dispenses the food by throwing it into the forest to hit the chimps in the head. Call me crazy, but I would have thought that parents would realize that an apple in the skull from 150 feet might hurt. One particular family that stood next to us stood idly by as their boys threw garbage over the fence. Strangely, when it comes to Shreveport, littering doesn’t seem to be such a big deal. There are some people down here who throw garbage out of their car windows like Ron Burgundy. After watching this family for about fifteen minutes, one question became all too obvious. Which primates were better behaved yesterday?

Okay, on to last night. Annie went to bed at 7:30 with a bit more crying than the rest of last week, but she fell soundly asleep by 8:00. My wife and I went to bed at 10:30 and then Annie woke up at 1:00. She has done this a few times over the last 7 days and then went back to sleep after a few minutes. However, last night she was crying very hard for about a half an hour. At this point my wife and I had a hearty parenting discussion that ended in my getting out of bed and making a bottle. Through my bleary eyes I could see the slippery slope I was walking on. Naturally, I am up at 6 A.M. writing, because once the lion gets a taste she wants more. In one seemingly innocuous day we went from no wakeups over the course of twelve hours to two wakeups in ten. Great. Now what?

Only tonight will tell if I have unraveled all of my hard work from last week. Will I have to start sleep training all over again? Was Annie’s poor sleep due simply to the fact that she spit up more than usual yesterday? Or that she when she sleeps for twelve hours she takes in three less bottles per day? And finally, was I lying about not being a pushover anymore?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"parents would realize that an apple in the skull from 150 feet might hurt"

is this anything like rock fights, or crab apple fights? Maybe whipping tennis balls at your 'friends' from 8ft away in the pitch black?

November 13, 2007 at 3:52 PM  

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