The entrance of the aviary is large and fancy looking, with intricate, swirly bronze gates that are adorned with large bronze peacocks on the ends. There are actually a few peacocks roaming all around the zoo, but they tend to stay near this center area. Daddy pointed to one that was standing on a nearby bench with his tail outstretched, revealing the beautiful colors in his feathers.
Just inside the gates was a large plaque explaining the history of the aviary. It was so important because it was actually the first building Marion Histolbury ever built for the Zoo and while most of the other buildings had gone through some type of renovation over the years, they had tried to keep the aviary exactly as it looked when it opened, giving it a wonderful “gilded-old-world” feel.
While other areas of the zoo had more exciting animals, the aviary was always a popular spot because of the experience. The architecture was beautiful; the windows on the domed glass top always made it look like the sun’s rays were shining down in an angelic way, and the sound system (one of the only modern features covertly added in) pumped quiet music through the halls. Usually alternating between solos from a piano, violin, or flute. Daddy took my hand in his as we started walking through the romantic setting.
We were taken along a maze of hallways, past different open bird exhibits. Toucans and flamingos greeted us, and we calmly walked from exhibit to exhibit, pointing out different birds to each other as they did funny things. Near the end was my favorite exhibit, a large tree filled with different types of parrots. All different colors. Parrots are very vocal, and even through the glass, the collective noise they made was impressive.
“Did I ever tell you when I first saw a parrot?” I asked Daddy. He smiled and pulled me close into his arms. leaning back against a railing along the wall. “I don’t think so. When? Right now?” He teased. “No!” I replied in a firm but playful voice. He tickled me a little bit, and we both giggled as I squirmed. I settled back into his chest, and he held me tight.
“My family visited an Aunt and Uncle out in California when I was really little. In Pasadena. It’s somewhere north of Los Angeles? Or close to it? I don’t really remember, but that’s what my parents said. I really barely remember any of it, but we kept going to this park that had little green parrots everywhere, and my uncle told me they ran away from the pet store 'cause they really wanted to live in the trees.” Daddy kissed the top of my head and said, “Wow, that’s a really great memory, little one.” We watched the birds in silence for a few more minutes before Daddy looked at his watch and said, “Oh! It’s getting pretty close to lunchtime for little guys like you. Should we keep moving?” I nodded, and we rounded the corner into the last section of the aviary, which was interactive.
This was where the Budgies lived. They were little parakeets, green and yellow and blue, who would flit and fly around you openly between small trees. For a dollar, you could buy a little stick that had a birdseed mixture on it. If you held out the stick, the Budgies would fly over, land on it, and get a snack. It was always one of our favorite parts, and Daddy bought both of us a stick from the nice man at the counter. We spent another 10 or 15 minutes there with the Budgies, watching them and letting them eat off of our birdseed sticks. When we were about done, I felt myself wet my diaper again. This one was a big flood, and I was already feeling pretty wet. I froze, hoping to not leak anywhere, and Daddy could tell instantly. I’m sure my face gave it away as well.
“Code red buddy?” he asked, nearing me. “I think I’m okay,” I replied, but he already had his hand on my butt, squeezing gently. “Ohhhh yeah.” he exclaimed slowly. “Another diaper destroyed by the super soaker. But…” He stepped back and examined my shorts carefully. “My eyes don't see any wet spots. Do you think you can make it through lunch before changies?” I blushed but nodded with a smile. We were in the danger zone, but I was pretty sure the diaper would last through a quick lunchtime.
He took my hand again, and we exited the aviary and passed another peacock as we rounded back to the food pavilion. Daddy said he had brought some stuff to eat, but he still got us both a piece of pizza from the concessions. He also got himself a Dr. Pepper and an Apple Juice for me. “Should I cut it up for you, Rory?” he asked with a little smile when we got to a table. “No, not today” I said, blushing. “Are you sure?” he asked, and I nodded. “Wow! What a big boy. Gonna eat his pizza with his hands and not get any on himself.” he teased me with a wink. I giggled and sat down. My diaper made a really big squish under me, and I felt a blush cross my face. But Daddy was rummaging through his backpack for the other parts of our lunch and hadn’t noticed. I wasn't sure if my diaper was leaking or not, but I decided to enjoy the meal and not think about it.
Between our plates of pizza, he put 3 little Tupperware and opened them. There were green grapes, little cheddar and mozzarella cheese squares, and roasted almonds. Daddy always brought finger foods for me to eat when we went out because they were my favorite and made me feel little. “Awww thank you Daddy!” I said, popping a cheese square into my mouth happily. “Of course, baby boy,” he replied. We ate the rest of our lunch, giggling as we watched the peacocks that kept passing by.
After we finished our meal, Daddy gave me a Dum-Dum lollipop for dessert, which I was very happy with. Blue Raspberry my favorite flavor! We gathered our trash and got up to throw it away when I heard Daddy say, “Uh oh, little guy!” I blushed hard again because, without looking, I knew what he was talking about. “I leaked?”
“Real bad,” he said. I looked at my butt, and the back of my shorts were almost entirely soaked through. I blushed again and looked at him with big eyes. “Oh, it’s okay, it's okay,” he reassured me. We threw away our trash quickly, and he took my hand and whisked me around the pavilion to the restroom area, which thankfully had a large room dedicated just to “Diaper Changes”. It was open, so we hustled inside and Daddy locked the door and lifted me onto the changing counter.
“Now I have another onesie for you,” Daddy started. “But do you have any-” I cut him off and said, “There are extra shorts in my PlayPack.” “Good boy,” he said with a nod, and got to work setting up for the change. He put the baby wipes, lotion, powder, and a loud, thick diaper next to my head. The way it crinkled just by being placed on the counter made me blush. He would usually give me a pacifier, but I still had the Dum-Dum and was happy to suck on that.
He had a couple of disposal bags on the floor, ready to go, and he carefully peeled my wet shorts off and put them into one. The bottom of my safari onesie was also soaked. “Thank goodness for these,” Daddy mumbled, as he undid the snaps on the shoulders of my onesie and pulled it down, over my legs and feet. He put it into the same bag as the soaked shorts and tied them up securely. He put his hand on the front of my diaper and playfully shook it. “You’re just too much for these things!” I giggled and squirmed a little in response.
He slid the new diaper under me and then started to undo the tapes from my old one. He pulled it out, balled it up, and put it into the other disposal bag. First, he took the baby wipes and wiped down my diaper area carefully, also disposing of the wipes into the bag. Then he rubbed me down with some lotion and sprinkled baby powder on me, all while humming a little tune. He taped up the super crinkly diaper, kissed me on the forehead, and grabbed the new onesie out of his PlayPack. It was light blue, with little smiling cartoon cat faces all over it. “For the cat house!” he said proudly. I smiled big at him, and he laughed. “Aww, your mouth is all blue from the sucker buddy.” he said.
He put the onesie over my head and snapped it under my diaper, telling me how cute I looked before he went into my bag to grab the extra shorts. They were just little black shorts, the same style as my khaki ones, with a little stretchy drawstring waist. He pulled them up over my fresh diaper and onesie and started clapping. “Yay! We did it!” he said, and I giggled and clapped with him. He tied up the bag with my old diaper, and put that into a 2nd bag before throwing it into the trashcan. He put the bag with my clothes in his backpack and helped me off the counter. We both washed our hands quickly, and left the changing room.
I was beaming. Even though my new diaper was very crinkly, and was already making a lot of noise between my legs, it also felt like a fluffy cloud, and I was super happy to be all dry and fresh again. It must have shown because Daddy smiled and asked, “Feeling happy buddy?” and I said, “Very!”
“Good!” He said, ruffling my hair a bit. “Well, now that you’re all clean and fed, how about we go see the animals at the petting zoo?” I gasped with excitement and nodded, which made Daddy laugh. “What if we race there?” he asked. It was only 20, maybe 30 feet from the bathrooms, and I knew that Daddy just wanted to hear my diaper get really loud and crinkly while we ran, but he also knew I could never say no to a friendly challenge like that. “Yea!” I said, getting into a ready stance. He mirrored my position and looked into my eyes while he said, “Okay ready? 3… 2… 1… Go!” and we both took off towards the petting zoo, laughing (and crinkling) with each step… TO BE CONTINUED