Today was Ayla's birthday party. (Her actual birthday is Tuesday, she'll be 7!)
We looked at a number of different options for her party, but when we discovered Creature Quest online, she wanted nothing else. This is a company that will bring live animals to your location. And we're not talking about cats and dogs here. The animals included a chinchilla, a tree frog, a scorpion, a tarantula... and for every animal, the handler would talk a bit about it, and then pass it around for the children to hold or pet. The kids were thrilled!! The tarantula was perhaps the biggest hit. To my surprise, this tarantula was not de-fanged. Apparently you can't de-fang a tarantula. It wouldn't bite the children, our handler assured us, because the kids looked nothing like bugs. ? We trusted her, and the kids all got to feel the sticky feet of this giant spider walking along their hands and arms.
I love the fact that no one in our apartment building was the least bit concerned about us doing this, in the community lounge downstairs. There were no special reservation forms to fill out for the room, no waivers to sign, no one calling a halt to a party full of exotic animals. This is one of the things I really like about Canada. The less-litigious culture, and slightly-European value set, makes for a more trusting social environment. Gay people will get married, you'll bring your own bags to the grocery store, and no one will raise an eyebrow if you want to give your children a live coral snake in a room of their building.
My girl is growing so fast... here she is, having birthday cake with her friends.