Isabel is obsessed with The Lion King right now. Obsessed.
Actually obsessed would be an understatement.
I'm sure she's seen both The Lion King and The Lion King II: Simba's Pride close to 50 times. Each. No exaggeration. Literally, fifty times...
She also "plays" The Lion King. She will give each person a role to play. Usually I'll be Nala, Patrick will be Simba and Isabel will be Kiara. Or she'll do the same with her toys. She watches the movie with closed captioning, she reads the books, she listens to the music, she's at the point where she's watching it in Spanish and French. I'm not going to stop her..
As soon as we started thinking about birthday ideas I decided that I was going to take Isabel to the party store and let her pick out her own plates, decorations, etc. I was going to let her pick her cake and just let her have fun. It didn't matter if we had Mickey Mouse plates with Strawberry Shortcake cups with Disney Princess decorations. I just wanted her to have fun.
But then the obsession began and I knew that there was no choice. I had to get Lion King decorations and party supplies. Which is exactly what I did. Invitations, thank you cards, plates, cups, balloons, and toys which will go on top of her cake and later be given to her to play with.
Then I got a brilliant, beyond brilliant idea. If she loves The Lion King so much we should go to the zoo to see real lions. And giraffes. And meerkats. And zebras. And monkeys.
So we did. Except the lion at the LA Zoo passed away last year and they have yet to replace it.. Fail! But it ended up being a good day. She got tired and cranky though so we had a few meltdowns towards the end, but I think it was still a successful day. A trip to the Santa Barbara zoo might be in order while I'm out of work on medical leave. I can't even imagine her reaction to seeing real lions.
We ended up missing a lot of the animals. We got a little turned around while trying to find the elephants, but I think it was time to call it a day anyway. The problem though was we missed all of the cats that were there (tigers, jaguars, etc). I guess there's not much we can do now!