But then, before you know it, you are face to face with a masturbating monkey and someone is asking too many questions and you must slowly back away from the primates, run to your car and sit in the fetal position for an hour before you can brave the ride back home.
I guess the important thing to remember is that kids rarely know what they are looking at.
For instance, at our last visit to the zoo, Mazzy pointed to a group of turtles and asked, "They're climbing together, Mommy?"
The correct response would have been, "You're close, sweet pea, but what's actually going on is two turtles were getting their rocks off when a third turtle who was fed up with his usual 'observer role' decided to get in on the action and turn a natural (although exhibitionist) turtle act into the more sexually deviant— wild swinging turtle orgy."
And that masturbating monkey I spoke of? That was a real thing. I didn't even notice him located right next to our window because I, along with the rest of the parents, were too busy pointing out a cute little baby monkey located in the distance.
Then I overheard the following conversation between a little girl and her father.
"That monkey is hurt."
"The monkey right there, pulling the red thorn out from between his legs."
"He can't get it out so he keeps pulling it."
At that moment, every parent standing in the general area saw it too.
Then we all grabbed our childs' hands and quickly dispersed.
Beyond the zoo's hard-to-explain moments, are the scarred-for-life moments that will continue to haunt your child way into adulthood.
I still have vivid memories of the time my normally cautious mother decided it would be a great idea to feed a giraffe grapes by opening the sun roof while riding through The Great Adventure Wild Safari Drive-Thru.
The giraffe thought it was a great idea, too.
So great, that he quickly swung his whole head into the top of our car and stuck his forty foot tongue of slime straight into the bag, which I happened to be holding. My sister, my mom and I all started screaming as my father tried desperately to close the automatic sun roof (in the 80s, closing an automatic sun roof was comedically slow). You also must imagine the 'sun roof closing sound effect' paired with the screaming and my father shouting, "THROW THE GRAPES OUT THE WINDOW! THROW THE GRAPES OUT THE WINDOW!" as I sat there frozen whlie giraffe saliva dripped all over the backseat.
In the end, the giraffe removed it's tongue right before it got completely severed off which most surely would have resulted in years of therapy for all of us.
Below are 5 more unfortunate zoo moments I hope you never experience with your children.
Check out my post on Babble today, "5 Nearly Impossible Diaper Changes", including the time I tried to change a poopy diaper while my daughter was wearing a large ribbon-covered tutu.
That was this morning, thank you very much.