Want to know what happens when you take wild and crazy testosterone bundles into the tranquil environment of the meditative National Botanic Gardens?
Well, I can tell you what doesn't happen when you mix boys and foliage.
For one, paths are not followed. While adults and employees prefer the designated walk-ways, boys come pre-wired to forge new trails and promptly search out short cuts, secret routes, and rugged terrain to explore.
2. Signs are not followed - While the gardens didn't display (at least noticably) any "DO NOT TOUCH" signs, these also would be overlooked by any boy in exploratory mode. How else does one learn that a prickly cactus does indeed prick, almost identical to the way it looks in cartoons?
And on the subject of not touching...while fountains provide a peaceful white noise to the grown-ups, those still in the growing up category are itching to test the waters, balancing precariously on the cement walls of the inviting waters to dip fingertips, elbows, or take a fully clothed plunge if not stopped before.
(Take note of the gash on Jeff's cheek - it will come up again later.)
Clearly the National Botanic Gardens have encountered this before and provided a water outlet for inquisitive kiddos. Also just as clear, it was invented by interns not yet parents complete with large loose boulders and medal
3. Boys will not calmly tour plants for hours without food. So what's a hungry guy to do admist vegetation? When you come to the edible plants exhibit, help yourself. I'm sure the "Botanists of Tomorrow Club-National Chapter" will appreciate their prized lone pineapple being attacked by a starving toddler. The plant won; remember that gash?
4. Not sure if there was a NO FOOD OR DRINKS sign...I'm starting to see a reoccurring theme with not noticing signs, but I figured if their pineapples and mango trees were to escape unscathed by ravenous young males I should pull out the snacks. I figured the horticulture interns would thank me in the long run.
5. Benches are not just for sitting and taking in the serene rainforests surroundings. While plant enthusiasts mediated in the jungle setting, my snack filled, fountain drenched, plant attacked little men promptly declared rest time and stretched out to catch a break. This gave me a full 18 seconds to take a breather myself before we continued to
conquer tour the gardens.