You know those things you don't want to do but you do them anyway because it will make your kids happy? Well, Sunday was the perfect example of that for Travis and I. While the Realtor was hosting an open house at our home, we packed up and headed to our local children's museum. It seemed like a more enriching way to spend time rather than wandering around the mall. These are the types of things good parents do, right? We had no idea what we were in for.
The two most distinctive characteristics that greeted us like a ton of bricks as soon as we entered the children's museum are among our biggest pet peeves:
Crowds - Travis
Noise - Me
Don't get me wrong - we adore our children. However, being surrounded by swarms of other people's children, running, climbing, bouncing off the walls, and screeching at the tops of their hearty little lungs is enough to make me want to lock myself in a bathroom stall and wait out the duration of the museum tour on one of those little potty's that sits six inches off the ground. But I didn't do that. I was brave. Because, once again, these are the types of things that good parents do, right?
Disclaimer: If you're reading this, please don't be offended by my reference to other people's children. I wasn't talking about your children. Your children are darling angels. I mean other people's children ;-)
Our girls were thrilled as soon as they walked in the door and got little green turtles stamped on their hands. That was worth the price of admission as far as they were concerned. You would've thought they were showing off a Rolex they'd just received.
We should have turned around and left at that point, "There you go, girls. You've seen the children's museum and you got a really cool turtle stamped on your hand. Wasn't that fun?!" But being good parents, we stayed.
We started off in the music room where we encouraged Josie to play the steel drums. She immediately mistook the drum stick for a microphone.
That's when Dad stepped in and offered some guidance and before you knew it, the girls were getting their Bob Marley on.
Next stop: some sort of coloring exhibit where we enthusiastically encouraged Josie to color on the table for a good five minutes before noticing a sign that said "Please do not color on the table. Use the paper provided." Oops! Guess we owe the museum a Magic Eraser or two...
There was some sort of barn display with life-sized stuffed animals. Upon close examination, Josie angrily declared "Broken - needs batteries!". Yep. Not one of those animals sang. Josie even turned the goose over and looked for the On/Off switch. What kind of a museum is this? We want our money back!
Oh and then there's my extreme germ phobia. There I was, neuroticmom.com, chasing my kids around with a bottle of Purel in a cold sweat. But I never anticipated the horror that awaited me at the tooth brushing exhibit. While I stepped back to try and get a picture of Josie reaping the educational benefits of my good parenting, she took the enormous toothbrush and started brushing her teeth, not the displayed teeth.
But the girls were having fun. They spent a lot of time in the kitchen exhibit, which should come as no surprise because anytime you ask Merryn what she wants to do, her response is always the same: "eat!" So Josie whipped her up some mouth-watering plastic cuisine because she's a good big sister like that.
But despite the noise and the crowds and the germs and the fact that I think my girls were a little too young to actually utilize most of the exhibits, there was a super shiny silver lining...
My little gross motor grouch walked nearly the entire time!
We're talking a strange new environment with a bunch of overstimulated hellions threatening to plow her over at every turn and girlfriend persevered on her own two feet!
So witnessing that stellar display of skills and abilities was the absolute best part of the day! This distorted mirror that makes me look super skinny was a close runner up, though. Note to self: Figure out where to buy one of these bad boys...
So there you have it. We came, we saw, we survived, and then we had a beer. We'd earned it. And as far as the things that good parents do, we felt good about checking "Children's Museum" off the list. I'm sure it will seem like a walk in the park compared to the day we have to attempt to recall high school trigonometry skills to help with homework, or worse, have the dreaded "Birds and the bees" talk. But these are the things good parents do, right?