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Friday, June 19, 2009  

Museum Quality Time

With Trash having been sick this weekend -- actually, for the last two weeks on and off, culminating in a visit to urgent care and prescriptions for antibiotics to treat her pneumonia and double sinus infections -- having her spend a lot of time taking care of our four-year-old was not on. Even me spending a lot of time taking care of our four-year-old was not on, because of the caretaking his mom needed. My parents to the rescue once again, as they picked up M. Edium last Friday afternoon and dropped him back off nearly 48 hours later.

By that time, even though Trash's sinus infection had cleared up to the point where only half of her teeth felt like they were falling out, we both thought it best to get M. Edium out of the house for the afternoon. Times like this are when we're glad we have a membership to the Science Museum of Minnesota. Show the person at the entrance your membership card, and you get in free. Primarily because of how much you paid to get the membership card.

We got to see a lot more of the museum this time, simply because we stayed longer. Trash has the philosophy that you only bring him for a couple of hours each time, because otherwise he'll get bored with it. I think I proved that wrong last weekend.

Because, see, what happens is that every time, he goes right down to the floor with the dinosaurs and the little experiments for kids, and he stays there until it's time to go. If Trash's theory were correct, he'd be bored of the dinosaurs and the little experiments for kids by now, and he'd start going to different areas.

So guess what he did this time? He went right to the dinosaurs and the little experiments for kids, and was so confident in his knowledge of them that he wanted me to go off in the opposite direction so he could be alone to explore the areas that he's been to enough times to consider his "turf." And he started to get kind of pissy when I didn't. I 'splained that that wasn't happening, and he could change his attitude or we could go home. It wasn't a problem after that.

So he did his usual routine circuit, but we finally expanded his horizons. After a couple hours, when I'd normally be prying him away from the dinosaurs and the little experiments for kids, what we did instead was go and visit some other areas of the museum. Like, there's this whole floor devoted to biology. He spent some quality time removing and replacing rubber organs from a puzzle mannequin. It took a while, so I tried to distract myself with nearby displays about germs and snot. As if I hadn't had enough of that at home.

Then there were whole other areas he'd never been to. He got his first look at the museum's mummy, for instance, which freaked him out a bit. I remember over a year ago, when Trash took him to the Institute of Arts and he asked her what that sarcophagus was. Trash floundered so spectacularly that another mom stopped to watch. As opposed to this time, when he was older and understood a little more about death. I was lucky that now I could calm his mild freak-out by explaining, "That's just a really old thing that used to be a guy," and he seemed cool with that.

After a time camping at an area on the fourth floor filled with books and puzzles and stuffed animals (he normally likes to spend some time camping at an area on the third floor filled with books and puzzles and stuffed animals) and a lengthy visit to the bathroom, we decided to visit the Big Back Yard, whose most salient feature is a miniature golf course, each of whose holes double as a demonstration of some aspect of a river (appropriate, since you can pretty much spit into the Mississippi from there. If you have a really long straw). That may have been my one mistake, because the next time we go to the Science Museum he wants to bring his swim trunks.

After this five-hour visit, I thought Trash might take me to task for making him blasé about the Science Museum. But I knew she wouldn't say that if she knew how hard it was getting him out of there. And in fact, she didn't suggest that at all. And when she brings him back for his next visit and he goes right to the dinosaurs and the little experiments for kids, I think I'll be fully vindicated.

posted by M. Giant 11:20 AM 0 comments


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