next time we just play in the backyard

It’s a beautiful sunny day today, so we decided to go to the Museum of Life + Science.  We played outside in the sandbox, checked on the animals, and ogled the insects.

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Lunch was fine–grilled cheeses all around with only minimal detritus on the floor.

We should have left then.

But, as I said, it was such a pleasant day, out and it the morning chill had finally left the air.  We decided to walk down to see the bears, and that is where it all fell apart.  Little w. wanted to walk on the handrails and play with the water fountain that looks like it’s peeing (his words, not mine), and little e., oh, e.  What to do with her?  If there were a theme song to her life at this point it would be Culture Beat’s “Mr. Vain”–“I know what I want and I want it now….”

Yeesh, all she wanted was for me to carry her, and as I am enjoying not having pulled chest muscles at the moment, that was simply not going to happen.  She refused the stroller and refused to walk.  w. would bolt down the path, and she would just stand there investigating some dandelions or an interesting pine cone.

After the bear viewing, sailboat adventures, and podshooter fun, she finally deigned to ride in the stroller and promptly poured half the contents of her sigg bottle over her and onto the stroller seat which then had w. in tears because he wanted to ride in it and it was all wet.  Double yeesh.  So no one rode in the stroller all the way back to the main building.  I bribed w. inside by offering to make him a souvenir penny in the gift shop (I love playing with that machine).  No sooner did he push the money in than we heard this awful siren/bell thing go off.  For half a minute I thought that we had hit the jackpot in Vegas, and I expected to see pennies with images of trains, butterflies, and space rockets come pouring out of the machine.  We, however, were promptly swarmed by Museum employees holding walkie talkies, and I realized  that the howling noise that has us clutching our ears was actually a fire alarm positioned directly above the penny making machine.  I ignored the gift shop employee who was telling me to go back in the store and exit through Door #1, and we left through the main entrance and got in our car and went home.

The oddest part, though, was that while patrons of the Museum were dutifully filing through the parking lot to a grassy patch, presumably to be counted and told to stand quietly in a single file line or they will have detention (that’s at least what I did as a middle school teacher), you can hear children laughing and drums being played on the Museum’s outdoor playground.  Who gets to evacuate them or the ones stuck walking back from the podshooters with a wet stroller and two exhausted kids?

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