Monday, July 26, 2010

Our trip to the Explorium

This summer has been so hot that just walking to the car draws out buckets of sweat. Staying inside all day, however, makes me want to pluck out my eyes. I have been trying to find new ways to entertain the kids and get out of the house. Trips to the grocery store were a novelty at first, but they are hit or miss with the double child seats. The best are at Kroger where the kids can ride in a car with real horns and steer the cart themselves. We spent way too long at Kroger getting compliments on behavior and “aren’t they just the cutest” from middle-aged women.
I thought a trip to Toys-R-Us would be fun. I needed to get some child safety latches for the cabinets, and I figured they must have really cool carts for kids. Wrong. They had regular old shopping carts. I didn’t bring the stroller, so I carried the kids around the store—well, just to the safety aisle (we didn’t stay long). Like a cartoon cat eating a fish, Emaline had the shelves picked clean in seconds. When the cashier asked if we found everything we were looking for, I told her, as only my mother would, that I was looking for a store catering to parents and children to have proper accommodations, and that I was sorely disappointed.

Later that day, Aimee said that the Best Buy next door had shopping carts with Geek Squad cars attached to them. Yea, Best Buy. Boo, Toys-R-Us.

Having stocked up on groceries, I made the decision to take the kids to downtown Lexington to the children’s museum, the Explorium. I had been to the museum about eight years ago with the PLBKs from the Manchester Center. They loved it. They, however, were elementary school kids.

We had discussed going to the Explorium several times already. We had gone to the website to check it out. We made ill-fated plans with the Webbs. We just never actually took the kids. First, the price is $7 for everyone one year of age and up. Second, most of the exhibits were designed for older kids. Third, with nap times, meal times, and cranky times, we have a limited window of opportunity.

Last week, the temperature reached 150 degrees. The heat index was 3,000 degrees. Our weatherman, Bill Meck, looked more like a lobster than ever. We needed a diversion, or as Jason Stackhouse would say, “a divergence.”

I made sure the diaper bag was well-stocked with fruit, milk, Cheerios, animal crackers and goldfish, and we were off. One of them slept on the way there. I don’t remember which one—they are twins after all.

One parking deck, one pedway, and two elevator trips later, we were at the Explorium. The tween at the counter asked “How many?”

I said just me and the babies.

She asked how old they were.

I said, “One,” knowing their policy.

She said, “It’s $7 for kids one and up.”

I said, “They’re eleven months and 29 days old.” I’m going to be lying about my kids’ ages for years to come, but I hope that I will remember the first time I lied to save $14. I then added, “We may not be here very long. This is an experiment.”

Knowing I was full of diaper fruit, she charged me $7.

Kids in the stroller, we made a quick tour of the main floor of the museum. I then parked the stroller next to the infant to three-year-old gulag, released the beasts, and commenced playing. This tiny corner of the Explorium was a wonderland for the twins: new toys, a three-tier water table, a train table, steps that weren’t cordoned off, and other kids.

Emaline ran around like a squirrel. Keillor found another boy with his mom, and promptly made his way between them.

Bumble Keillor conquers Mount Carpet
After our probationary stage in the kiddie corner, we went out into the great museum. Released from bondage, Emaline looked like a pinball bouncing from exhibit to exhibit. Not as sure on his feet, Keillor moved more slowly, still wide-eyed.

Kid Commandment #1: Thou shalt splash
Emaline meets herself in a giant mouth
They visited a giant mouth, rode a tractor, picked vegetables (Keillor tried to eat plastic corn), jumped on a Big piano, played with bubbles, visited an adobe house, walked on the moon, smelled perfume-scented flowers and much, much more. I had little heart attacks as I imagined them falling down stairs, being abducted, or pooping.
Keillor finds a new virus

Nearing lunch time, I had to make a decision: take them to Cosi and let them come back to the museum later or take them home. While we were having a swell time, I’m glad we went home. They were pooped (figuratively).
This one doesn't have a horn like the last one

On our way out, I planned to go back to the ticket counter and give Miley Cyrus the other $14 I owed her, but she wasn’t there, and it would have been weird trying to explain to someone else how I had cheated the system but wanted to make amends. Next time.
Emaline tries to make one small step out of the crater

Speaking of next time, the Explorium is definitely a two-parent job. Mommy will be invited in the future.

1 comment:

  1. We are in the middle of fall now! Summer is over! I want an update!!!