Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The museum, and a case of mistaken identity

As promised, here's a rundown of my trip to the California Academy of Sciences with the kids.

This new structure just opened a few months ago, and the tickets tend to sell out quickly on the weekends, which is why I decided to take the kids myself during the week. Even for a Monday in April, the lines were awfully long and it was pretty crowded inside.

Someday I hope to go back through the museum and actually read more than a couple of words on each exhibit. Because on Monday I was way too busy trying to keep track of three kids as we wandered through the crowds. My 6-year-old is responsible, but prone to wandering absentmindedly away. My 4-year-old son is the impulsive type who might break away suddenly and run off. And my 2-year-old daughter--well, she's a 2-year-old.

I think the best way to explain it is to simply share this list of phrases that I repeatedly said/shouted from the time we got out of the car until the kids were strapped back into their seats:
  • Wait.
  • Let's go.
  • Stop!
  • Come on.
  • Not yet.
  • Now.
  • Let's go find a bathroom.
  • Come with me.
  • Get over here!
  • Stay with us.
  • Watch where you're going.
  • Hold on.
  • Time to go.
  • Don't you want to go see the _________?
  • Time for someone else to have a turn.
  • If you are really hungry you will eat it.
  • Wait up!
  • Hurry up.
  • Stop grabbing your sister/brother.
  • Stop shoving your sister/brother.
  • Stop pinching your sister/brother.
  • Do we need to leave right now?
  • You have to wait for us.
  • Do you want to ride or walk?
  • You have to choose one, ride or walk?
  • You can't just hang on to the stroller and drag your feet, you have to either ride or walk.
  • Fine, you're going to ride then.
  • Well, I warned you.
  • Wait for us!
  • Yes, I know he was running off, but you didn't need to tackle him.
  • That guy doesn't look anything like Daddy.
Okay, that last one I did not say repeatedly. Just once. My kids were in this cave thing that I think was called the "Children's Eel Garden." I stood outside while they were in the cave, so luckily I could pretend not to know my 4-year-old when he looked over at some random sweatshirt-wearing college student and said excitedly, "Oh! Hi, Daddy!"

Aside from being roughly the same height as my husband and having dark brown hair, I really saw no similarities whatsoever. The look on the guy's face was priceless. The look on his girlfriend's face was even better. I considered intervening, but then decided that it would work itself out.

It did. When my son continued, "Hello, Daddy! How are you doing?" my daughter started looking around and saying, "Daddy? Where's Daddy?" My older son came over. "What are you talking about? Dad's not here."

Upon closer inspection, my little guy realized his mistake. "Oh, that's not Daddy," he said. And went back to looking at eels.


Swizz said...

Ruth, I found your blog on momblogs and decided to stop by. You sound like my kind of person! Too much caffeine, anal organizer, but hates to clean. ;o)

I only have one monster of my own, but totally feel the same craziness and lack of sanity when we do those types of outings. The aquarium can be a blast and a repetitive nightmare (verbally) all wrapped in one!

Maureen said...

OMG!!! I am crying/laughing over S's case of mistaken identity with the college aged "dad"! I wish my belly wasn't so large and in the way so the laugh could feel better, but man, what a funny tale! I hope you write these down!!!

Angela said...

ROTFL!!! Thanks! I needed that tonight!