It was past time for another visit to the Children's Museum, and since the innards were calm (at least for the day), I decided today was the day. Without consulting the boy, of course. He tried to be cranky as we bustled around getting ready to go (filling a cup with milk, gathering a snack for him AND one for mommy/baby, putting on jackets...) but got interested in wherever it was once we got into the car. He loves to watch the world from his carseat. Sometimes he talks to trucks/ducks/people/dogs, and sometimes he just watches. Today was mostly a watching day.
The museum was a madhouse, an absolute zoo of unruly schoolchildren on field trips, some properly chaperoned, some careening down the famous children's museum ramp pushing strollers (why, may I ask, is there a baby in a stroller along on a school field trip? Which of these third graders is the parent of said small child? None? WELL THEN WHERE IN HEAVEN'S NAME WAS THE PARENT??? About forty yards behind, as it turns out, which, on famous ramp is about a half a floor), some gaping at nothing and then walking RIGHT INTO and falling on top of the stroller carrying said good-natured boy and his puppy, who got to come along. (Shhhh, the people at the desk thought it was stuffed...)
But! This is a happy post, because, due to my employment at friendly farm and historic museum, I get in free! And due to the boy's not-so-advanced age, so does he! So we made a beeline to the PLAYSCAPE area, the place just for preschoolers/toddlers/babies (school groups must have reservations). It, too, was a madhouse, but in a much more supervised manner. It was a happy madhouse.
Mark played in the absolutely amazing water run, mostly just letting the water drip over his hand and picking up toys out of the water to drop them back in, and then wandering over to another part of the fixture, completely ignoring his mother. I could've gone for coffee and he wouldn't have noticed.
Then off to the sandbox, completely nonplussed at the three-year-old girl who took a toy exactly out of his hand and said, "I want this." He didn't care. He got something else and continued on his happy little way.
Then it was a break for lunch (and re-entry into chaos, as the lunch-disaster area was, of course, full of all ages of people, not just veyr happy small fry). It was stressful and eternal (good thing we packed the milk and the applesauce), but eventually we were out of that area and back to Playscape once again. Why mess with a good thing?
We visited a climbing area, a play house, a fun pretend garden, the soft crawly area for babies (people under 2, please!) and then found THE CAR. It was a large wooden car, with which Mark fell in love. Unfortunately the object of his affections was being saved by a rather larger boy for his mommy (what mommy would tell her 4-year-old to save that toy for her???), but he agreed to share it with Mark. (Happily, I found another car to offer him for his mom when she asked him where the car he was supposed to save was. And thanked him for sharing with the baby. Even though Mark is NOT a baby...)
Mark loved the car. He proceeded to drive the car around the entire Playscape area for the next hour. He drove it over the mountains. He drove it through the tunnel (about 10 times. In a row). He spent the entire time crawling all over the place on his knees with this big wood car. Once again, I could've dropped off the planet, and it would've been okay with him, as long as I didn't take the car with me when I left.
When he started yawning, I knew it was time to head out. He started for the door. We had to go back and put the car away. He started to have a small tantrum. He got tucked into his stroller (and got Doggy dug out of the diaper bag for him to hold) and we were headed for home.
He was asleep in 15 minutes. He was awake when we got home. He did agree to go down for his nap, but was giggling when I closed his door, went to my own room, turned down the monitor, and snuggled down in my bed for my own nap. An hour later he was playing happily in bed when I woke up. Not sure if he got any more nap (Mom calls that a "play nap"), but we had a fun day. And we'll sleep well tonight!
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