It was everything I had dreamed it would be except that we didn’t have nearly enough time to see everything. But both kids even sat through some of the lightning show without crying, instead calmly asking to leave when the noise got to be too much for them. We also saw dinosaurs, model boats, windmills, robots, computers, an enormous model grasshopper, baby chicks, and a bunny, among many other things.
Did you notice how I snuck “giant model grasshopper” into that list? That was an exhibit on how a model of an object can be bigger or smaller than the actual object, and the display contained a huge grasshopper standing over a model train. I thought Nora would like to push the button to make the train go, but I neglected to consider the impression a ten-foot long grasshopper would make on a nearly two-year-old little girl. It was not a good one. Her eyes wider than seemed humanly possible, fixed onto the grasshopper and she clutched my shirt a little more tightly. “I scared,” she told me. “I scared.” She was actually pretty calm about it, but she didn’t exactly object when I removed her to another part of the museum.
But despite that error in parental judgment, Nora loved the museum just as much as Jack did. While Jack and Andrew went to the Omni show, Nora and I hung out in the Discovery Room, a room geared towards little kids, and she was in heaven. They had puppets, and ball coasters; a bunny and a snake; a totally awesome water table,* and a real stuffed bear that Nora got to touch.
The kids have been talking about the museum for days now, and on Friday I decided to make a video of Nora talking about the “HUGE di-saur” and how she “toucha bear,” to capture it for posterity. And that’s when things went a bit awry.
Nora's take on the Museum of Science from Maureen on Vimeo.
She’s been scared of dinosaurs ever since. She ran crying into the kitchen yesterday because Jack was watching Dinosaur Train, for crying out loud. “I scared! Di-saur! Scared!” We no longer talk about the museum, but we do spend a lot of time talking about how there are no dinosaurs here. I drew a “No Dinosaurs Allowed” sign for her too, in case it helps.
But you all saw it, right? At the beginning, of that video, she loved the di-saur. It was awesome! Something just happened in her little brain that got dinosaurs and huge giant grasshoppers all tangled up and equated. I don't even think she remembers the grasshopper at all anymore. It's kind of heartbreaking, but, come on. It's also kind of hilarious.
The new message seems to be sinking in, because today she started to get panicky about dinosaurs, but then told me "No di-saurs here. Not 'lowd."