We're off to the museum today, my standard "we have nothing planned and it's cold outside" activity. Mondays are no school group days, so it's a little less crazy in the children's museum. We are so lucky in Cincinnati to have Museum Center, which is a collection of three museums in one historic setting. Union Terminal was once the hub of all rail travel in the city and is a gorgeous example of Art Deco architecture with beautiful WPA era murals in the rotunda.
With our museum membership, we are able to sample all three museums on any given day.
This means we have developed a little bit of a routine: start with the dinosaurs and the cave in the Natural History Museum, head over to the Children's Museum for a while, then head upstairs for lunch, and make a pass through the train display in the Cincinnati History Museum before heading to the car. Parents of preschoolers will not be surprised to hear that any deviation from this routine leads to some major concern from O.
"But Mom, we cannot go through the dinosaurs from this side, because we will be looking right at the Allosaurus' teeth. We are supposed to go through the cave first, and come in this room from that side!"
The special exhibit currently at the Museum Center is Dinosaurs Unearthed, and while I could not have asked for a show more suited for my boy's fascination, I must admit I think it's going to make my life difficult from now until the end of its run in September. Several weeks ago, a couple of days before its official opening, O. caught sight of the life sized stegosaurus inside the exhibit hall, as well as the new dinosaur themed gift shop. When he learned he could not go inside because it wasn't open yet, he wailed out loud, and continued to cry off and on about it at any time of slight stress for the next three days.
"But when am I going to be able to go see those big dinosaurs and buy a dinosaur in that store? I have lots of money. Please, Mom."
We finally relented when Grandma Choo-Choo came to visit, and went to see them. The exhibit is really quite impressive, with life sized, moving dinosaurs. Some can actually be operated by pressing buttons. My mother in law, who had O. by the hand while J. and I tried to maneuver the crowds and N., reported that he was visibly shaking with excitement as he ran headlong into the exhibit with no awareness of any lines or flow of traffic.
He reports that the big horned one with fur was his favorite, but the gallimimus was also cool. (One of the angles of the exhibit is making a connection between birds and dinosaurs, so several of the models are depicted with furry looking feathers).
In the gift shop, Grandma was willing to buy him just about anything he wanted, including what I thought was a very cool dinosaur alarm clock. No, he picked a tube of tiny plastic carnivorous dinosaurs, like the ones he has at least 30 of already at home. His newest favorite activity at home is burying them in Tupperware containers full of uncooked macaroni and digging for them "like a paleontologist."
Anyway, today will be our first visit since the tour of the dinosaur show, and we won't be paying the extra ten dollar a head fee to get in today. I'm hoping for only a slight meltdown, but who knows.
Yesterday, when my parents were over for the afternoon, O. insisted on turning the entire downstairs into "Dino World" (in his imagination) so that we could all pretend to be different dinosaurs. I think I was supposed to be a troodon. My mom asked him why it was he liked dinosaurs so much.
Without hesitation, he replied: "Because they're awesome."