Strategic Outing

Sometimes you hit a point where you just need to get out of the house.  Friday was that day.  The kids had been out of school for a full week by then and except for the very brief trip we made to Matt’s parent’s house on Christmas day we had not left the house at all.  We weren’t sure if we should or could leave the house with Brendan being sick, but after confirming to the doctor that he was just sick with a bad cold (or as he called it, the creepy crappy viral crud) we felt safe taking him out and about despite him still coughing.

Brendan had brought home a flyer back in September notifying us that the Air and Space museum would be having a traveling exibit from then until the end of the year which featured characters from the movie Robots.  Knowing how much the kids love that movie, we hung the flyer on the refrigerator and fully intended to take the kids to see it.  So here we were at the end of December, only a few days left to the exibit, and we still had not taken them to see it.  Not wanting to miss the opportunity, we packed up the kids and off we went.

The museum is about a 30 minute drive from my house, so long before we got there we were getting complaints about how long this was taking, and questions about when we would get there.  Upon arriving, we found that we were not the only people who’d had this idea and were forced to park pretty far out in the parking lot.  This generated more complaints of being cold, being tired, and anything else they could think of.  So as we climbed the steps up to the front door of the museum I was starting to think this may have been a bad idea.  But we paid our admission anyway, and surged ahead.

We took the elevator downstairs and right in front of us was the exibit.  Once the kids saw it, it was like the last hours worth of complaints had never happened.  They couldn’t have been more excited.  In situations like this we’re thankful that Brendan is old enough to be responsible for himself because taking Cameron and Kaylee through a crowd can be extremely challenging.  Cameron gets so excited that he tends to run ahead to see what’s coming up next.  If you’re distracted in any way, you can easily lose sight of him in a crowd (which has happened more times than I’d care to count).  Meanwhile, Kaylee is at an age where she wants to be independant.  That means that if you try to hold her hand, she screeches loudly and says, “No, I do it.”  She’s good about not running away so I don’t fight her very often on that point, but she walks veeeeeeeeeeeeerrrryy sllllllllllllllllllooooooooooooooowwwwwwwly, so again if you’re distracted in any way (such as by a 4 year old streaking off like a rocket) you can easily forget that her short little legs can’t keep up and will leave her in the dust.  Taking all three kids somewhere by myself is interesting because I’ll have Cameron in front of me, Brendan beside me, and Kaylee behind me.

Matt took responsibility for Cameron, I took Kaylee, and we let Brendan lead the way through the exibit.  I have to say, it was extremely disappointing.  They had models of three of the main characters on display right inside the archway to the exibit, but other than that this could have been an exibit for anything.  The point of the exibit was to teach kids that the futuristic things seen in the robots movie were not as far off as they might think, but to me it was cheesy and a pathetic attempt.  The kids didn’t seem to mind though, and we visited every station in the exibit.  It took about 15 minutes.

Afterward, we decided to stay and walk through the rest of the museum.  We weren’t sure if the kids would enjoy this or not, Brendan had been to the museum two other times; the first time he loved it, the second time he was bored out of his mind.  But we weren’t ready to go home yet, and figured if nothing else walking through the museum would burn off some of the kids excess energy.  The museum layout is fairly simplistic.  There are two giant aircraft hangers filled with out of service and refurbished airplanes of all shapes and sizes from the World War II era up to more recent aircraft.

Luck was with us, as all three kids seemed to be at least somewhat interested in what they were seeing.  Brendan was truly fascinated by what he was seeing, and soon he and Matt were engrossed in conversation about what the different airplanes did, and how they worked.  My husband loves the World War II era and knows quite a bit about the different aircraft that were used in the war, and the war tactics that were used back then, so he was in his element.  Cameron was just excited to be around the enormous machines.  More than once he walked up to the tires of the airplane and made sure we knew that they were taller than he was.  There were also a couple of airplanes that had stairs and walkways constructed next to them so that you could climb up and look inside of them.  I’m not sure if it was actually getting to see inside the airplane, or just having something that he was allowed to climb on but he was most excited at the airplanes with this feature.  Kaylee was just excited because her brothers were excited.  I don’t think she ever stopped to actually look at any of the airplanes.

Walking the length of both hangers took us almost an hour, and by then we’d all had enough.  The boys were tired and cranky by then, and Kaylee was saying, “my yegs hurt.” So we headed for home.  The trip accomplished all that we’d hoped it would.  The kids got to see the Robots exibit, which was the highlight of their day, and we walked enough energy out of them that for the next couple hours all was quiet in my house as everyone rested and recouperated.

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