Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Awkward Mom vs. the Henry Ford Museum (part 2)

You know, the part where we are actually at the museum....

So, we finally make it into the Henry Ford Museum, and thanks to our handy dandy museum pass, we don't even have to stand in line! We can head straight into the museum, which we do....well, I suppose it could hardly be called "straight in." We shed coats upon our entry, some of us onto the floor. This requires removing said coats from under some teenager's foot and on to the hangers in the coatroom, which involves leaving the stroller off to the side, where it is moved by someone accessing a magical broom closet that I swear wasn't there when I placed the stroller there. This causes me to freak out and accuse some poor sweet janitor of stealing my baby, which is not my proudest moment, so I gather my herd and head to the bathroom to hide. Plus, I drink too much diet Pepsi and I have to go. I block the sinks completely with the stroller (it is rather limo-like in size) and race into a stall. Super Preschooler, the only one not shackled into the stroller, is incensed at being left outside, so, to my horror, he crawls under the door. I burst out of the door to find a woman washing her hands over Super Toddler's head. I think I remember to apologize as I scoot the stroller over and scoop Super Preschooler into the sink, where I wash every exposed inch of him and debate burning his clothes. I throw him onto my shoulders, where he loudly complains that he would be taller if Daddy where here, and I reclaim the stroller. I somehow wrench the door open with my foot and kick it as hard as I can, while trying to push the whole stroller through before it closes on us. The result being a jerky lumber out of the bathroom, that rams a lovely gentleman in a wheelchair in the process. (which I do feel bad about, but a man his age should know that lurking by the bathroom door will result in unpleasant surprises every time) This parade of shame concluded, we head straight into the museum.

Super Preschooler has a trick up his sleeve today; he wants to go to the trains first. I am shocked, as he is usually already running into the Oz exhibit before we have fully parked the car. I am also a little scared, as the train exhibit is the farthest thing from us right now. It takes us 20 minutes to get there. Would it take you 20 minutes? No, it would take you about 3. But Super Toddler decides that the gift shop and its lava lamp are worth a detour. Super Baby wakes up and decides that FDR's car freaks her out. Super Preschooler decides that he wants a Mold-a-Rama Rosa Parks bus and is still having trouble with the word "later." But after about 17 minutes, we all remember that we want to see trains and race to the other side of the museum.

Now, the Henry Ford Museum has real trains. Big trains. Like, how-on-earth-did-they-get-these-in-here big. The boys thinks those are OK. But nothing, and I mean nothing, compares to toy trains, and this toy train set is amazing; 7 different trains. All whizzing in and out of tunnels, past little towns with tiny water towers, and over itty-bitty bridges, flecked with fake snow. One train has a camera on it, so you can watch yourself flash onto a big screen when the train passes you. Even I have to admit, it is pretty amazing. To a toddler with a train fetish, it is heaven on earth.

I think Super Toddler is about to pass out from joy, but then he beholds what is next to the regular toy train. Another toy train set....completely made of legos. Working train tracks, made of legos. Little trees and sheep, made of legos. Enormous skyscrapers, made of legos. Little lego window-washers on little lego scaffolding. And acres and acres of racing trains...all made of legos. Are those angels singing? I think we just found the holy toddler grail.

Super Toddler watches the lego toy train set for 30 minutes. 30 minutes, readers. That is like 30 years in adult time. I don't know what to do. I have never seen him still this long. Even when he sleeps, he is more active. Super Preschooler makes some friends and builds his own train in the interactive section. Super Baby is lulled to sleep. And I stand there, watching my middle child. You know, the one who is always on the move. The one who just got ousted from babyhood by his sister's arrival and won't let me cuddle him anymore. The one I can't catch. The one who makes me catch my breath. The Henry Ford Museum opens a magical time/train portal and everything stands still. Super Toddler stands at the railing and smiles beatifically at the whirling trains; both hands tightly wrapped around the bars in a stillness I didn't know he had. He ignores me, his brother, his sister, other onlookers, the sweet museum volunteer who keeps trying to talk to him. We don't exist, nothing exists but the whirling trains. It is like he is under a lego train spell. It would be slightly scary, if it wasn't so perfect.

You know what is scary? Awkward Mom's inability to finish this post. And the sound coming from the nursery. Sound wins, must dash. Back soon.

Let me in! Let me in!

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