Smootch was telling someone the other day that she homeschools. And I took her off to the side after, so as to not embarrass her and reminded her she does, indeed, attend public school. To which she replies, 'I know, mom,' with a roll of her eyes, 'I'm a homeschooler who happens to go to school.'
Of course. Silly me.
So, to not neglect our homeschool studies, we played hooky from school last Friday and visited the local world class dinosaur museum, which is less than two hours away including getting lost on back roads time.
We lost Birdie as soon as we walked in the door. He was all 'DINOSAURS!' and sprinted with his eyes and mouth wide open, arms pumping, straight into the exhibits, leaving Smootch and I standing there at with the automatic door still open behind us. With an apologetic wave and a quick, 'I'll be back,' to the admissions kiosk ladies, I ran after Birdie, who was by then heading back towards us full speed after encountering a brilliantly done life size model of an Albertosaurs with a realistic roar! soundtrack.
And so it went.
I'm not sure if I do museums right but I've found a way to survive them and even read a plaque or two with my kids. We have a routine, where we burn through the galleries, going at the speed of the smallest child (really really fast and then sudden stops that last a life time) while everyone gets to note the sections they'd like to explore more. I admit, we're a rowdy group and about as linear as a spinning top.
Then we fuel up at the cafeteria (and I get some caffeine to keep up my stamina) and have a second go at the older child's speed (skipping through with sudden stops that last a life time).
It means that we get a chance to see what we want (though, admittedly, not everything) and no one gets terribly bored or too rushed.
I also fail at taking photos. I see a lot of parents (and grandparents) continuously telling their children to stand still and smile for the camera. My kids, long ago, let me know they'd have no truck with that, and I've had to make due with taking a lot of photos of the backs of their heads.
In addition, I tend to hand the camera over to the kids, who take two hundred photos of blurry dinosaurs and electrical sockets. Bless this age of digital cameras.
Knowing that we sometimes speed and sometimes stall, have some okay photos and a whole lot that aren't, I spend most of my time in the museum just trying to pay attention.
Attention on the exhibits and, even more so, those kids of mine. So that they, first, do not get away from me (nothing puts a wrench in the gears like spending time in the security office) and, more importantly, watching the expressions on their faces as they absorb and wonder.
Its' hard to ignore, when spending the day walking among bones, how brief and fragile we are.