Wednesday, September 16, 2009

My love/hate relationship with the Children's Museum

In case any of you are new here, I'll fill you in on some of the details of my life that explain why I spend so much time at the Children's Museum.

We live in a 900 square foot, 3-room condo on the northern edge of downtown Seattle. About 3 blocks from the Space Needle.  We have no yard, no balcony and no place nearby to play. The closest park is only about 4 blocks away, but those blocks are straight uphill. While I could possibly get up the hill with the 50+ pounds of kids and stroller, I am not confident in my ability to walk back downhill with the kids and the stroller, so I do not venture up there on foot. We pretty much save the park for days that we have the car and that Daddy is home.

Because of our location, we are very limited on where we can walk when we go out.  As I mentioned, to the north of us is a very large, very steep hill. To the east of us is a highway.  To the west is a bunch of stores- mainly record stores and grocery stores and restaurants. Nothing too exciting. Which mosly leaves us with the south, and that is the Seattle Center.  So, pretty much every time we leave the house, that's where we end up.  And, while there are lots of places to run around and play in the water at Seattle Center, with a newborn and a toddler I really need a confined space. So that leaves the Childrens' Museum.

We've been members for over a year now. For over a year I have been visiting this museum at least once a week, and lately 2-3 times per week.  And I'm the type of person who hates doing anything more than once.  There are no words to describe how tired I am of this museum.  Part of the reason is that Ethan doesn't actually play much when he's there. Again, he loves to outsource his playing, so he'll alternate between making me play with the exhibits, walking up to strange adults and trying to get them play with the exhibits, and just standing there watching other kids play.  The only thing that he interacts with on his own is the water, and even then he just stands with his hand in the waterfall, with the occasional move to scoop water into a nearby toy.

The Children's Museum is full of very involved, eager parents who are following their kids around and interacting with them and showing them the exhibits. These parents look at me strangely as I wander around behind Ethan with my glazed-over expression and intermittent hysterical laughter as I listen to "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me" on my ipod. I am always the only person there listening to an ipod. But it's not like Ethan has anything to say to me while he's playing, and unless he wants me to play with something for him he doesn't even care that I'm there, so I'm not depriving of him of anything by listening to my podcasts. I figure if I'm entertained we'll stay longer, and that's what he wants most.  Thankfully now people are more distracted by Vivian in her pouch, so the glazed over look and ipod-wearing doesn't get as many weird looks.

I need a sign for my shirt that says "Not a bad mom. We come here 2-3 times/week and I've seen and done it all."   I am grateful for living so close to the Children's Museum. It's a great place, with lots to do and things to play with and I don't have to clean any of it up.  It never fails to tire Ethan out, which means a nice long nap and time for Mommy to get work done. And, thankfully, there's a special exhibit starting in a few weeks so we'll actually have something new to play with!

And if any of you live close and want to come hang out with us, I'll happily put away the ipod and chat with you instead!

Speaking of museums, next Saturday, the 26th is Smithsonian Free Museum Day! Admission to a bunch of museums all over the US is free. It's a great way to visit museums in your area. Go here to check it out!


Mommyto3andahusky said...

Carrie you crack me up! lol Don't worry about what other people think :) just do what you enjoy

Lizzie said...

I'm the mom that stands back and checks her watch every five minutes! Listening to Wait Wait is GENIUS! That said, we'd love to join you there whenever.

A said...

as soon as we get baby-fied we shall have to make a date to wander about and look glassy eyed!

Haasiegirl said...

i would go all the time if i lived that close too!


Mindy said...

I just came across your blog for the first time and I love your honesty! We live in the everett area but I was a nanny on the eastside for about 9 years before having kids of my own. I can totally relate to this post :)

Baby in Broad said...

Oh, yes. I'm the mom at the park with the glazed-over look.

Ashley said...

That is hilarious! I do definitely need to meet up with you there soon and chat! I can't believe I still have never been there!