Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Three kids and a museum

Yesterday my brother and I took the kids and went to the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan. It was for my bro, rather an eye-opener to the joys of parenthood and the amount of energy it takes to be a parent. By the time we got there we were both tired and somehow everyone was starving, even though I packed a multitude of snacks, so we went to the cafeteria and had some food. It was delightful to see the displays, chase children, act like we were getting eaten by giant mosquitoes, talk through tantrums, feed the hungry--again, make faces at the masks, take pictures, and stroll the baby.

On the way home I forgot which station to change trains and we switched trains four times instead of two. By that time I was exceedingly exhausted and the only thing I could do to keep S awake was to read a story as animatedly as possible--I swear half the car was listening. Of course some people rolled their eyes and acted as if I was an idiot, but hey, that seems to come with the territory. I don't care as long as I can keep my kids awake long enough to get them home to sleep. I love reading. I love reading out loud. I love the feeling that when you are reading you are giving their imagination a ride on the express envision train. I love to have people feel like when I am reading to them they can see everything that I am reading happening in their minds. Does that make sense? I feel like as a mom, I can do this every day!

I think I got that from my Mom and Dad and the neighbor across the road. My Mom and Dad would read to us--and have us read to them. My Dad's favorite thing to say was, "Loud and fast, M. Read it loud and fast." Our neighbor across the road is a drama director/teacher at BYU-Idaho and whenever he read or spoke it was like it was like he felt that every word was a piece of delicious German chocolate and every word was to be tasted delicately and thoughtfully; almost as if it were a sin to snarf it all down without a second thought.

Anywho--At the end I could not bear to read one more princess story, so, very like my father (who is an expert story teller in my opinion), I told them a story about an ant that lives at the American Museum of Natural History, witnesses a robbery, and solves the crime--and then has to tell the humans about it. It was great. No one on the train where I was sitting was asleep--especially my kids and they went to bed with little difficulty.


Mara said...

Mel, you are the coolest person I know. :) I absolutely love this post, especially the bit about words as German chocolate. And I would have sat completely rapt listening to your story!

Emily said...

Very brave of you! I got exhausted after a day with just little Elizabeth and four other adults to help. And I LOVE your endearments section. Your kids are hilarious. And endearing. :)

Kristin Van De Graaff said...

Melanie, you're amazing! I'm sure your stories were so much fun!