Do you know that moment, the one where you tell your kids “It’s time to go home now” and your heart races just a bit and time seems to slow down while you wait for the answer, while you wait to see if they believe you, that Yes, It Is Time To Go Home Now.
Because Sparkles, Buttercup and I are at the Texas Memorial Museum on the Univeristy of Texas campus and if Sparkles decided it wasn’t actually time to go, it wouldn’t be easy to get home. (Buttercup is easier to convince, because she isn’t walking a lot yet, and I’m carrying her in a wrap.) I give Sparkles the 5 minute and the 2 minute warnings, but sometimes she decides that she must stay wherever we are and while she is still 2 (and for a while longer than that), I get to decide when it is time to go.
My backup, backup, backup plan is that I can carry my two girls. With Buttercup in the wrap and Sparkles in my right arm like a sack of potatoes while she is kicking and screaming, I can carry them both to the car if I need to. But when we are inside the museum and the car is outside in a parking garage and I’m not in great shape for carrying fifty pounds long distances, it makes me a little nervous.
I don’t let Sparkles see me sweat. I tell her with matter-of-fact and confident voice, that it is indeed, Time To Go. She doesn’t like this part. She doesn’t like to leave when she has found a place she likes. Who does really? She is giving me that look, the one that says she is on the fence about this, it could go either way.
I have found it is easier to divide the trip into smaller parts, ones that she can see. I ask her, ‘Hey, do you want to ride the elevator?’
She can see the elevator from where we are and she likes that idea. Back on the ground floor, she is having doubts about leaving the Great Hall with the flying Pterosaur soaring above our heads.
I ask her, ‘Hey, do you want to see some horses?
She likes that too and we head outside. There is a long walkway down a set of steps and she is having fun with them, half skipping and half running.
She sees the statue of the horses and likes them a lot. We have more fun heading back up the steps and then we turn into the parking garage. It is all good now.
I like going places with the girls. I’d rather end up in places that might be difficult than staying home where we are well contained by walls and doors. I’d rather have Sparkles be in a situation that might be hard for her and see her make good choices. Making these little bitty good choices for every day things will give her more will power when something more difficult comes around.
The museum was nice. It is a good size for small kids, taking about an hour and it is free. (Well, except for the parking garage, which is $5.) Sparkles didn’t understand much about the fossils from different time periods and the biological diversity of Texas, but she liked looking around and asking questions. In the picture at the top of this post, she is learning about prehistoric fish. This Saturday, the museum is celebrating Darwin Day. That sounds like fun.
It is a dance, Sparkles testing her independence and me getting us home in time to make dinner. It takes some fancy moves sometimes, but we mostly make our way around the floor without incident and we have some fun along the way. Yes, my sweet girls, it’s time to say goodbye to the dinosaurs and make some dinner. It’s time to go home now.