Thursday, April 2, 2009

Curious George And The Children's Museum

Viri and I joined a group of stay at home dads today for a trip to the Children's Museum. It was fun, but I made a few basic parenting mistakes. First, I told Viri there would be monkeys involved. There was a Curious George interactive exhibit thing, and I honed in on the monkey element of the event. I forgot that people who do these kinds of things for kids never have kids, or involve kids in the process, or even have ever heard of a child. Possibly they think children are some magical fairy that no one can see or hear, but we believe in for vague superstitious reasons. The exhibit was highly interactive. For people of my generation and older, that means busy and purposeless. There were images from the books, but no monkeys. As we left, Viri told me seriously, "There were no monkeys, Papa. You said there were monkeys. There were no monkeys. There were no monkey toys." He would have accepted by mistake if there had at least been monkey toys, I guess.

This leads me to the second mistake. I slotted about forty minutes for the entire event. Never, in the history of parenting, has anything happened in only forty minutes. It's generally accepted that the conception of the child is the quickest event in the entire timeline of parenting. So, this was a big and avoidable mistake. This meant that I had just enough time to greet the dads, chat a bit, then drag Viri away from the toys and games in order to rush back and get J and Arkaedi Sue. We then rushed off to a stupid meeting. That is maybe the worst time management in the history of humanity. Luckily, Viri took it in stride. He just ate yogurt in the car and fell asleep.

The dads were cool, and it was really neat to meet up with a bunch of guys basically doing what I'm doing. I wondered what their wives did. I imagine we're in the same boat; they married successful women who wanted a guy they liked, and didn't care about our complete lack of marketability. I hear a lot about women who seek guys who can take care of them, who have money and power. We're probably at the other end of that spectrum. There's a bar graph in some sociology department that has us, a huge squiggly line, then them.

The trip was fun, and I do wish I had planned it better. The next get together with the dads will be more leisurely, and I'll allow more time. I'm probably going to have to take Viri back to the museum sometime, to make up for today. I don't mind, really. It's an okay place, even if I do have issues with the design of most of the exhibits. The Children's Museum is an odd name for a place, too. It sounds like a futuristic cyborg built it, in memory of the strange biological creatures, and they way they started as small versions of themselves called "children."

I hope this post will further enlighten the cyborgs who rule the future. Maybe it'll get a poorly designed exhibit of its own!

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