Monday, January 14, 2008

Denver Children's Museum

I am writing this blog on my lunch hour so I apologize for the staccato style of writing (it comes from being interrupted quite a bit).

This weekend was beautiful in Denver. So the wife and I gathered up our energetic two year old (there's a redundancy I need to work on) and took him down to the Children's museum in Denver.

It is a wonderful place. Especially for a kid like mine who doesn't get outwardly excited about something new (much like his father but unlike his Mother who has been known to dance during the installation of a new washing machine).

We walked in and found a firetruck. He did not get excited. Probably because he took a ride on a real firetruck (bigger, louder and way more exciting since he got to sit in the drivers seat) a few months back in Vail.

He did get excited when we took him into a room that was setup for younger kids. There was a small fishing boat where he could pick up fish using a velcro adapted pole and another room where he could turn knobs on a big centerpiece that had big bolts sticking out of it.

What is so funny about kids is how excited they can get about even the smallest of things yet get so overwhelmed so quickly by the very same things. I could tell after a few minutes in each area that the stimulation was overrunning his ability to deal with it. So he would pick up just one thing and play with that for a while (in this case it was a fish).

I find myself doing the same things some times. When we have people over, sometimes the noise level rises above my ability to deal with it. I can almost feel my brain slowing down as a greyness fills my vision. To decompress I need to get into a quiet room for a while (usually in the basement which is really quiet). So it is good to know that my kid reacts the same way. It must be a natural thing.

After playing in the infant section for a while we went upstairs to where some of the older kid areas are. Once was an construction place where kids could follow printed instructions on how to create models out of plastic bottles and boxes. The area was a madhouse with excitement and I could tell Alex wanted to stop and watch. So we walked through and to the other side. He wanted to do what the other kids were doing but at two, he just isn't there yet (it would have been frustrating for him since he's like me in that he thinks he can do everything and yet can't).

The next area was an enclosed basketball court and health displays. Here, we sat Alex down and had him color a giraffe ('raffe' in toddler talk) with colored pencils. After measuring his height, we went off to the wooden train area where he was able to push an engine around the tracks. After that was a small dance area where we dressed him up first as a king and then a sheriff.

We left soon after that. The kid was just getting a bit too tired and hungry.

The funny thing about your kids is they are enough like you that you just know when they have had enough. Part of it is knowing that you yourself have had enough and the rest is just an intuition you get from looking in their eyes and seeing that the excitement has just overwhelmed the system. The thing to do is take them out, get them a meal, and let that superfast little brain start processing all the stimulus it just recorded. But first get some sugar into the system. The brain will need it.

We stopped at a restaurant on the way back which was probably a mistake. He was so tired by this point that he started falling asleep in the booster. We gave him some french fries and oreos but really, all he wanted to do is lay down and sleep. We ate our meals, took him home, and after an hour or so he was out and had to be put to bed.

So, it was a successful visit to this fun little museum. We will be going back (quite a few times I imagine).

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