Thursday, September 25, 2008

Field Trip: Boston Museum Marathon with a[n almost] Two Year-Old Tyke

I went on an art history study abroad when I was in college with two art history professors and their families. One thing I could never get over was the youngest daughter of one of the professors. She couldn't have been older than six or seven and spent all day with us in the museum, in the back of the group, patiently sitting on her dad's feet as her mom lectured on the different masterpieces around Europe. She was incredible. I remember thinking, "when I have a child, s/he is going to be just like that." (Isn't that just the thing someone without kids would think?) But, really, I've often wondered how she got to be that way, and I've come to realize that it was just like anything else--she grew up going to many museums, and that is how her family rolls. So, as an art historian of sorts, I'd kind of like to have a child who knows about museums, who likes being there, and feels like he belongs there. But, of course, going to the museum is not a novel idea for moms, especially those moms who live in cold climates. It's warm, it's educational, and many times, it's free. Check, check, check. So, while visiting Boston recently, we made the rounds to some incredible museums, and I learned a few new things, which may be obvious to the rest of the world, but could help me in the future:

Different Museums lend themselves more easily to tiny kids. Of course. Little hands want to touch, little voices want to shout, little bodies want to run around with wild abandon. The Science Museum, Children's Museum, and Aquarium were huge hits and we could have stayed all day at any one of these places. The Science Museum was Pete's fave. Exihibits on trains, balls, lions? This is the best!

But, I'm not going to let that stop me from going to the less 'hands-on' places-- art museums aren't hands-on at all, but they sure have a lot of pictures. For this trip, I just confined Pete to the stroller, we didn't stop very long in one place, we looked for horses and dogs, and found a big empty room for Pete to run around. Maybe not my dream trip to the art museum, but I kept reminding myself that this wasn't really all about me. I was on duty as a mom, and just tried to make it positive (and very short). And I tried to ignore the disgusted glares coming my way. "Oh my, how frightful! A CHILD?!" Please.

Get a better stroller. I'm not a fan of this target umbrella stroller. I can't say one good thing about it, except that it was cheap. So, that explains a lot. Anyway, I'm looking into a better lightweight option. Anyone have any good ideas?

Abort when things fall apart. We worked hard to get to a lot of museums in a little amount of time, but, we were on vacation. So, once I changed from neurotic Becca to go-with-the-flow Becca, life was great. I guess it's yet another "letting-go" lesson in the curriculum of motherhood.


Jill said...

ah... that letting go thing is hard. I'm not too good at that yet. Lightweight stroller recommendations: check ebay or craigslist. We found an inglesina swift on ebay shipped for $50 and it works great! I've also heard great things about the maclarens, the volo is especially light and good for bigger kids. Any of these strollers wont be cheap new though, go for used!

Marlo said...

We have a Maclaren (sport I think) and I love it! It folds up almost as small as a regular umbrella stroller, is pretty lightweight, and the thing is made out of industrial metal or something. Plus, it fits great on the subway (okay, I have only tried it on the metro a Paris) and does really well on cobblestone and such because the wheels aren't plastic. My favorite thing is that the stroller is so much taller then the cheaper bending over necessary, even for Jamieson. Bad news: they are NOT cheap. Somehow my sister did get a volo at Target. Good luck. I'm glad Pete did so well at the museums. It's fun that you are so close to some good ones.