The museum was closed this particular day but a lady who happened to be inside saw me peeking in the window and poked her head out the door to see if she could help me. I explained that I had a little boy and I thought that he might be just about the right age now.
“How old is your little boy?”
She kindly let me in, the museum was dark, but the shadows past the admission desk held the promise of things that go whoosh and zoom and pop under more fortuitous circumstances. My guide, though, turned before we got there and proudly showed me their toddler corner. It was play furniture and puppet theater.
Okay, here I go...
What I thought was, “Lady, my kid can pick Venus out of the sky. He knows all the parts of a plant. He can tell you all about the life cycle of the Monarch butterfly and he’ll use words like “chrysalis” and “metamorphosis” when he does it. He can name all the planets and tell you which ones have rings. And this here? This is a puppet theatre.”
That’s what I thought, not what I said. There is no reason to be rude to this nice lady who is going out of her way to show me around outside of normal operating hours. That, and I don’t like being one of those kinds of parents.
The thing is, it’s not that my three-year-old is special. Of course, I think he’s special, but my point is, he’s not a child prodigy because he knows that tadpoles turn into frogs. Kids are smart. Smarter than we give them credit for most of the time. And they remember everything you say, barring sentencing that contain the words “quiet” and “sleep” and “bath time”.
My kid doesn’t know this stuff because he’s brilliant. He knows because someone bothered to tell him and because it’s cool.
So I smiled at the nice lady and told her we’d be back on Sunday.
We did not visit the puppet theater, but the museum was awesome.