Be Still, Momma
July 21st, 2012
We took the kids to the Explorium in Lexington yesterday. It’s a nice children’s museum — nothing spectacular, but plenty to keep the kids occupied for a few hours. Actually, there was one exhibit alone that could have kept them occupied for a few hours.
The piece-de-resistance for both kids was one of those giant funnels. You know, the kind you see at the mall sometimes raising money for charity – set a penny whirling and it goes around and around and around and around in decreasing arcs until it drops into the collection bin below. This one had marbles, kind of like this example:
My kids were enchanted. Buggie was beyond enchanted — he was delirious with joy. He’d grab a marble, do a happy dance, carefully place it into the shoot, and SQUEAL as it went flying around the funnel.
We stayed at that exhibit for probably 45 minutes. And as I sat and watched my kids, I also watched a parade of other families come through. Their kids were very excited too, but after about 3 minutes, mom or dad would inevitably say — “Come on, honey, let’s go see something else.”
Why do we do that? Why, as parents, are we always so intent on moving to the next thing? Why is it so hard for us to sit still and let our children be totally absorbed in what they’re doing — even if what they’re doing is deeply uninteresting to us?
I fight that urge all the time when I’m out and about with the kids. Ironically, my attention span is often shorter than theirs and I’m itching to see what’s around the next corner. But I”m trying to curb that impulse and let them set the speed. (Unless, of course, we’re at the grocery store and they become engrossed in the produce sprinklers. Sometimes you do have to say – “Move along, dears.”)
Who cares if we didn’t get to the room with the bubbles or the giant indoor maze? Would they have enjoyed those activities? Sure. Would they have loved them more than the whirling marbles? Probably not.