Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Rise of the Cookie Monster

Every Sunday my family heads off to Greensboro for a lunch out and a trip to the kids very favorite place: The Greensboro Children's Museum. It used to be we just went to the museum, but we found that the kids would get hungry, and thus very whiny right after we arrived, even if they had eaten at home just prior to their arrival. Apparently only fast food can satisfy their immense Sunday hunger. Ok, whatever works. I like eating out too.

We decided on Mcdonalds, mostly because we could all eat there for under $18 and it has a huge, beautiful Playplace. Jaymes has recently overcome his terror of Playplaces and has discovered that his life was devoid of meaning until he began to fully appreciate the charms of the gigantic mass of twisty tunnels and plexiglass windows.

I have noticed that very little eating occurs at Mcdonalds, and what does seems to go on inside the playplace. I'm sure the McD's employees just looove me. Jaymes prefers to grab a handful of fries or part of a burger and disappear into the depths of the playplace, only to re-emerge when he's run out of food. I had assumed he was eating most of the food, until I was unceremoniously forced into climbing into the placeplace to rescue Sierra and found a long trail of fries and ketchup following my little man.

Yes, I did mention rescuing Sierra. While Jaymes did overcome his fear, Sierra is not at that point yet. She wants very badly to enjoy thr playplace, but it's too intimidating for her. It would have been nice if she'd have figured that out BEFORE going halfway up and realizing she was stuck (and banging desperately on the plexiglass screeching "Mommmmyyyyyyyy!!!!!" over and over), but that's not really Sierra's style. Of course there were other families there, so I had no choice but to rescue the baby.

I recall loving those stupid playplaces as a kid. I have fond memories of playing in them. What the HELL was I thinking? As you climb in, the first thing you notice is how hard the plastic tubes are, but you really don't get a chance to dwell on the pain they're going to cause your knees, because those same knees have suddently made friends with the many rock hard plastic grippers that help you climb through the tunnels. If that weren't painful enough, the grippers and tube itself are studded with little metal bolts. All over.

By the time I got halfway up, to where Sierra was now happily playing and giggling, my knees were feeling like they have been run over by a truck, then doused in battery acid.

No point going down, may as well go all the way through and go down the slide, right? Less painful perhaps? Not quite. Another uphill climb through a stabby, metal studded tunnel of agony, the knee pain disappearing every few seconds when a violent static shock jolts your entire body everytime you touch the walls of the tunnel or your own clothing. Then, a cramped trip through a series of small rooms with big windows, where all the other parents get a great visual of one's now sweaty rear end being dragged through spaces much too narrow for it. It crosses the mind that hopefully the thing is soundproof, so no one can hear the stream of cursing and exclamations of pain coming from the previously peacefully eating parent shoved into the plastic deathtrap.

At the top, Jason is waving cheerfully to us, and the other parents smile as if to say "aww, how cute"


Finally, the slide! But oh, how narrow it is. Hmm. First attempt gets me stuck sideways with Sierra kicking me in the ribs wanting to slide down. Second attempt has one leg bent back in a way that would have resulted in an ER trip had I slid down in such a position. Third attempt landed me on my back with a baby on my chest, going way too fast down a way too twisty slide. hit the end, can't get up because it's still covered. Slide on rear end slowly out, and finally manage to stand up in spite of the back/neck/knee/butt pain. Jason whispers "Your hair..."

Static and hair. ARG. Time to go!

That finished, we headed off to the museum. We always get there right at opening at 1pm, and there is always a line. The guy at the front desk knows us by now, and he has noticed how different Jaymes is. It used to be we came and left, Jaymes kicking and screaming bloody murder. now Jaymes comes in excited and leaves with only a few disgruntled moans. The museum has done great things for Jaymes. Used to be we could only play with the train tables, but he's slowly branched out to playing with other things too. The main portion of the time spent there is still trains, but I can live with that.

This time, Jaymes decided to go to the Theater section first. This is a room with a small stage, and carpeted stair type seating. There is a podium with buttons for sound effects and lighting, and costumes out behind the stage.

Jaymes has never willingly put on a costume- not ever. Halloween wouldn't be Halloween without his screams of protest as i wrestle him into whatever sute disguise I've purchased for the occasion. And yet this day, he walked onto the stage, grabbed a full body cookie monster suit, and put it on. Even the hood.

I melted with the sheer cuteness. And the cuteness didn't stop there, no it did not. He wouldn't take it off, and wandered the museum for the rest of the 3 hours wearing it. He was so sickeningly cute that everyone turned to look at the sweetness. Other kids said "Cookie Monster!!!" and got excited. Jaymes ignored them and played on the train tables. He tossed his pink blankie over his neck like a scarf, and got very angry everytime his cookie monster hood fell down.

He played blocks, he tossed balls, he blew bubbles. All in his suit, all happily and willingly and without yelling. When finally he did get too hot, he slithered out of the costume and went on with his fun.

What a cool day. I have video, but AT&T is being stupid and I can't send the videos to my email, so you'll have to wait on the visual. It's worth the wait, believe me.

Oh, and the best part: At the end of the time there, he took off his shoes and plopped down in the sandbox. Jaymes has never ever sat in sand willingly before, and here he sat with the other kids, scooping sand into a cup with a spoon. He was happy, he was serene, he was just like all the other kids. He didn't mind that he was getting sandy, nor that others were around him, he was just peaceful.


Maddy said...

Overcoming'the sand' was a huge step here too.
BEst wishes

Selah Cowgirl said...

Wow Squish, sounds like such an awesome day! Loved the descriptions of the playpen and children's museum.

Keep up the good work!

Casdok said...

A very cool day!