After we left the kids science exploration area, we decided to go to the Viking exhibition.
The kids and I read the Magic Tree House series as bedtime stories, and one of the books covered Vikings. I thought this would be a great exhibit for the kids to see: real, live Viking stuff!
Jed HATED it.
He didn’t like the music. It was too loud. He didn’t like that it was so dark in there. He didn’t want to stand in line. It was boring.
But mostly, he didn’t want to leave the corn fields.
When it became quite clear that his displeasure was going to completely ruin any chances of ME being able to see the exhibit (because I was interested in it!), we left.
And we took a break, explaining to Jed that he needed to behave himself in the museum, or we would have to leave.
After our break, and after Jed promised to behave, we went back inside for the Grand Finale of the Field Museum experience: THE DINOSAURS.
The Field Museum has a fabulous exhibit covering the history of our planet, and in that exhibit is a gigantic collection of dinosaur fossils! We have no pictures from that exhibit because Darrel and I were doing the best we could to keep up with two enthusiastic little boys running for every new display as fast as they could, and attempting to climb the barricades as often as possible to touch the bones!
We managed to keep the little monsters on solid ground, and even managed to get their running knocked down to brisk jogs. They were simply so excited they could hardly stand themselves.
I was impressed with some of the questions Jed asked as we made our way through the display; he’s obviously learned quite a lot about dinosaurs from our reading…and from watching “Dinosaur Train”!
We had tickets for the 3D “Waking the Dinosaur: the Story of SUE” movie, so at the appropriate time we started to head that direction.
Who is Sue, by the way? Oh, she’s this little lovely:
The most complete T-rex fossil ever discovered. Jed was about to explode with excitement when we first saw her in the main museum entry hall! He LOVES T-rex’s!
The movie is an awesome 3D film discussing how they discovered Sue’s bones, using CG technology to create ‘film’ of what Sue’s life might have been like before she died.
We all put on our 3D glasses…
and sat back to watch the show.
Jed, of course, made friends with the kids sitting next to us. If it had been left up to the kids, the two families would have spent the rest of the day exploring the museum together!
The movie started, and Jed was entranced! Zac, on the other hand, cried out when the movie dinosaur roared and attacked another dinosaur, leaped into Darrel’s lap, and buried his head in Darrel’s chest. “Daddy! Me scared!”
Oops. We had no idea it was going to be THAT scary. (Don’t worry; no permanent damage done!)
When the movie was over, we went downstairs for one last photo op with the Sue skeleton, but that didn’t go very well.
Jed just refused to smile.
After much entreating, he finally revealed to me that “I can’t smile, Mommy, because I’m just so sad.”
“Why are you so sad, honey?” I asked.
“Because Sue DIED and she was the bestest dinosaur EVER and I LOVE her!” (sobbing ensues)
Well. Huh. THAT’S not a situation I ever thought I’d face in motherhood! How do you comfort a child who is crying because a dinosaur died??
While Jed sobbed in my arms, Zac decided to show us how he was feeling:
Yep. Happy to smile for the cameras! Still, a meltdown over a dead dinosaur?
It was time to leave.
On our way out, we stopped at the museum gift shop to find one small gift per kiddo that they could take home. The kind lady working near the entrance noticed Jed’s tears and asked what was wrong.
We told her he was sad that Sue died, and she looked as flabbergasted as we felt! She recovered empathy quickly, though, and attempted to bring a smile to Jed’s face…by offering a free candy treat from the store!
We had to quickly tell her he couldn’t have it because of food allergies, and she looked horrified. She couldn’t apologize fast enough, even though we assured her she was a sweetheart and had done nothing to apologize for.
Darrel and I were NOT upset with her for offering candy, to be perfectly clear; however, it was somewhat of a “wet blanket” thrown on our day. Somehow, even with bringing our own food to the museum for lunch and knowing this was the first time we’ve really done anything like this, we’d managed to feel relatively “normal” throughout the day.
The sweet gift shop lady’s kindness served as a reminder that, even when we try to engage in the world, we are NOT normal and will never be able to engage the way normal people do…and that we can never let down our guard.
By the time we left the gift shop, though, Jed was in slightly better spirits. He’d picked out a T-rex dinosaur excavation kit and was itching to open it up and dig out those dinosaur bones!
We sat on the museum steps for one of the few photos taken of me and both the boys together, which was only slightly marred by Jed’s refusal to smile and Zac’s funny face making:
Then we headed off for the train.
I’ll wrap up our trip in one last post, and then I’ll share the Dinosaur Unit Study we did.
Have your kids ever had a meltdown over a dinosaur, or some other inexplicable thing? How did you handle it? (Now Zac is occasionally putting on a sad face and telling me he’s sad because “Sue dead, Mommy”!)