Museums and children

Filed under: Babies, Activities: Babies, Places To Go, Development/Milestones: Babies, In The News, Baby Essentials

Yesterday I took Mercer to the American Museum of Natural History. My friend, a former New Yorker born and raised in the Big Apple said, "You took the baby to the AMNH on A Sunday afternoon???? Meaning, there were about a million other people there. And most of them brought their children.

I carted the baby and all his gear in our new lightweight, travel-ready Maclaren stroller along with Daddy and myself to see a friend and take in an exhibit on mythical creatures. I wanted to see the parts on mermaids and sea monsters. My pal hoped they would cover fairies and that kind of thing.

While we could pretend all we wanted that we were trying to expose Mercer to a little culture my friend and I were aware we were really at the museum for ourselves. These were things that reminded us of being kids, of a time when we believed in such things (some of us still do!).

And we both knew it would be an adventure, seeing as how it was Mercer's first time at a museum in New York City. I make this distinction because when we visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (in Cleveland) this past summer it was not nearly as big or as crowded. In other words, it wasn't the AMNH on a Sunday afternoon. A really pretty, nice, sunny afternoon that is just PERFECT! for taking the kids to the museum.

We enjoyed what we could of the exhibit, and Mercer was pretty mellow throughout most of it. He did, however, take a ginormous poop twice during our adventure and at one point had to be changed due to a surprising amount of pee pee.

We fed him a bottle at one point, which was great as there were cafes everywhere which could supply us with warm water with which to heat the breastmilk. There were lots of friendly understanding security personnel who headed me in the right direction toward the bathroom.

There were also about a million people there, and they all brought their children as well. The kids ranged in all ages, which was refreshing and nice to see. They also ranged in how well- or ill-behaved they were! We just wound our way through the exhibit hoping for the best,

At one point Mercer had a mini-meltdown because he was tired and we were in the middle of so much chaos when he was supposed to be napping. Then he fell asleep on Daddy amidst all the noise and spectacle.

I'm not sure how much culture he got out of the experience, but we did learn a few things. I'm both more and less patient now than I ever was. Waiting for several elevators when I would've previously bounded up the stairs to be at the front of the line doesn't bother me. Avoiding the masses who are caught up in the exhibits and constantly walking in to me does.

The bathrooms are REALLY far away and hard to find. Taking the baby to one of the most famous museums ever on a super-busy day of the week is maybe not such a good idea. My pal is still a good sport for agreeing to go with us at all. Taking a stroller to an event like this one is not such a good idea--the baby bjorn would've worked much better,

Still, we did something we wanted to and didn't let the fact that we were now parents to a five month old get in the way of that. And by exposing our son to this kind of thing now we're making it easier to take him to such places later.

I think it was a success. It was certainly more interesting to do the AMNH than it has been in the past!!!

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.