Saturday, February 06, 2010

the one where i review the baltimore aquarium

and give it a B. It is cool, but for the $$$, I did expect a bit more. Caveat: I am rather demanding.
The jellyfish were one of the best things at the aquarium, in Brigham's and my opinion. They are a not a permanent exhibit, though, so if you do want to go, I suggest you do it while your dollar buys the jellyfish, too.
If I were to ever again trust myself with caring for living things besides kids, I would want an aquarium of jellyfish that we kept in a darkly lit room. It was that cool.
We also saw the Dolphin Show, which was an extra $15 or so for the three oldest of us, and while it left something to be desired, I do feel that it is a necessary part of the Aquarium package considering the price of the GA ticket.
The "Australia Room" exhibit reminded me a lot of the National Zoo's Amazonia house, but it was still fun.

I think that the next time we visit Baltimore, we will do it when the weather is warmer and we can ride on the water taxis and take tours of the submarine and ship we saw (and which you can see in some of the photos of us in the cafeteria) docked outside.

I would like to remember that Brigham and I laughed all the way home listening to Jim Gaffigan on our ipod. The boys watched Scooby in the back. We even got home in time to attend a friend's turkey mole party and let the boys run crazy in their house.

It was a great first day to the new year.

Ringing in 2010

I read that the way you spend your New Year's Eve is the way you will spend your year. So I suppose I can look foward to eating in unnaturally and unbearably freezing cold restaurants (that is Brigham's coat wrapped around Will, not a napkin) where waiters throw food at our faces. And Andrew will deal with quite a bit of frustration at not catching it.
On the other, less literal, hand, perhaps it means that we will go to a bit of expense and trouble
to try to get out of the house
and do memorable things
which we will not capture well with our camera.

I am hoping that my self-help books will have some influence this year, too.

Broken dish, broken heart

When I was showing Andrew these photos of Christmas Eve the other day, his little eye immediately fixated upon that small Christmas-themed candy dish on the coffee table. And he got really really sad.

One night shortly after Christmas, before we had put any of the accoutrements away, Andrew (who takes after me in the crazy gene) became so enraged about something (I wish I could remember what) that he picked up that dish and slammed it back down on the table, breaking it. I like to handle such things by massaging their guilt muscle a bit. A child's guilty conscience is a mother's best asset. So I acted really sad. I quietly picked up the pieces and spoke softly about how special that candy dish had been. (This was actually sort of true. After all, how often do you find a really cute Crate & Barrel dish for $1 at a second-hand store? Even if you don't live the sort of life in which the dish would ever contain something besides tiny plastic star wars guns.)

Andrew wanted to see if we could glue it back together, but I honestly replied that we could not. He suggested that we could just buy a new one, and I honestly told him that it had been made several years ago and we would probably never see the same one for sale at a thrift store again. That was when he totally fell apart. He sobbed as if something living and beloved had just died. I decided he had faced the consequence of his actions enough, and now was time for a little measured perspective. But despite all my reassurances that it was only a dish, Andrew would not be comforted. "I loved that candy dish so much! It was my favorite! I am so so so sorry, Mom! So sorry!" More sobbing.

He seemed to calm down a bit after I got him in the tub and I thought the whole thing was behind us. Our nightly ritual is to put the boys in my bed in their little towels where they, after feeling sufficiently warmed up, jump around naked while I get their pjs and books ready. Then the boys get dressed and we settle in and read for a while. I left Andrew in my room while I went back to get Will out of the tub. I heard a sudden cry from my bedroom followed by loud sobbing. I rushed back in, sure that Andrew had suffered some sort of physical injury. But, of course, he was crying again because he had remembered that candy dish and was mourning it. His tiny heart was broken and he apologized continually. I think it might be the biggest regret of Andrew's little life.

And it makes me think of a quote I associate with General Conference:
"For of all sad words of tongue or pen, The saddest are these: 'It might have been!'"

Andrew, may all your regrets be as unreasonable and exaggerated as the one you still suffer for that broken candy dish.