Day two of half term, and I’ve got this covered.
Proper planning has led me to have most of this holiday covered. As I’ve stated before (probably to myself to be fair) proper planning prevents poor performance. Anyway, last week I found out that our local museum was hosting a fossil event, where for a small fee participants could engage in some palaeontology.
Right up my daughter’s street and my son is happy to play along too.
Being a proper planner, I allow an hour for us to get there. It’s a 5 minute drive so we’re stupidly early; oh well.
A quick wander around in the bleak mid-winter to find a cash-point sees us pretty happy to be back indoors and wandering around the museum. 30 minutes to go. You enter the museum through the gift shop; nice one folks; I see what you did there.
As we queue, my youngest slowly rotates, next to a display of plates and glass ornaments. I put a stop to that.
There’s a guy upstairs sitting behind a table of fossils so we stop for a chat.
He’s fascinating and has a real enthusiasm for what he’s doing. She’s enthralled. He eyes the gentleman up suspiciously, as only my boy cub can, and keeps his distance.
We’re reliably informed that there are more goodies downstairs, so we head for adventure, headlong into a cafe.
Nice going museum; I see what you did there. The fatal attraction of a fridge full of cakes draws them both in and they turn to look at me.
What came over me?
Not sure what I was thinking, I let them choose whatever they want. She goes for a modest slice of cheesecake whilst he opts for a slice of chocolate cake. Not like the one above; oh no. there was no strawberry on his choice. Instead, the chocolate cake he chose was bedecked with sugar-coated sweets; the kind I bought for a penny in my childhood. It was almost as if the creator wasn’t satisfied with the sugar content of the plain chocolate cake, then decided to push the tooth rotting factor up to 11.
I bought it anyway as we had 20 minutes to kill.
I decided to share the cake with him, convinced that he would struggle with the volume and richness. I underestimated him. I think I had one or two forkfuls, but tired of the battle to wrestle it away from him after the second attempt.
To his credit, he managed to funnel about 90% into his head with 5% spread around his face. The other 5% appears later.
And we’re in!
I hadn’t imagined quite how popular the event would be. One minute we were alone, the next we were awash with parents and children. It was nice to see so many people out and about and the collective excitement level was contagious.
There were four stations for enquiring minds to visit; an expert, a mask making station, a microscope bench and a simulated dig. I thought the latter looked like two cat litter trays but I kept that to myself.
They were straight in; the added bonus being that they could keep one of the fossils that they found. Four fossils each later (in quite a short time) we discussed the lesson of sharing and leaving some for others whilst reburying their three least favourite.
Advancing to the bench of microscopes for a close up of some minerals we queued behind a three deep moving mass of buggies and bodies. This was very popular, but not with us. As she has three microscopes at home, we decided to show our fossils to the expert upstairs and create some masks.
He was busy. I really underestimated this. No matter; we went to the masks. One Triceratops (her) and a T-rex (him).
With crayon, felt-tip, marker pen and glue stick it took an absolute age for them to colour in their choices. For reasons known only to her, she decided to use the finest tipped pen to embolden her creation. He was a bit more pragmatic and broad-stroked a fisted crayon across his picture. Not surprisingly he was finished in no time. She slumped further in her chair when I told her that she would have to do the other side too.
Staples, glue, elastic and a healthy dose of imagination later and the cubs were transformed into whatever dinosaur young are called. Happy.
Unnoticed, we’ve spent two hours here. It’s been brilliant.
As we get up to leave, she notices a thick brown stain on the bum and leg of his beige trousers. She recoils and points all at once but before she can comment, I run my finger along the stain and then pop it in my mouth. I turn and tell her..
We have to go now; he’s done a poo.
I thought she was going to faint.
I do like chocolate cake.