Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Summer Vacation: Day 7

Part of our summer vacation included a planned visit to what Daddy Jane called the "Please Touch Me" museum. We were fairly sure that the museum was intended to have lots of things a child could play with and touch, but we couldn't escape the feeling that the name invoked thoughts of Michael Jackson's Neverland. It is, in fact, named the "Please Touch" Museum, and there was, comfortingly, no trace of the Gloved Wonder to be found.

The museum is two stories of activities for children of about 6 and younger, including a "grocery store", farm, treehouse, and family kitchen, all appropriately pint-sized. Elsewhere, there a flamingo-and-chipmunk croquet game (from Alice's Wonderland), a two-story slide, and a fishing pond. To the left is a picture of Helios doing some grocery shopping in the supermarket. After he filled the cart, he went to the checkout stand where Mommy played cashier. In a manner that is surely intended to prepare us for his teenage years, Helios turned to Daddy and said, "I need money, Daddy! Get out your wallet!"

Hesperos had a good time at the play farm on site where stuffed livestock and plastic produce can be found. Apparently, he developed a liking for plastic turnips in his course around the farm area, which may feature prominently in a future meal. Hesperos started to get pretty cuddly with the resident sheep, too, taking a bite or two out of its hopefully-recently-cleaned ear.

After checking out what it's like to be Farmer Hesperos, it was time to see what the finer style of life was like during a visit to Alice's Wonderland. Hesperos enjoyed tea time with the March Hare and Mad Hatter, but upsetting a few teapots along the way.

While Hesperos was supping, Helios was at the other end of the building doing his Bob the Builder imitation as he nailed planks to the side of a treehouse and connected some water pipes. Occasionally other children would run around the treehouse, trying to help. It got a little tense at one point because some other tow-headed youngster thought he could help out with the hammer but a single scowl from Hesperos let him know that his contractor's license was no good in this town. Daddy Jane was apparently the only helper Helios could tolerate, probably because she was cast in the role of "adoring fan."

Later on, Helios tried out his transportation-related skills. First, he pretended to pump gas in a wooden vehicle. This was true fantasy because Helios lives in the People's Socialist Republic of the Pacific where pumping your own gas isn't allowed (supposedly due to a fire law, although it's probably because the state is trying to preserve minimum-wage, no-value-added jobs). Afterward, he tried his hands at driving a SEPTA train car where his vertically challenged little body was quite incapable of seeing out the window while keeping his feet on the pedals.

While Helios was scampering around like an endangered rabbit, Hesperos was winding down, spending the last half hour or so of the day simply looking at the good looking baby in the mirror and practicing standing on his own two feet.

The day ended with the obligatory visit to the museum gift store that is conveniently placed between the attractions and the exit, and concluded with two very sleepy boys passed out in the backseat of the car dreaming, no doubt, of being little adults.

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