It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Field Trip

Phew, I’m tired!

Only three children: George (3 and a half), Darcy (almost 3), and Liam (almost 6). Grey and gloomy skies, so we’d need to stay indoors. I think this makes it a Museum Day! I confer with the children. The boys are easy. Any museum is a Good Thing, but Emma has more input.

“Not the Nature Museum, mummy! We always go there!” Though she enjoys it when we go, she has been there quite a few times in her life. Too bad, though: I like the genome exhibit. It’s very cool. Variety is good, though, and thus it was decided: Museum of Science and Tech. today.

Getting anywhere is always fun, because we get to ride the bus. Liam voted for the O-Train, a huge favourite with him, but as it runs north-south, and we needed to go east, it was not an option. The O-Train, as a pilot project, runs a whole 8 km and has five teeny stations. Some day, I’m sure, we’ll take the O-Train just for the sheer exhilaration of it…

So, off we go.

It was bedlam.

It is summer vacation. At least six busloads of school age children – daycamps, no doubt – were visiting when we arrived. The museum is built like a giant industrial warehouse. Few walls actually reach the ceilings, and the noise bounces everywhere. I managed about an hour of it before I had to leave: one of the very few times when it was my attention span that determined the duration of the outing!

The highlight was an old and favourite feature, the Crazy Kitchen. What appears to be a standard, homely, and small 60’s style kitchen is…not quite standard. It’s askew somehow. Perspective is fiddled with. Your eyes tell you that you are standing on a level surface, your legs tell you that you’re on an incline. If you turn too quickly, you feel vertigo. Look left, and you’re close to a wall or normal height; look right, and you’re far away from the wall, and the woman in the corner is a giant. In fact, just standing still, I was developing distinct symptoms of motion sickness!

Liam had a wonderful time in here. He skipped and climbed and jumped. Found it quite exhilarating. George approached with more physical caution, but with equal enthusiasm. He could tell it was strange, somehow, and he was intrigued. Darcy took three steps into the room, and then stood quite, quite still. He watched the other children with interest, but wasn’t about to move. When I began to feel queasy, and decided I’d wait outside, I bent down to inform Darcy of my intentions. It was then that I realized he wasn’t riveted by fascination, but rather by nausea! The poor tyke was quite, quite green.

He and I waited in the hall till the others had had their fun.

On the way home, it began to sprinkle a bit. Tiny, deliciously cool raindrops met hot skin. I quite liked it, but Liam was not best pleased. “A raindrop just hit me!” I’m preoccupied, getting us across the street and to the bus stop, and not too responsive.


A moment later: “Another raindrop hit me!”

“Hey, a raindrop keeps hitting me!”

“Another one!” Each announcement is a bit more intense, more indignant than the previous, and after a dozen or so of them, I was finding the intensity hard to take. It was hot and muggy, we had had an excruciatingly loud hour, and we were all more than ready for our lunch. And I just don’t see what the fuss is about. “Liam, you can stop now. I don’t really need a drop-by-drop announcement of the rain.”

“But why is the rain only hitting me??”

I was puzzled. “What makes you think it’s only hitting you?” I asked, but before he can answer, Emma points the way.

“Just because no one else is complaining, Liam, doesn’t mean it’s not getting us, too.”


July 5, 2005 - Posted by | Ottawa, outings, the things they say!


  1. SO interesting! Each child comes to you with his or her own perspective on life and the things that happen to us all. And you get to be a part of their learning experiences away from their nuclear family.

    Comment by misfit | July 5, 2005 | Reply

  2. I’ve often said that the children, particularly the firsts and onlies who tend to form the bulk of my clientele, get the best of both worlds: at home, they get the intense one on one; at my place, they get the sibling experience, taking turns, sharing, NOT being the centre of the world. It’s all good. (Though a sibling at home is even better…) 🙂

    Comment by Mary P. | July 5, 2005 | Reply

  3. Hope you got to put your feet up after that adventure!!!!

    Comment by Misfit Hausfrau | July 5, 2005 | Reply

  4. Yes, I did. And I was in bed by 9:30. Except that I can’t pretend that’s all that unusual, really…

    Comment by Mary P. | July 6, 2005 | Reply

  5. That is the wisest thing I have heard in a long time. Sorry the day did not go as planned for you.

    Comment by August95 | July 6, 2005 | Reply

  6. Who said boys are easy?! They obviously did not just get back from taking my trio for a quick stop at the grocery store. Ugh. Hubby had the vehicle and after a rabid tantrum from 5yr old, the 2 yr old opens the door to the cab – while we were driving!! Ack!

    Sounds like a fantastic trip. I’ve been to that museum- many moons ago. I saw a hologram exhibit – in the late 80’s. I remember that kitchen too! I think that is the same museum with all the old Trains and locomotives? My 2 yr old would be in heaven.

    Glad it turned out to be a good day!


    Comment by Heather | July 6, 2005 | Reply

  7. Hello, Heather! I recognize that picture (both from the book and from your blog).

    Phew. Stories like that underscore why it’s good that we now all put our kids in carseats and seatbelts!

    Yes, it’s the one with the trains, space ship, and lighthouse on its front lawns, and a train exhibit inside.

    Comment by Mary P. | July 6, 2005 | Reply

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