Archive | 11:59 PM

I Felt Like We Had a Ferris Bueller’s Day Off Adventure With Goldfish Crackers

27 Aug

As with any parent, your kids wake you up at the crack of dawn ready to conquer the world, when all you’re ready for is to lie in defeat, under the covers and wishing kids had a snooze button.

But I thought about my recent objective — my Happiness Project — my quest for a better parenting adventure and childhood experience for my son. I decided to go all out Baseball, museum and music. I felt like we had a Ferris Bueller’s Day Off field trip, minus the awesome car, but with plenty of Goldfish Crackers.

We played a little baseball on the grassy area down the street. I was pitching, my one-year old daughter was catching, and my son was batting. Apparently I need to work on my pitching skills. He hit many home runs and grand salamis and despite being on my team, my daughter gave him the baby high-five after each run.

Once we finished the game, we journeyed to the museum. I thought about taking him to a children’s museum, but seeing how it was the weekend I really didn’t feel like being overrun by hundreds of toddlers. A children’s museum is really a week day outing.

So instead I took him another museum, one that primarily features, paintings, drawings, sculpture, illuminated manuscripts, decorative arts, and European and American photographs.

And I know some of you may be thinking, you suck. How could you do that to your kid? But this museum had three features I knew my son would enjoy.

My son … the conductor of the museum train ride

First and probably the best: a train. Well not really a train, more like a long tram ride from the parking structure to the museum itself. He’s never been on the subway or a train that didn’t house cartoon characters, so this tram ride was the highlight of his trip. He was so excited to sit on the tram, which we called a train. He decided to sit in the front car, so that he could be the conductor. We were fortunate enough to be his assistant engineers and check out the postcard views. We rode it twice.

Second: The Family Room, which is a small exhibit that features hands-on activities that expose kids to different types of art. We made masks that were supposed to be of artistic caliber, but apparently he strongly felt that they resembled Optimus Prime from The Transformers book we read at the library. He drew some creative squiggles on an art wall, then checked out the mirror display.

Building art with his sister and new friend.

But his favorite had to be creating the sculpture  that resembled the giant one at the front of the museum. He met a new friend, Jonah, in this part of the exhibit. They built, then destroyed. Built and destroyed. This cycle continued for about thirty minutes. His little sister participated in the destroying part.

After all this exploring in The Family Room we also managed to dive into The Art Lab where he created a fine abstract piece from colorful clay.

Third: The Gardens. My son is all about the outdoors and exploring it like he’s Go! Diego Go! so I knew he’d enjoy the gardens. But we were very pleasantly surprised and amazed by all the landscaping skills of these gardening architects. We wandered through the maze of flowers, plants, bridges, and walkways and felt very in tune and appreciative with nature.

The well-known maze at the center of the garden.

My son exploring the gardens in his four-year old way … racing.

The iron sculptures holding these flowers captured our eyes.

After exploring the garden and eating lunch al fresco we headed back to the tram ride, where my son rode in the front once more. He enjoyed it so much that he made a request.

“Mom, can we come back to the train museum again?”

I was happy my experiment worked. Everyone, including my other half  enjoyed something from the museum.

We ended our Ferris Bueller’s Day Off adventure with some singing and dancing. And no it wasn’t on a parade float singing Danke Shoen or Twist and Shout. Nor was it the Itsy Bitsy Spider. It was Payphone by Maroon 5 and something called You Don’t Know You’re Beautiful by One Direction. My son held his pretend microphone and rocked out.

Baseball, museum, and singing. Our day was done. Viva Ferris.