Sunday, October 24, 2010

Swamp Tunnel

At the Oregon Coast Aquarium today and about 15 minutes in the visit I realized something. Taking 2 six year olds to an aquarium is a joy. A true joy. Taking a 3 and 4 year old? Not so much.  The 6 year olds were interested in everything. They had to be torn away from the touch tanks after about 25 minutes and they probably would have stayed an hour. They loved looking at the animals, learned a little about each of the exhibits, walked around outside in a light rain to see the seals and otters and in short, I could have spent all day there with them and come home happy.

Now, the 3 and 4 year old? Fussed, whined and complained. About the stroller and who was sitting where, when they had to walk they complained about that. They wanted snacks and water and more snacks and water. Outside was too windy and cold, and the rain. Oh my god the rain! How could it be raining? They didn't want wear their coats but wanted them on when they were cold. The water in the touch tank was too cold. Things were slimy. Whew. It was exhausting. Finally I put them both in the stroller, parked them in front of a fish tank and gave them each a packet of bunny crackers and a piece of string cheese and let them sit there while the big kids explored.  In a few years, they will get it too. To me this is one of the huge differences between first and second kids. If these two were my first, I would have pushed harder to get them to explore, enjoy it, look around. Now I am content to give in because I know it won't be like this in a year or two. They too will grow to be 6 and love the aquarium and we will spend all day with them running around looking at everything. Just not this year.

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