Like all moms, I was completely delusional before I had kids. All of my “mommy” friends told me so… as a matter of fact, they seemed to relish telling me so. Within days of becoming a mom, I started to think that they might be right.
Now, almost 4 years into motherhood, I don’t think they even came close to adequately describing how delusional I was. I also think they may be completely unaware of how delusional they still are. I’ve come to the conclusion that we will be delusional about both our kids and our parenting skills until the day that we die.
Today, we went to the traveling Discover the Dinosaurs exhibit in Atlanta. The exhibit has animated dinosaurs, lots of dinosaur facts, and a fun play area to wear them out at the end.
Ike and Moose were fascinated by the animated dinosaurs. I was fascinated with them: watching their faces as they walked through the exhibit; listening to Ike name more dinosaurs than I ever imagined he knew; seeing the boys “dig” for dinosaur bones; watching Rahn try to stick Moose’s head in the mouth of every dinosaur he could get close to (I think he is the biggest kid of all).
Like most parents, every time I go to one of these events, I am reminded of what every parent I know complains about… the cost. Parking fees, ticket prices, food – where does it end? At the gift shop, that’s where.
As expected, this journey through prehistoric times ends with table after table of stuffed dinosaurs, dinosaur skeletons, real dinosaur fossils, fake dinosaur fossils… all with a price tag. Ike and Max loved looking at all of the dinosaur-themed toys… and a mere $50 later, we made it out of the store.
How often do you suppose that happens? Are we, as parents, delusional in blaming the venues, vendors and kids for the total cost of a day out? Are we really to blame?
We want the kids to have the most exciting time, the best memories… we assume that must include the silly 3-D photo that places you in the path of a t-rex, or the biggest stuffed stegosaurus we can find. Would they be just as happy without all of the extras? Apparently, my kids would, at least for now.
And yet, here I sit staring at my new little prehistoric “family members” lying on my family room floor. Just a few more things that I will have to pick up on nights when I am too tired to fight with the kids about picking up their own toys.
Despite that, I am still smiling. I guess it is all worth it. We had a great time, and the fact that Aunt Vicki came along made the boys even happier!