Friday, April 17, 2009
The Tellus Museum
What fun the boys and I had at the Tellus Museum this past week! It's up in Cartersville, which is sort of in the middle of nowhere, so my expectations were pretty low (which may be a partial contributor as to why I was so impressed!). The campus of the museum was beautiful and the layout was perfect for both Ethan and Eli even with their age difference. Lots of space to run around without bumping into stuff (for Eli) and lots of stuff low to the ground to look at and touch (for Ethan).
The planetarium had a show that was playing just in time for when we got there which was geared toward small children. Lots of animation with a bit of history thrown in (for us big kids!). As an added bonus, I had about thirty minutes of uninterrupted snuggle time with Eli that is usually very rare. At the end of the show, the Star Wars theme was playing and I was convinced Ethan was going to pass out from sheer excitement.
"Mommy! How did the "show lady" know that I liked Star Wars!? Did she see my Star Wars shirt and play it just for me!? I think she really did!" So adorable and definitely the highlight of Ethan's day.
When we first arrived at the museum, the ladies fussed and fawned all over Eli's little red hair and Ethan's sweet smile. I was feeling pretty proud of myself as we walked around. Eli was behaving (for the most part) and Ethan was so excited to run from exhibit to exhibit checking things out.
We were in the fossil digging room (looking for our favorite "fossil" which we were allowed to keep.
I was sitting with Eli is this giant sandbox and chatting with Ethan about his fossils when a gentlemen who worked for the museum walked in, complete with his little museum badge, walkie talkie and ear piece. I didn't pay much attention to him until he walked over, pointed at me and said, "Ma'am. I need to talk to you," in his thick, Matlock-like accent.
Feeling pretty idiotic climbing out of the fossil sandbox and dusting myself off, I'm also slightly irritated that I had to leave Eli and Ethan playing and wondered what why I was being summoned.
I walk over to the museum man and look at him, waiting for him to say something.
He says, "Ma'am. You need to be more careful."
I say, "I'm sorry?". Did I leave my car unlocked? Leave my purse behind at the front desk? Forget my credit card?
He says nothing. Instead, he has his hand in a fist and turns it over and opens it up to reveal what is in the palm of his hand. He stares at me and nods slightly and I realize he wants me to look at whatever it is sitting in the palm of his hand.
I peer into his hand and see a piece of red lint, a part of a gum wrapper and five Cheerios, as well as some other pieces of dirt and little rocks.
I'm perplexed until I remember the handful of Cheerios I gave to Eli.
"You need to be more careful," he says, this time a little more forcefully.
"I'm...uh...I'm so sorry. Really. I didn't even realize..."
"I walked all over the WHOLE gallery and picked ALL of these up after you," he says. (Really, I thought? All FIVE of them? What a feat.) Now, I'm not a litterer and I try VERY hard to pick up after myself and make sure my children do too...but we're in a museum geared toward children for Pete's sake. A Cheerio here and there isn't going to hurt anyone.
"I'm really, really sorry," feeling like I was suddenly 5 years old and just got caught drawing on the walls.
He stares at me, closes his fist around the Cheerios, lint and dirt pieces and very slowly backs out of the room, his eye on me the whole time as if I might just drop one more Cheerio on the floor and then he'll really have me.
I should add that this guy really spent some time tracking me down. The fossil digging room is down a hall off of all the galleries and almost looks like it is in the section where the administrative offices are located. I wondered how many people where looking for us. I felt so criminal. I considered dropping Cheerios in a line Hansel & Gretel style throughout the rest of the museum leading to little post-its that said, "Ha ha! Can't find us!" and "Keep looking, you're getting warm!", but I didn't want to get banned for life from the museum because other than the Cheerio cop, it really was a pretty cool place.