I’m always on the look-out for different things to do with Ellie.  Especially during the winter.  I think both of us get sick of staring at each other waiting for the other one to do something entertaining.  I look at Ellie and think, peek-a-boo again?  Really?  Don’t you have any new tricks?  And Ellie’s probably looking at me thinking, “Twinkle Twinkle Litte Star?  Again?  You still don’t even know the right lyrics.  What else you got?”  But luckily one of the moms from story time recommended Macy’s Monday at the Henry Ford Museum.  Two hours of fun, games, and stories all within the context of giant airplanes, trains, and cars.  Sounded like a good time to me.

I was all excited for this event until I really started to think about it.  Two hours!?  What were we going to do for two hours? She has a hard time sitting still for twenty minutes at the library, let alone two hours.  Actually, I can barely sit still for two hours unless I’m on the coach watching another depressing documentary.  And this event started at 10:00am.  We’d definitely have to hustle in the morning if we wanted to get there on time.  Hopefully she wouldn’t have a massively disastrous dump or a visit from the Reverse Tooth Fairy in the morning.  Even so, I was still excited.  I had a new stroller I just debuted a few days earlier, and now I had a new man bag to try out.

This particular Monday was the Monday after day light savings time so we both slept about an hour later than usual.  We would be starting behind.  Great.  I whipped flipped and cooked her breakfast like I was the Iron Chef.  Eggs, French toast, coming up!  Now out of all the days Ellie wants to take her sweet time eating breakfast, it was that day.  Come on kid!  We’re going to be late!  We made it through breakfast, she got a fresh set of drawers on, we got in the car and we were off.  I already knew we were going to be late.  I was going to be that dad that rolls in late and frazzled.  I hate being late.  And not only were we running late, but I got stuck behind the slowest cashier at the museum admissions desk.  As I was standing there impatient, trying to play it cool, I saw all these moms and strollers zooming past me to go inside.  I’m late, I’m late, I’m late.  Finally, we got in.

What!?  I was so confused.  This wasn’t a class.  This wasn’t a group.  You could wander around freely from station to station and participate in whatever activity you wanted to.  Just because it started at 10:00am, didn’t mean you had to be there on time.  OOOhhhh.  That makes a lot more sense.  I stood there out of breathe with perspiration dripping down my face from rushing around realizing it was all for nothing.  And I was hungry.  In all the commotion, I forgot to eat breakfast myself.  At least this place had an Oscar Meyer Weiner stand, so I knew a chili dog was in my future.

Once we were inside, we were one of the first people there.  Ellie was not in a mood to try any activities so we just wandered around.  We eventually made it over to the story time area where I found my mom friend that suggested this event to me.  In addition to her kid, she also had her mom with her.  I didn’t know you could bring your mom?  I wanted to bring my mom for two reasons.  One, I know she likes the museum and it’d be fun for her to go with Ellie.  Two, she’s a member so she could get me in for free.  But I didn’t want to be that guy that brings his mom to class at the museum.  I hate being that guy.  Not only did she have her mom with her, but she didn’t even have a stroller, or a diaper bag (that I could see.)  I felt like I was wearing a suit on my first day of work when everybody else had jeans on.  This lady didn’t need a stroller?  Or a diaper bag?  Did I need a stroller?…  Do you like my stroller?…  What about my new man bag?  It has pockets…

Once Ellie saw her little friend Evelyn, she perked up.  They stood and stared at each other and admired each other’s outfits.  And then Evelyn gave Ellie a hug.  We all went “aww” and it seemed like the day was starting to turn around.   And then Ellie got hyper and wanted to run.  Not walk and explore the museum.  Run.  I watched as Evelyn slowly walked away holding her mom’s hand.  The three of them seemed so peaceful as they strolled the museum.  I guess she didn’t need a stroller.  And then I looked back at Ellie as I was running behind her shouting Ellie!  Sweetie!  Come back!  It was like trying to catch a live chicken.

I was able to get her back in the stroller and kept her quiet with some Cheerios.  Oh sure, now you want to eat.  After picking up her trail of Cheerio rejects, we survived the full two hours.  I’m not sure what we did, or if we had fun, but we made it.  And it was time for my reward, an Oscar Meyer Weiner chili dog.

CLOSED!?  Aww man.

Talk about a case of the Mondays…

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