Our Night at the Museum

Thanks to GVA, we got to visit a new museum last night! The Tellus Northwest Georgia Science Museum opened in January of this year.

I had a pretty peaceful drive since they both slept. It was a drive of about two hours (because we can’t drive anywhere without stopping at least twice), and about halfway there, Blake started getting fussy. Jack was trying to play with him, and I told him to just let him go to sleep. Two minutes later, they were both asleep. Small wonder. Jack has been up until after midnight for the past few nights reading.

So that I didn’t have to haul the diaper bag around, I just grabbed a couple of things, threw them in the bottom of the stroller, piled enough electronics into my purse to stock a BestBuy store (can’t leave all that stuff in the car,ya know) and off we went. Before we left the house, I had uploaded all the pictures and videos off the camera. I managed to get the camera into the car…and that’s as far as it got. Apparently, just getting both of my kids out of the car and in the door is all I can handle at this point. Anything else is a bonus.

As we approached the building, I saw a sign on the lawn that read, “Tellus is a tornado free campus.” What? Oh, “Tellus is a TOBACCO free campus.” That’s much easier to manage.

First we went into the Fossil Gallery where they have a “dig” site set up so the kids can find their own fossils. They help you identify the fossils you find and each child gets to keep one fossil. In the same area, you can pan for minerals. We didn’t because we found a gemstone in the fossil area. Apparently, it had fallen out of someone’s hand or the little bag they give you to carry it. It’s a conglomerate, even though it doesn’t look exactly like the pictures on that page. I can’t show you a picture of ours because it’s itty-bitty and I haven’t figured out the macro feature on my camera yet. I can tell you it’s small, black & shiny. (The gem, not the camera)

Next, we ventured into the planetarium. I haven’t been to a planetarium since I was about Jack’s age, so I was looking forward to it. I wasn’t sure how Blake would handle it, since he equates darkness with bedtime and we all know how much babies enjoy going to sleep. He did really well, though, just jabbered a little while he was climbing on me, but no fussing. Their planetarium is digital and, though it was only about 10 or 15 minutes, it was pretty cool. They do a longer “real show” but they were just giving us a sample. We got to go to Mars. I would recommend that the next time you travel to Mars, bring along your favorite motion-sickness remedy. Those space ships go pretty fast.

We visited the Mineral Gallery, where there were lots of shiny things. Jack’s favorite was the case of polished spheres in all kinds of materials.

My favorite area was the Science in Motion Gallery. Very cool. There is a full-size model of the Wright Brother’s plane, the cockpit of a real airplane, a tire from the space shuttle, a helicopter, and models of various US and Russian spacecraft. Oh, yeah, and the cars. They have the first electric car (1996) and several cars from around 1900, back when it they were pretty much just wheels, a motor and a seat. I tried to take a couple of pictures with my phone, but at that point, I was carrying Blake and camera-phone plus squirming baby does not equal good picture. Maybe next time we go, I’ll actually take the camera inside the building.

I had an interesting experience the Science in Motion Gallery. Jack was waiting in the sort-of line that had formed so the kids could get their pictures taken in the spacesuit. A mom with 4 or 5 kids (it was hard to tell; there was another family standing around, too) was saying all the stuff other moms say about babies when her daughter walked up.

Mom to me: Have you heard of…
Mom to daughter: What’s that website again?
Daughter named the website, which I refuse to name here for reasons that will become clear in moment
Me: No. What is it? (Thinking that since we’re standing in the space area and the website had a name that could be associated with space, that’s what it was about)
Mom: It’s a lady who teaches babies to read. She can start when they’re three months old teaching them the alphabet, blah, blah, blah… (The lady was really nice, but a that point she started sounding like Charlie Brown’s teacher)
I just smile and say: Oh. I’m not worried about that.
Then because I obviously don’t know when to shut up: Jack knew his ABC’s and was talking really well by the time he was two. People couldn’t believe he was only two.
Mom: All of my kids were writing cursive when they were four.
Me: Even the boys? (of which she had at least two) Because Jack hates to write. (And in talking to other moms and teachers, that’s pretty typical. Young boys don’t like to write.)
Fortunately, at that point, all her kids were done with their pictures and were ready to move on. I try not offend people if I can help it, but I was thinking of an article I posted on Facebook recently about people pushing young kids too hard. It was NY Time article called Kindergarten Cram and I got this quote from it: “Jean Piaget famously referred to “the American question,” which arose when he lectured in this country: how, his audiences wanted to know, could a child’s development be sped up? The better question may be: Why are we so hellbent on doing so? ” I’m just sayin’.

Back to the museum: They also have the requisite weather/lights/magnet hands-on area that can be found in pretty much any museum that expects kids to walk in the door.

We left when they threw us out… about two minutes before my feet fell off.

Over all, we had a great time, will definitely go back sometime. Maybe next time we can get Daddy to go with us. He can carry the munchkin.