Alternatively titled: How to Make a Thursday Feel Like a Saturday
We had an adventure last week. The exploring kind. More for me, I guess, since we went somewhere I hadn’t been before that Rich had (and he has the scar to remember it by). It was somewhere I’ve wanted to go since we moved here and now that we’ve been I have no idea why we didn’t go sooner. It’s a town not all that far from here that’s best known for its dinosaurs. The real kind, and, as it turns out, the kind people put on signs to make the most of the millions-of-years-old tourist attraction dinosaurs create.
I figured it would be fun to go, and a dinosaur-themed day was sure to be a hit with Connor. Rich suggested a couple of other stops along the way and, like any good explorer, I was game.
And, oh, was it a good day.
Here, then, is how to make a Thursday feel like a Saturday. It’s really not hard at all.
1. Put your kids in the car and drive for an hour and a half until the landscape looks like something from another planet.
2. Climb up high.
3. Take the opportunity to admire the view and get some perspective.
4. (If you do it on the day your baby gets his first tooth, you end up with a sad little dinosaur.)
5. But he’s a good sport about it, so play with him anyway.
5. Find the world’s largest dinosaur.
5. Climb into its mouth. (Resist the urge to add to your four-year-old’s terror over the situation by making loud roaring noises.)
5. Decide to see what happens if you take the aforementioned scaredy-cat child to a museum with actual dinosaurs.
6. Clarify that the dinosaurs aren’t really real, because the four-year-old thinks real means alive and he seems convinced that the Tyrannosaurus is going to eat him. (Secretly think he’s lucky he’s behaving well that day, otherwise you might have been tempted to see if T-Rex wanted a nibble.) Then measure him next to a dinosaur’s foot (but don’t point out that the dinosaur could crush with one toe any small boys who throw things at their little brothers).
7. Watch your boys draw. Smile.
8. Then get up close and personal with a wooly mammoth (without the wool).
9. Head back out and find some dirt to play in.
10. Ponder life and the elements and the meaning of time in the context of evidence of the millennia that created amazing things.
11. Be grateful you live in a place that offers such diversions close enough to do them as day trips with your kids.
12. Finish exploring and hit the highway so you’re home in time for dinner.
But stop for ice cream first.