Wednesday, March 26, 2014

You WILL Have Fun!

The kids were on Spring Break last week and since we didn't take them with us on vacation in Arizona, I thought it might be fun for them to have a little staycation here in St. Louis.  While we were gone, Patti took the kids to the zoo and to the top of the Gateway Arch.  I left two cameras with them and told them to take as many pictures as they wanted, . . . which turned out to be zero.
Wednesday morning I took Miles to preschool and then Harrison and Chloe and I went on an adventure.  We rode the metro down to Union Station, which used to be a major train hub back in the day when people rode trains and ate at Hard Rock Cafe.
Architecturally, it's really quite something.  Inside, it's kind of a strange mix of old and sad and new and sad (i.e. Enstein's Bagels and shops that sell Christmas ornaments year round.).

They have a lot of old machines that require quarters.  I didn't bring my change purse, so the trip was pretty much a bust.

Now we'll never know if Chloe is adorable or enchanted.

Or if wishing on a Zoltar machine can really turn you into Tom Hanks.

I seriously miscalculated our time and we ended up waiting at the train station for a half hour, thus making us 40 minutes late to pick Miles up from preschool.  He was a bit traumatized and my name is written in big letters in his teacher's book of grievances.  (Understandably so.)

I decided to try again the next day to find an adventure that everyone would enjoy.  I took the kids to the Chocolate-Chocolate-Chocolate factory for a tour.

We all looked super cute in our hats.  Harrison almost wasn't allowed in the tour because he refused to wear his.  Too cool for kitchen rules, that one.

I think the kids were expecting something a little more Willy Wonka and a little less . . .

. . . this.

[I love our tour guide's face in this picture.  I hope she never sees it.]
Hey, you know what kids love?  Hearing people talk and talk and talk about chocolate and how delicious it is and how they're not allowed to eat any of it.  It's pretty much their favorite.

Actually, we did get samples at the end of the tour, and I let the kids each choose a treat from the "oops" section of the store.  They liked that part.

So, it wasn't everything they dreamed it would be.  I decided I would just have to try harder.  The next day I took them to the City Museum.  The City Museum is not so much a museum as it is a lawsuit waiting to happen.  It's one giant building filled with caves and slides and industrial materials for you to climb on.  It's really amazing and the only reason I hadn't taken the kids there before was because there are far too many places to hide.  I will admit that I lost them all at least three times. 

I took a lot of great pictures at the museum on my phone, but my phone crashed a few days ago and this was the only one I could salvage.  So you'll have to miss out on the pictures of Miles and Harrison having the time of their lives and Chloe crying through it all.

Not being one to give up easily (except almost always), the next day I searched the city for an activity that I was certain they would all enjoy.  
I took them to see the new Muppets movie.  Twenty minutes into the movie, Miles told me we had to go home because the movie was too scary.  While it definitely isn't as happy and upbeat as the last Muppets movie, I couldn't believe he thought it was scary.  It turns out Miles was totally freaked out by Kermit's doppelganger, Constantine.  "He has a different voice and a dot on his face," said Miles.  He sat on my lap and covered his face through the whole movie.

I came home that night feeling very frustrated by the week's events.  Why do I keep forgetting Jerry Seinfeld's sage wisdom that "There is no such thing as fun for the whole family."?  This past week I have learned how exhausting it is to try to be a fun mom.  But even though they didn't all have fun on every one of our adventures, some of them had fun some of the time.  I think that's the best I can do.

5 Wisecracks:

allyn said...

So, mom and dad were here Monday and aron took off work. We could come up with NOTHING amazing to do. We walked around a dead Chinese garden and I wondered aloud,"why does St. Louis have so many awesome free things to do!?" I know your adventures were not free, but there are so many neat things to do there. Your kids will remember those fun things, youknow it.

melissa said...

There is a lot of free fun to be had here. I'll miss that. We totally could have walked through a dead Chinese garden last week, too!

Patti said...

I think it says a lot about your choices that I would have had fun doing ALL those things! Some of them having fun some of the time is definitely success at being a fun mom.

Nicole said...

Oh, man. This made me laugh so much that I had to call you (as you know). Nothing tickles me like photos of disappointed children. And Kermit with a different voice and a mole is scary?! Thanks for the warning on that one.

The Reiersens said...

This blog is cracking me up! I've been there! My mom's favorite slogan for days like these is, "If it's not miserable, it's not memorable." That definitely doesn't make it any better though! :)