Thursday, August 18, 2011

Another Place Team Stimey Shouldn't Go

It's Native American Week here at Camp Stimey—or American Indian Week—I don't know which I'm supposed to say. If you want, we can just call it Hasn't School Started YET Week?

I'm really spending most of the week vacillating wildly between sadness that I have to send my kiddos back to school and a desire to slap backpacks on them and make them stand outside and wait for the school bus until it comes—thunderstorms and dead of night be dammed.

But instead, I'm sort of shuffling along with American Indian Week, mostly because Sam is waaaay into them and he puts up with a lot from his brothers, so it seemed only fair to dedicate a week to him. We started when we were on vacation in New Mexico and I forced everyone to go to Petroglyph National Monument with me, where my mother promptly fell down a mountain. (After which I emphatically extended my hand, shook hers, and said, "Welcome to Team Stimey.") Fortunately her injuries were more dramatic than serious.

A big part of my plan for Native American Week was a trip to the National Museum of the American Indian in DC. That was to happen today. We actually managed to get there without major crisis AND found a parking spot so close to the entrance that I had to check three times to assure myself that I wasn't parked in a handicapped space.

I kind of wish we hadn't squandered all our good luck on the parking space, but whatever. I put about 25 quarters in the parking meter (it was only supposed to take 16 to give me two hours, but it ate a bunch of them) and we headed inside.

The building is pretty amazing, I'll give it that—especially the windows that take the sun and use it to spray rainbows all over the place.

We should have just gone home then.

The rainbows looked especially nice with Quinn's tie dye t-shirt that we made during Art Week, which hasn't gotten any air time here on the blog as of yet.

Frankly, I don't think my kids are quite old enough for the American Indian Museum. I might try to take Sam back by himself sometime, but Jack and Quinn were not impressed. They did like some of the interactive computer displays, but do you know what interactive computer displays ensure?

That no one looks at the actual exhibit.

That case was full of amazing beaded clothing and objects, but my kids barely saw them because they were too busy pushing buttons on the touchscreens in front of them while I bobbed about exclaiming, "You guys! You guys! Look at these! Get close to them and look at all the beads! Look how much work it took to make these! You guys! You guys!"

Take, for instance, this flag, which is made up of I don't know how many thousands of teeny tiny beads that are arranged so precisely as to form words within the pattern of the flag.

It is seriously an amazing piece of art.

And here is Sam looking at it:

"Look! You can zoom in on it to see it better!" he said.

We wandered through a bunch of the exhibits, but no one but Sam was willing to listen to me read the stories on the signs all around the museum and the way they were set up was such that it was hard for Jack and Quinn to appreciate anything. (Not that it was all the museum's fault, mind you.)

I don't know what this is a statue of, but I'm pretty sure that whenever you run across such a thing, you are supposed to take a photograph of it. Preferably with your children in front.

Also, it was the only object that was large and not behind glass,
allowing my kids to be able to focus on it.

We were headed for the exit when we heard drums from the main lobby of the museum where we found this guy:

Thank God for him, because it turns out that Jack LOVES drums. In fact, all three of my kids were enough into listening to him talk, drum, and sing that my murderous rage ebbed a little bit and actually allowed me to relax and enjoy sitting among my children.

Jack in particular was so into the drum, that I briefly considered telling him about the big drum we have in the basement that he used to play with. Then I came to my senses and realized how loud that would make my home.

I may still bring it to his attention though. That will be for Stimey Abandons Her Kids and Her House Week.

We returned to our car with 46 minutes of our original two hours still left on the parking meter. I don't think I've ever gone through a museum that fast. In fact, it took us longer to buy the stuff on our school supply lists at Target yesterday.

We'll be beading tomorrow. I'm hoping that it will be an activity devoid of murderous rage, but I'm not guaranteeing anything.

You know, now that I think about it, maybe I AM ready to send my kids back to school.

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