Thursday, October 13, 2005
Since the 2:30 p.m. nap wasn't going to happen, Celeste and I decided to head down to the National Museum of Natural History to see what she though of dinosaurs. We were lucky and found a decent parking place near the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden. Walking through the garden, the first thing to really catch her attention was Barry Flanagan's "Thinker on a Rock." I explained to her it was an allusion to Rodin's "Le Penseur" [Paris or Philadelphia], and she replied "Ga?"
The next big adventure was the security check to get into the museum but as soon as we cleared the magnetometers she was mesmerized — mostly by all the people to stare at.
In the Dinosaur Hall, much of her attention was on all the people, but she also spent a good bit of time staring at the Tyrannosaurus rex, Triceratops prorsus, and (in the Ancient Seas exhibit) Basilosaurus cetoides. We then wandered a bit further into the museum, taking in the "Sikhs: Legacy of the Punjab" exhibit (Celeste liked some of the music playing; I guess I should dig up some of my bhangra CDs for her ...) and ending up at the back of the Hall of Mammals. This is what Celeste loved the most. She kept craning her neck from left to right and hopping in her stroller and/or my arms trying to take it all in ... and she gave the lion a big roar when she spied him. After a quick trip though the gift shop, where Celeste scored a copy of Giraffes and I picked up a sale copy of Kangaroos in Outback Australia, we headed back outside.
We were heading back to the car (it was a bit after 3:00 p.m., and I had to move the T.R.U.C.K. by 4:00 p.m. because of rush hour parking restrictions), but then Celeste and I both heard the carousel. By the time we crossed the Mall, the carousel was going and Celeste and I watched it go 'round a few times. When it stopped, I asked Celeste if she wanted to ride it, and she seemed interested. Once we were aboard, it took a little while for Celeste to choose her horse; she picked a white one with a gold and blue saddle on the outside edge of the carousel. I sat her on it, and she grabbed the pole and then looked at me as if to say "now what." Soon there after, the bell rang and we were off. The first two or three trips around, she just stared forward with the wind blowing her hair back, then she turned and wanted me to pick her up. We spent the rest of the ride either switching to the horse in the middle course, back to the outside course horse, or being held. When we left, I told her to tell the horse thank you and goodbye and she spent most of the walk back across the Mall waving to the carousel.
When we got home, Celeste and I were reading Oh My Oh My Oh Dinosaurs! and I'm not 100% certain, but I really think she was working hard at saying "ninnonoaha" and "dididinana" (dinosaurs).
© 2003–2010 T. Carter Ross