Today was one of those incredibly rare perfect days. We took the kids to a Children's Museum a couple of hours away. The ride over was fun. Joel (who is still rear-facing) played giggle games with me all the way there.
The museum was awesome. I would have been wild over it as a child, and I loved it even as an adult (well, physically I qualify as an adult ;)). It is fantastic. They have made what is essentially a child-sized town, where kids can dress up in whatever role they are playing (firefighter, surgeon, etc) and practice and play. They have ambulances, a surgery station, a dentist office, a store with kiddie-sized shopping carts, a courtroom and more.
We started off with the super spider-web climbing area and slide. They played almost an hour there. Then we went outside to one of the multiple playgrounds out there. After some time on the pirate ship, we followed each other through the castle maze and the kids did several rounds with the slide there. Then it was time for the train ride, much to Joel's delight.
Once we were back inside, we explored the cave and aquarium, which led to the archeologists sand pit. Joel loved digging up the dinosaur bones in the sand. Even better, it was next to the airplane, so he got in some flight practice. Ariana loved doing the grocery shopping all by herself, but her favorite was the surgery room. I think she could have spent hours in there. She did every station from administering anesthesia to patiently repairing a knee to examining all the internal organs.
They had a beautifully stocked creativity center with paints, markers, crayons, foam stickers, glue, scissors and a variety of paper, play masks and other items to decorate. Next to that was the bubble area, with all sizes of bubbles and bubble wands.
We will definitely be coming back.
Best of all, it has been such a peaceful, joyful day. Nobody got cranky. The kids were totally cooperative and never fussed, even about leaving or being in the car for the long drive. Even the ride back was pleasant. We played catch with a rolled-up sock until the kids fell asleep. Everyone just enjoyed everyone else.
Our typical days are, well, typical. Moments of chaos, someone gets grouchy (probably me), the kids watch too much TV, someone's always making a mess. One of these days I'll do a post on exactly what happens in a normal day (my dear friend Blessed Mama did this recently, and I was impressed at all that she accomplishes in an average day). But since today was such a delightful one, I want to hold on to all the memories. On the next normal day when everything seems to disintegrate, breathing in the happiness from today might restore the sunshine then.