Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Learning is so much fun

The Maze

Today we went to the Duke Energy Children's Museum in Cincinnati. My camera wasn't working quite right and most of the pictures came out fuzzy, but I am glad for these to post. The kids had an awesome time. It was a great day and we loved the museum. The kids played and played, it was bit overwhelming because there were so many fun things to do.
Joseph's favorite activity was the water. He quickly found the pipes he could connect and created water ways. He's such a little engineer, wonder where he gets that, sarcasm. The Energy Zone was another huge favorite of his.
Bethany's favorite things were the grocery shopping and the veterinarian office. Jenna was a good girl and happy for the few times she was able to get out of her stroller and play too.
There is a huge play area called, The Woods. It's dark and has caves and trees. The kids go inside tree trunks and crawl through tunnels and caves, and walk over swinging bridges. There are slides and climbing ropes. It was really busy and packed with kids. Joe and I both were a bit nervous letting them play, because the kids would go in one hole and we couldn't see them and never knew where they would pop out again. Several times, Joe went to find one of the kids and help them back down. Most of the play area was accessible for parents, though a tight squeeze.
I hadn't seen Joseph for awhile. Over all the noisy playing kids and talking parents, we heard Joseph shrill, ear piecing scream. Joe and I ran to where we thought we heard him but couldn't see him. I realized he was stuck inside a maze. It's literally a maze that winds back and forth with small holes for the kids to crawl through. It's about 4 ft deep and 8 ft high with each shelf maybe 18 to 24 inches high.
Joseph was stuck in the very back of an 18 in. shelf. He's legs couldn't touch the next shelf and he freaked out. I couldn't touch him because there was a wire netting with only 1 inch openings. Joe left to find an opening to get to him and I tried to talk him through it. Joseph just kept screaming and I was about in tears too. As I calmly tried to reassure him, he just screamed bloody murder. A tall, slender girl scout offered to try and help him. She didn't know if she could fit inside. As she tried to maneuver her way to him, my heart was breaking. She finally reached him and helped him enough to free him. He was still flipping out and I pretty much just grabbed him and pulled him out of the bottom opening. His face and ears were beet red. I hugged him so hard and never felt more sad for him. It was awful seeing him so panicked and unable to help him. The only other time, I've ever felt so helpless is when my children have gotten shots.
Surprisingly, he seemed to recover rather quickly and ran off to play some more. By that time, Joe and I had, had enough and said it was time to move on to something less stressful. I can't believe, some designer of the museum didn't think that was a bad idea. It's a terrible set up. There is a sign that says something about no children under 3, Joseph is 3. I had seen it earlier, but our children are pretty fearful, cautious. I really didn't think they'd go near it.
Aside from that horrible moment, we had a great time and the kids loved going there. We went to The Children's Museum of Indianapolis a couple years ago and it was equally as fun. What I love about going to places like this is it has the same affect on our children. They come home and have a whole new sense of imagination. They play and pretend with ordinary things and their toys come to life. It's so fun to watch them learn new things, enjoy big people stuff at just their size, and realize cause and effects. All I can say, is take your children and watch their faces, see them learn it is worth every penny!!!

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