Monday, May 07, 2012

Baltimore Aquarium

In the middle of March, we visited the Baltimore Aquarium on one of their discount nights.  I can't believe that was two months ago.  This has been the busiest, most fun season I can possibly remember.  Probably a few semesters of college rival it for busy and fun, but wow.  It was just such an unreasonably warm winter and spring that it felt like we should be busy and having fun.  I can't stay inside when it's nice!  I also usually get the winter blues pretty badly, but this year it only lasted for January and then it was gone. How can you feel bluesy when there is so much to do?

That said, I've let myself (and our family) get a little too busy at times.  That week we went to the aquarium was incredible.  We had perfect weather and something very fun to do every single day.  I reveled in it and loved it until I finally glanced around myself Friday afternoon and melted down a little.  I'd let things go around the house, and when I let things go I get anxious.  And sometimes, out of the blue, that anxiety shoots through the roof.  Which is exactly what happened that afternoon.

It was one of the those times where you need to be somewhere at a certain time, but it feels like your feet are stuck in cement.  I frequently have dreams where I have to be somewhere (it's usualy someones' wedding or something else important) but I can't move my limbs.  Hours will go by in my dreams and nothing can happen and I can't get anywhere and everyone is mad at me.  I wake up in a cold sweat.

Sometimes, when you have a small child, this nightmare happens- in real life.

You're already running late because the small child was fussy or clingy and it took you awhile to get ready.  You were trying to put away laundry and she came behind you and dumped your whole folded basket.  You're getting ready to walk out the door when she asks for a snack and then spills something all over her outfit and you have to change her.  You're walking out the door again when you smell something and realize she's poopy.  Maybe there is even poop on you, too.  (I wouldn't know anything about that.)  You change her and change you and then you can't find her other shoe and you're now super late and you're going, "Seriously?!  SERIOUSLY?!"

That was what happened before the aquarium, x2, and then I misplaced my camera.  And then I full-on panicked.

I am pretty flexible, just-go-with-it person, but I've learned to be that way.  My natural personality sets up these perfect scenarios in my mind.  "We'll get to Baltimore at 5, we'll play by the harbor for a little. Maybe there will be a band playing Irish music!  Tomorrow is St. Patrick's day...there will definitely be a band.  The girls can dance and then we can go into the aquarium and I bet it won't be crowded since it's so nice out and we'll see everything and I bet we'll still have time to get a snack afterward."  In my mind, I never plan for traffic.  No one ever cries or whines or gets lost and the streets are paved with gold and there are no cats in America!  (Name that movie!)

So sometimes my eternal optimism really messes me up because obviously life is never perfect and sometimes I set your camera down and the baby picks it up and puts it where I can't see it but I think (I know) it got stolen because I must have left it in the car because my whole house in clean and I can't find it anywhere and omg omg omg and then my husband and mom and niece are waiting for me for an hour because I can't breathe.

And then I find it and feel really, really dumb.

I've been finding that while perfect is great, real is just as good.  Maybe real is even better.  Real means traffic and crowds and laughing with your father-in-law, "I paid money to be tortured?" (We'd just left the hot, crowded, smelly jungle part of the aquarium.  Awful.)  Real means kids whine.  It means they cry.  It means the littlest is more enamored with pushing the elevator buttons on each floor than with finding fish.  But it also means that the bigger one is in love with the sharks when you thought she'd be scared and it means impromptu hugs on a sidewalk during sunset in a city you love.

Told you.  Buttons.

She was utterly enamored with the aquarium, which made the whole thing so fun and sweet.  

Shark Tank.
Bean loved the sharks.  I can remember going down, down, down the ramp at the aquarium on a field trip in second grade and getting so nervous about the sharks.  My dad came on that field trip with us, so I squeezed his hand nice and tight and I wasn't afraid any more.  Bean didn't need us until she saw a shark's teeth, and then she wanted a sit a little closer to me.

She wasn't afraid of these these though!  None of us were!

We had so much fun with Groovy and Pop!

A little post-aquarium french fry snack because I was starving and the girls love them.

Couldn't have dreamed that better myself.
So of course, in the end, it was perfect.  Even if we got an hour later start and it was super crowded and parking was expensive and I couldn't breathe in the "jungle."

True story:  When we stepped out of the parking garage onto the street at the start of the night, Bean looked up at me with a startled expression and exclaimed, "Taylor!  What is that stinky smell?!" I wasn't sure what she meant, and then I laughed.

"Oh, honey, that's just the city.  That's how the city smells!"

"Oh.  Well it's stinky!"

Love that little farm girl.  She's perfect, too.

1 comment:

  1. disclaimer!!!! Baltimore is dredging the harbor...and its making it smell even worse than usual. Make sure Charlie is aware :) HAha. Come up again sometime, Wavey would loooove the science center and it's 1/3 of the price!


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