19 March 2009


carl and i love to shout SPRING BREAK! and joke about trips to ft. lauderdale, fl, to sip daiquiris and play beach volley ball with a bunch of drunk college students.

our actual spring break (thank god!) involves puttering around in the yard, taking walks in our neighborhood to check out pussy willows and crocuses in bloom, and a day trip to columbus, indiana, which is an hour away from here.

cosmo has been looking forward to this little jaunt. so much so, he would wake up, in the days leading up to the trip, and ask, "is it columbus day?" as it turns out, we went on st. patrick's day. the main attraction for us (besides the world-class architecture) is a children's museum called kid'scommons, which we were told featured a big house, where kids can explore all the inner workings, including plumbing. we had asked our librarian for some books with good drawings for pre-schoolers who ask "where does the water go?" and "what's under the house? what's inside the wall?" she suggested kid'scommons, and mentioned a giant toilet that kids slide down. that was all cosmo needed to hear. he could not stop talking about that giant toilet slide.

when we finally got on the road, we told cosmo we would be stopping for lunch before we went to the museum. he was not happy about any delays, but ended up falling asleep in the car, and lunchtime was just what he needed to wake up, and get ready for the big adventure. we walked from the cafe to the museum, and passed a block of "tree cozies," a public art project that we all enjoyed seeing. it reminded us of the houston group, knitta, please! though, obviously not exactly subversive, since it was sponsored by the local arts council...

we arrived at kid'scommons, and cosmo settled into a geometric puzzle(wedgits), which he had recently played with at a friend's house. a little later he found a ball track, and was mesmerized by that for a while before heading upstairs to the house exhibit. he found a plumbing demonstration that involved, what else? a pneumatic ball maze, cosmo's favorite sort of thing. he was not interested in leaving that area for a long time. in fact, he came back to it again and again.

when we finally made our way up to the giant toilet slide, cosmo was afraid to go down it. i went first, and he and carl met me at the bottom. it was a tight fit for me, but i made it. we mentioned it a few more times, but he became insistent that he did not want to go down the toilet slide. he creeped around, in all the nooks and crannies of the "house," which i thought was very nicely done. we made our way around the rest of the upstairs, played with a bunch of other stuff, including this awesome gear toy, and his first lincoln-log house. he ended up back at the ball track downstairs, and stayed there for what seemed like hours. we all had a great time, though you can't tell from the photos. cosmo usually looks so serious when he plays intently.

he was awestruck by the old player piano. we requested dueling banjo's from the motion picture "deliverance." not a piece originally intended for the piano, but amazing nonetheless. cosmo just stood about 3 feet away from the piano, hands clasped, in rapt attention, through the entire song.

on the drive home, cosmo kept coming up with new ways to inform us that he would never want to go down the toilet slide. my favorite was, "i don't want to go down the toilet slide all the days we go to the children's museum." we assured him that we got it, and that he never had to go down the toilet slide, ever, ever.

even though it was the driving force behind the trip to columbus.
it did occur to me, even before we went, that this is the stuff of pre-school nightmares--going down the toilet. part of his curiosity about it probably stems from his fears. oh, and i just remembered my own dream on this theme! guess it runs in the family.

once we got home, cosmo did some more hands on exploration of water and plumbing with the garden hose. these shots were taken just prior to the complete soaking of all clothing, and stripping down for the first naked-run-around-the-yard of the season.

i highly recommend kid'scommons, and i know we will be going back. it is so close, and such a pleasant drive through brown county. for those of you who live nearby, during the month of march, a wonderlab card gets you buy-one-get-one-free admission.

how's your spring (break, or no break) shaping up?


Sarah and Jack said...

A toilet slide is a rather wierd idea for a childrens museum. Plenty of kids are afraid of being flushed down the loo arent they? (Jack has never expressed such a concern, but it is a common potty training problem!)

cake said...

i think it is a common fear, but i will say that it seemed to be a focal point for most of the other kids there. it was an attraction for all, a frightening one for some.

ms. mep said...

That museum sounds fantastic (aside from the potentially frightening toilet slide--have to say, I'm mighty intrigued myself), and I bet we can check it out some time when traveling from Illinois to Ohio (through Indiana) to see family.

We are also fans of shouting "spring break" around our place. A few years ago, we went to the Bahamas with friends during a week that overlapped with spring break for many college kids. Don't know what we were thinking. I felt OLD and LAME when I was on spring break as a college kid, and felt even more so (plus worried and horrified for all the drunken young persons, women especially, that I saw) during that trip. It was 2005 at the time, and we did have some laughs shouting, "Spring Break '95" in front of all the kiddies.

Great photography as always, and I love how absorbed in play cosmo seems.

Malke said...

Your spring break sounds awesome! I always hear about the kidscommons and then I forget about it. Thanks for the reminder! It seems like a good fit for izzy, not quite as manic and packed as the Indy one. I've always loved how Cosmo is so intent with his watching and figuring things out.

What I did on my spring "break" -- got up at 5:15 each morning to drive 1.5 hours to Carmel to work 4straight hours and then drive 1.5 hours back. Home by 1, and a little time to be tired in the warm spring sun with Iz. I love my work these days, but the driving? It's dragging me down. Nice to be able to listen to NPR without interruptions or having to turn down the scary stories.

Actchy said...

I love that you went down the toilet slide. One of my favorite memories is of when my Mom was the only grown-up to go down a nearly-90-degree-angled waterslide in Wildwood, NJ...I was 10 years old at the time. She did so not to assure me the slide was safe, but because she thought it looked like fun.

It was. Even at the time, I remember thinking it was so cool that she did it.

Abby said...

hey there! fun pictures...we've never been there. i think avery *might* be up for the toilet slide. :)

scott said you stopped in the shop today. it's a MESS right now. we're really excited about the new space and all of the new fun stuff we're getting in. i hope you'll come back by! the new space will have fun play tables and wooden toys for the kids to play with, so you'll have to come in with cosmo!