GAYS MILLS - We ventured far and wide this past weekend, as the Schendel-Dremsa Family took on La Crosse.
“We have to travel a long, long, long, long, long LONG way to the museum!” Thatcher exclaimed over his breakfast of blueberry pancakes Saturday morning.
“MAAAAAA!!!” Squealed Waylon in response, pointing his grubby little baby paw at the bottle of syrup his brother was making dance about the table.
Thatcher has been to the La Crosse Children’s Museum, but clearly in a time before he was old enough to recall or appreciate it.
Chasca has been working most every Saturday up until recently, not leaving much time for recreation, especially with the holidays jammed in there. So this lovely day was the perfect opportunity to get out and about as a crew of four.
I’ve gotten smarter about trying to drag my two little people together, out in public, alone. It’s kind of a circus when I have too, but I usually figure it out. So, I was pretty excited to have a second pair of parenting eyes to make the trip a lot easier.
We had to make a long round trip, with a stop in La Farge to drop gigantic baked spaghetti off to a friend.
Chasca watched me with a very skeptical eye when I was making it.
“What is that you’re doing with those spaghetti noodles,” he questioned. “What’s with the carrots and the pan, why is it going in the oven?” His tone sounded slightly alarmed. You’d think he’d know by now not even to question my endeavor, but yet, he persists. There certainly is no way a mash of carbs, sauce, locally raised beef and a whole ‘lotta cheese can be wrong when you’re sleep deprived and breastfeeding a newborn. The carrots were just an added bonus for nutritional value. When I lugged it out of the oven it probably weighed at LEAST 15 pounds–no joke. It was a success to me.
Luckily, the long round about world tour of the counties gave Thatcher cause to say, “Oh, sweet Pomegranate Mama, I’m so tired.” The words were like music to my ears as I gently offered the option to my son to just close his eyes and have a little rest. As though that was all he needed to hear, I soon heard muffled snores as we zipped down the highway.
Both kids miraculously slept the entire drive from Viroqua to La Crosse, awakening only when we prodded them gently, while trying to get them out of their car seats. Both boys looked slightly offended at first until the realized they had reached their destination.
Once inside the loud, chaos that is a children’s museum, both boys were ready to go. Waylon began wiggling in my arms like a raccoon that just spotted trash mountain and Thatcher seamlessly integrated into the herd of children admiring a fake tree with a tiny Red Panda living in it.
Waylon spent a lot of his playtime in a zone called ‘Tator Tots’ specifically designed for babies. A safe harbor in the madness of sweaty squealing children and hovering guardians. A majority of his time was spent lifting things up to show me and saying “OOOOOOO!” with great admiration.
Thatcher however, wanted a taste of everything the museum had to offer. The tiny model of the Mississippi, the dinosaurs, and, the ever popular Kwik Trip. One thing I noticed however, for a kid with an incredible vocabulary, Thatcher doesn't seem to see much point in talking to other children (adults however, he has no qualms with asking questions or giving directions.) At the museum, there is a large car that is next to a gas pump outside of the pretend Kwik Trip. There was a child in the said vehicle, probably about Thatcher’s age, spinning the steering wheel around and pretend driving like a bat out of hell. Thatcher quickly goes and gasses up the jalopy in preparation for whatever imaginary road trip he plans to take. Without a word, he casually slips onto the bench of the driver’s seat, gently shoving the aggressive driver aside and into the passenger seat, where there is another steering wheel. The other child I assumed must certainly have older siblings, because despite his feisty driving style, he put up no fight and just scooted over and continued his ridiculous driving. Thatcher grasped the wheel at 10 and two, put on an imaginary seat belt and took off cruising like he was Driving Miss Daisy.
All of that play must have been exhausting because on the long, long, long ride home Thatcher slipped into sleep and snoozed right until the next morning. I was lucky enough to be the parent who slept in and it paid off when I slipped into the kitchen and poured a cup of coffee completely unnoticed. The fun didn't stop for Chasca, Thatcher and Waylon who were all back in the land of make believe. This time, Thatcher playing the loving daddy and Chasca got to be his “Sweet Sonny Boy!” I sat and listened as Thatcher made dinner for his Sonny Boy, “I put tomato juice and tomato sauce on EVERYTHING! I know how you love tomatoes my sweet boy!” he said to his daddy. “Oh thank you!” his dad responded. “No! No! Daddy, you have to say thank you like a BABY!” Thatcher demanded of his still sleepy sounding Sonny Boy. Chasca chirped back a thank you in a high-pitched tone, which seemed to satisfy Thatcher as he said “Oh here’s your dinner you little cutie pie!” and carried on the play until I lumbered upstairs to make my presence known.How often do these moments give me pause and make me think, ‘If I were only three years old again…’