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Museum trip

Posted on: April 13, 2011

On the weekend, we traded a Baptism for a trip to the Museum.

It felt a little bit wrong, skipping our newest nephew’s Baptism… but he and his brothers were sick with gastro, and so we were let off. The Baptism went ahead, in the freezing-cold climes of Oberon, while we headed in the opposite direction, to the city, on a perfect autumn day. Lovely!

We headed to the Australian Museum to see their new Birds of Paradise exhibit (which I forgot to take photos of, oops). And to see dinosaurs, of course – Tiernan’s second love, after trains. Molly pretends to like dinosaurs as much as Tiernan, but as soon as she remembers that they do scary things like stomp and roar, she abruptly decides they’re not so much fun. One time she was dancing away to the ‘Dino Stomp’ on Playschool. She was having a great time until she realised the song was about dinosaurs, at which point she ran away from the TV, claiming it was too scary. So we weren’t really sure how a trip to see dinosaurs would go down with Molly.

The Australian Museum is an impressively huge building (well, there are dinosaurs inside), located near Hyde Park, in Sydney. It stands opposite St Marys Cathedral (a beautiful, but slightly guilty reminder of where we were supposed to be…) Maybe we’re just hopeless, but it took us ages to work out how to get into the impressively huge building, and even then we were on the wrong floor!

When we eventually found our way to the foyer, Tom paid for our tickets and I kept the kids entertained by showing them what I, naively, thought was a model of a wombat. A very realistic looking wombat… Oh crap, it’s an actual stuffed wombat. Who’d have thought the museum would be full of dead things??? (So here’s where admit that, while I’m trying to sound all cultured, like taking my tiny kids to the museum is a regular thing we do, it’s actually been a reeeeeaaaally long time since I’ve been to one… in fact I don’t remember ever going to one). The kids noticed the wombat was real before I even did, and refused to touch it. Wasn’t quite prepared for that one.

Me: “It’s okay guys, the wombat won’t hurt you, it’s not alive anymore.”

Molly: “Okay!” Starts patting the wombat.

Tiernan: “Is it dead?”

Me: “Yes.”

Tiernan: “How did it die?”

Me: “It just got old and died, probably.”

Tiernan: Still looking dubiously at the wombat. Glances around the room and sees a koala on a branch, nearby. “Is that koala dead?”

And so it went with every single display. Is this eagle dead? How did it die? Is this one dead? Why is it dead? Did that possum die, too? Ick. I started to think that this trip to this ‘house of the dead’ might have been a mistake, but eventually Tiernan dropped it, and didn’t worry about whether the displays were dead or not. No harm seems to have been done, although I have noticed a huge increase in references to dead things in his imaginary games since the weekend…

The skeleton room was a huge favourite, with all of us. For some reason, I’ve always been fascinated with skeletons. They’re really cool.

Elephant skeleton

Giraffe and Ostrich skeletons

I’m not the most observant person… I originally captioned the above photo ‘Giraffe skeletons’. Until I counted the legs on the ‘baby giraffe’. Oops, no wonder the kids were so confused!

 We all had a great time playing in the kid’s area of the museum. It had lots of little set-ups with insects, dinosaurs, animals and even dress-ups for them to play with. Neave loved the ‘padded room’ (baby play-pen), too – her favourite thing to do is dive and roll around on soft things, so this was perfect for her. I want one.

Ready to pounce!

He enjoyed these dinosaurs so much he didn't want to go and see the big ones!

When we finally managed to drag the three of them away from this super cool place, we got to the dinosaurs. Hurrah! I had been really looking forward to this – I went through the same dinosaur-loving phase that Tom went through as a kid. When I was about seven, I was fascinated with them. I had a few toys and some books, and I spent ages trying to memorise their names so that I would sound clever if anyone asked me how many dinosaurs I could name (which I desperately hoped they would). My brain has since deleted this useless information, so I can only name six now: Triceratops, Tyrannosaurus Rex, Stegosaurus, Ankylosaurus, Brontosaurus, Brachiosaurus. I think that’s more than Tom can name, so I’m happy.

Gigantosaurus

Tiernan looking waaaaay up at a.... somethingosaurus (can't remember)

"I don't like it!"

It was a little much for Molly, at first, especially with the intermittent roaring… but she got used to it and quite enjoyed herself. It turns out that, while I can name a few dinosaurs, I’m not so good at actually matching names with the real thing. “Ooh, Tiernan – look at the Tyrannosaurus! Can you say that? Ty-rann-o-saur-us. Very good! Oh hang on, it’s a Gigantosaurus… never mind. What’s that one? I think it’s a Brachiosaurus, Molly. Wait, no, it’s not a Brachiosaurus, it’s a… something-or-other (insert unpronounceable dino name here). Hmm.” So at least we all learnt something, anyway.

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