My daughter slept through her first visit to the Children’s Museum.
Of course, she was only a couple of weeks old at the time and I was bringing her in to visit my coworkers. That first visit primarily showed me that I could get myself, my newborn and all of the associated stuff out of the house and in to the museum in the dead of winter.
Over the next several months Sophie and I made many visits to the museum. In the beginning she rode in the baby carrier while I walked around the museum. She was fascinated with all of the noises and colors. We pressed the stuffed birds in the Ranger Station to hear their sounds, watched the colors change on the traffic light in front of the fire truck and touched the big tree to feel its texture. Watching the other children play was endlessly fascinating. Sometimes we sat in the Toddler Park. Sophie lay on her back while I dangled objects over her and made faces at her. She enjoyed leaning over one of the big cushions on her tummy so she could get a good view of the other children. I enjoyed being out of my house and around other adults. Those early visits gave me the opportunity to meet other parents, vent new mom frustrations and hear what worked for others.
Visits became even more fun as Sophie could sit up on her own. I surrounded her with toys that she could reach for herself, set her by the gears on the wall or let her admire herself in the mirror.
Now that Sophie can crawl she has incredible freedom to explore. She disappears behind the puppet theatre in the Toddler Park, then reappears out the other end. She is immensely pleased with herself when she crawls up and over the soft steps. When I peer at her through the plexi window on one side of the steps she peers back at me and giggles. During quieter times at the museum I let Sophie crawl around the other exhibit spaces. She loves having so much space to explore. She watches the other kids, chases balls in the Have a Ball exhibit, drives the fire truck and stops to check out the cow in the farm. I love sharing her delight at experiencing this place that I know so well.
When Sophie walks the museum will be a whole new adventure!
–Andrea Krasker Gavin