about     peas & carrots


can’t fight the undertow

maura @ 1:25 pm

We’re back from our fabulous trip to the Midwest, but this week has been depressing, sad and frustrating in for many many reasons, completely trashing our stress-less vacation moods. I am still so sad about London, though thankfully all four of our friends currently living in London’s environs are fine.

So let’s sweep that downer stuff under the mental rug, pour ourselves a cup of our favorite caffeinated uppers, and recount amusing vacation anecdotes!

…or even not that amusing. We had a fantastic time. Gus was, as ever, adored and doted upon. This year there was a new, huge, motorized Thomas train set for him to direct the big people around (“Grandma, I am Thomas and you are Percy. No, go on number one track only!”). Plus a Slip-n-Slide, which admittedly gave me a little pause (I am so vain — whenever he falls I always say a little prayer that he won’t land on his beautiful face) but which was rejected by my usually cold-loving child anyway because the (well) water was too cold.

We parents slipped off to a “meeting”, overnight, in Chicago, to stay with college friends, ride the Ravenswood line, gawk like the rest of the tourists at Millennium Park, and stuff ourselves with lingonberries + potato sausage at Ann Sather’s for breakfast. Good times. We felt a little bad while riding the El — our train freak child would seriously have loved it — but the El’s not going anyplace and neither are the grandparents, so it’s not like he’ll never get his chance.

I only read ONE book (Because I Said So, which I ripped through in less than 24 hrs), but I did write in my journal three times. And we did spend about 6 hrs in the car with the Chicago trip, time which could’ve otherwise been devoted to reading. But also, I just wasn’t that into the other books I brought. I actually returned two nonfiction books to the library yesterday, mostly unread. Yes, my nonfiction love affair has been rudely broken off, thanks to Jonathan and his pesky fiction recommendation. It’s sad, really, because mostly right now I just want to go back a few weeks and read Time Traveler’s Wife again, how lame is that? But I got three mostly fiction books at the library yesterday which should hold me, I hope. The first is starting out well, at least.

Which all makes me wonder why the nonfiction glut happened in the first place. I mean, the parenting/momoir (ugh, hate that word) stuff is easy: duh, I had a kid, didn’t you know? But the other stuff, I don’t know. Maybe it’s that having-a-degree-I-don’t-use complex rearing its ugly head.

And speaking of that complex…we topped off our vacation with a visit to the Indianapolis Children’s Museum (which really is fantastic, if you have kids and happen to be in Indy you should totally go — it has FOUR floors of fun for all ages!). Of course Gus now claims that his favorite thing was “the running ramp” — the ramp spiraling up the middle of the museum, leading to each floor. We made him run up and down this a zillion times, thus insuring that he was mellow + quiet (read: tired!) on the flight home.

But I digress! There’s also a big dinosaur exhibit called Dinosphere which mostly consists of huge skeletons in a dome shaped room. The walls of the room change colors + there’s a booming sound system to imitate the weather, plant and animal sounds + visions of the Cretaceous. When we walked in here, Gus said darkly, “I don’t like this world,” like it was a video game level or something. But on the edges of the sphere there was a fake (? maybe real, hard to tell) paleontology lab. Gus had fun fitting together the rubbery, amber-colored molds and bone casts. And I made Jonathan’s stepfather take a picture of this case for me:

Look, it’s Paleontology Barbie and Ken!!! Is this not hilarious? Note her supine, loungetastic posture! Check out the spiffy attire (yes, those are tiny dinos on her shirt) and the bright pink canteen! And there’s no alcohol in sight! Surely this CAN’T be right. At least Ken is wearing latex gloves. Sigh, maybe they should hire me as an exhibit consultant.

2 comments on “can’t fight the undertow”

Anne (8 July 2005 at 5:32 pm)


Dallas Evans (1 September 2005 at 6:10 pm)

Just wanted to let you know that yes, the museum has a real paleontology lab. Next time you visit feel free to talk with our staff – they would be glad to talk about what they do.

We dig duckbill dinosaurs (Edmontosaurus annectens) each year during the summer and prepare the bones in our lab. Family groups even join us at our digsite. You can always peek at our website at

We also get research published, add cool fossils to our science collections, and talk to a lot of visitors about life in the Cretaceous.

Glad you liked the museum!
Dallas Evans, Curator of Natural Science
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

Why not add a comment of your own?