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A Night at the Museum

Ah, December. You bring your wintry blast of sub-freezing air just in time for the ladies’ annual ornament party, where otherwise sane women sit around and steal Christmas ornaments from one another. Plotting and intrigue abound. Because the women are thusly occupied, the men are, well, babysitting.

When men babysit, they tend to want to go somewhere to avoid being stuck at home with their kids. Since I’m a man, this principle applies. I took our three lovely boys to the museum where we have a membership precisely for times like these (when dad doesn’t know what to do with the kids — hey, take them to the museum and let them run around! They’ll burn energy! It’ll be great!).

Because it’s 14 degrees outside with a wind chill of about zero, most sensible parents kept their kids home. I, on the other hand, hauled mine through the frozen air, across the street and inside, where we were literally the only people I saw other than the lady at the front desk.

We go inside, play in the race cars, then head for the big room upstairs where the running will take place. On the way, I notice the tell-tale waddle from our middle son. He’s got a stinky. Great. We all head to the bathroom where I plop him on the changing table that he’s really too big for. Get him changed while trying to keep the other two from touching anything. This mostly consists of me hollering, “NO! Don’t touch that! Back up!”

We make it out, all three boys running for the elevator. Carter (6) and Taylor (almost 3) hit the button, the doors open and behind me, I hear crying. Gabe (18 months) has done a face plant. I go back to pick him up, then see the blood leaking out of his mouth along with the extra saliva generated by the crying. As I try to grab wipes from the diaper bag to stem the flow, Taylor disappears inside the elevator car.

More yelling — “Get back here!” — before the doors can close and take him away. Carter and Taylor run back to help as I pull open the wipes case that is apparently empty because of the earlier stinky. Fantastic.

We head back to the bathroom, a decent amount of bright red blood leaking down Gabe’s chin, onto his coat, on my fingers. Get in the door, grab paper towels, soak up the blood, try to find the cut.

Then I look up and see Taylor, hands planted with firm conviction on either side of the urinal, leaning over to spit inside. He’s short, so his mouth is very close to porcelain.

More yelling — “Taylor!” He lets go and backs up before touching urinal cake. Now I’ve gotta wash his hands too, but at least his lips are not forever contaminated.

Get everything cleaned up, cold water does pretty well on the blood on the coat, Gabe stops bleeding, get Taylor’s hands washed, etc. Go upstairs, do the running and playing (with yet another bathroom break, this time for Carter), get ready to leave and find Taylor with another stinky. Not gonna change it with no wipes, three boys and a public bathroom.

Go back out into freezing air, make a quick Wal-Mart stop (where we see another homeless ornament dad with five boys) and then home, where they each eat a cupcake and go to bed.

Can’t wait for next year’s party!