Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Gruffalo and Pees! (Or, Notes on Getting a Toddler Home While Also Realizing You're Not Realizing The Words That are Actually Coming Out of Your Mouth)

Today, Tyler and I made the trek into the city center to go to the Dinosaur Museum. In reality, its official name is the Yorkshire Museum, which sounds a lot more formal and considerably more dull. So, we've taken to calling it by our own nomenclature.

It was the first day of only slight drizzle which then fading to a Zero Tolerance policy of rain in the late morning. After three days of staying within a five minute radius of home, we had to take the chance and walk the forty-five to the center.

Tyler did puzzles and we watched an endlessly still wolf eating a bunny (poor rabbit--but the little guy is never actually fully eaten, which makes explaining to Tyler, "No, no, the wolf is just high-fiving the bunny with his paw and he's actually smiling, not growling" a lot easier. Once Tyler turns three in a couple of weeks, I may have to add a bit more reality to the scene, but hey, you're only two once. There'll be time enough to learn about wolves and bunnies a bit later, right?). 

We also built a few Roman towers that resembled those who once lived in York a thousand years ago. We looked at reconstructions of dinosaur skeletons. We learned our weight in dinosaur-scale: Tyler has recently graduated from a microvenator to a domiceiomimus; and I have remained a Velicaraptor. We played a touch-screen dinosaur game where we learned that Rob Owen came up with the actual name dinosaur and that a T Rex has a very, very, very, infinitesimally small brain.

Afterwards, running around in the massive museum gardens, we noted leaves, prickers, thorns, and nettles (alternately called prickers or thorns). We ran back inside for Tyler to do a poop in the immaculately cleaned Dinosaur Museum bathrooms. (One of the many other reasons I love bringing Tyler to the Dinosaur Museum.)

We ate a couple of samosas purchased at 79p a piece, and then meandered our way through the city and back home.

Once we reached the final five minutes--the long sidewalk that leads to Lesley Avenue--Tyler announced that he had to pee. Announcing a pee-need for Tyler is akin to a sportscaster calling a ballgame and announcing a grandslam. It's no small thing. It's something the world needs to know about.

And so we began to run. But Tyler soon noticed a yellow-berry bush. He stopped. He was intrigued. I wanted to salvage the sidewalk (and perhaps a some dignity) and get home to the potty (or at least our backyard).

We had planned to watch the DVD version of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler's masterful book The Gruffalo when we got home. (An incredibly kind gift from Tyler's Aunt Megan and Uncle Matt, Cousin Jacob and Cousin Ava in Texas.) We were both thrilled. How can one not love The Gruffalo?

And so it was that I found myself attempting to hurry Tyler along by yelling with glee the following phrase: "Let's get home quick and watch The Gruffalo and do pees!  Come on! The Gurffalo and Pees!"

And even though I am a thirty-year old man, and even though I do have some sense (however small) of decorum, something about the words felt right. Magical. Fun. Us.

We made it home; we peed; we watched The Gruffalo. We smiled.