A whirlwind hit the Minnesota Children’s Museum around 11 a.m. yesterday morning. Foss, my nearly five-year-old grandson, pushed the button to open the museum’s doors.
Like a puppy sniffing his way around he was hell-bent on running into every corner of the three-story building.
“You have to tell SheShe where you’re going next,” I tell him, following close behind. When he doesn’t stop at the humungous Lego room I guess where his first stop will be. Longer than two seconds. Yep, it’s the pseudo post office on the top floor.
I have no idea why but it’s where he spends the most time on every museum visit. It seems monotonous to me. He loads boxes onto an automatic chute, then runs upstairs to send them down another chute. Again and again. I sit on the stairs for a rest.
I figure it’s Foss’s place to decide what he wants to do. He gets into a zone that I don’t understand.
That’s why I’m here in Minneapolis, to participate in my grandchildren’s lives. To watch them grow in their own ways.
Anyone who knows me knows how much I love conversation. At his advancing age Foss is capable of having real conversations, which delight me.
He has a supersized memory: “SheShe, you promised to take me to the desert.” Following some negotiation, I agree to take him to Tucson for his seventh birthday present. He will remind me, I’m sure.
He helps me with directions and when I can’t find things: “I think you put a mask in that soft place (the console between the two passenger seats of my car).” Looking for my car in the parking garage yesterday, he reminds me, “We’re on level three. We’ll see your ocean blue Prius when we get there, SheShe.”
He teaches me stuff: “Did you know that bugs poop in the dirt? And they pee there, too.”
He doesn’t hold back: “SheShe, you need to get more toys at your apartment for me. And milk, too.”
He’s a quick learner: Foss figures out how to keep the museum’s laser room replenished with green lines going every which way, so there was no more waiting your turn to enter. Everyone could go in at the same time.
After one try at squeezing myself under and above the green laser lines, bumping into kids of all sizes, I remove myself from the exhibit.
“I’m exhausted,” another grandparent announces, as we both listen to the amused yelling inside the laser exhibit. I felt the same way, thinking of the kids inside as a pack of fuzzy-haired creatures.
Foss finally emerges from the pack. “I want to go now,” he says, following two hours of kid car washing, water play, climbing up four stories of ropes and coming down the twisty silver slide, ping-pong ball shooting, Lego and laser frolicking.
“I’m so tired,” he says.
“Me, too,” I reply.
And we were back in the same world together.