Kindergarten has not been easy for Anne. Most days I have to carry her to the classroom as she screams that she wants to go home. We are assured that once she is there she is fine, but there has been so much drama before and after school.
About a week ago, my husband came up with a brilliant plan. The Smithsonian Air and Space Museum is undergoing renovations. It was announced that their model of the Star Trek Enterprise would be put in storage for several years. He and Anne love to watch the original series of Star Trek together, so he told her she could go see the model before it went into storage if she behaved when going to school.
Over the last week, we've had several ups and downs with school, but, after an overall evaluation, we decided she had behaved well enough to visit the Enterprise. We took advantage of a half day at school and the entire family went to the Air and Space Museum. This was Anne's reaction to seeing the Star Trek Enterprise in person.
The Air and Space Museum was one of my very first museum outings with Meg and Clare as toddlers. At that time, I learned two very valuable lessons. First, exhibition ropes do not prevent toddlers from walking too close to valuable objects. Toddlers simply walk under the ropes. Second, free museums are fantastic, because it is okay if toddlers only enjoy one exhibit. At that time, three-year-old Meg loved an exhibit of an early passenger plane and would walk up the stairs, into the plane, down the aisle, out the exit and then do it all again. Over and over and over again.
On our recent trip, Meg and Clare tried something more adventurous. They went on the flight simulator. The problem was that just before going into the simulator, Clare realized the simulator could make a 360 degree upside-down turn. In the not too distant past, this would not have bothered Clare. She has always been incredibly adventurous on rides. However, this summer she had a bad experience on a fair ride on which she was turned upside down repeatedly. Clare nearly refused to go on the flight simulator, but we assured her she could be the pilot and control how far the simulator turned. Once inside the simulator, she panicked and moved the simulator as little as possible. She later told me that she was afraid that it would spin out of control on its own.
All three girls did enjoy the How Things Fly exhibit. The hands-on activities in this area allowed the girls to design a rocket, sit in a cockpit, and learn about shock waves. We also enjoyed seeing Amelia Earhart's plane in the Pioneers of Flight Gallery as well as the Wright Brothers' exhibit.