Sunday, February 28, 2010

Alex at the Shedd

It's been another busy week for Eugene and me, so we decided we needed to do something this weekend. We discussed a couple of options, but we finally chose a visit to the Shedd Aquarium because it seemed the most toddler-friendly.

Although we were all up by 7:30, it still took us a while to get ready. We got to the Museum campus around 11:30; it was still pretty chilly by the lake. I'm glad Alex was free admission since the ticket prices are very expensive, even without paying for the aquatic show. We also had some problems stowing our coats, as the locker jammed. I had to go to the Information desk for help. I considered using another locker but decided it wasn't worth it.

Once we got those frustrations out of the way, we were able to focus on the fish. We saw only a fraction of the exhibits. One of the one we did see was about the coral reef in the Philippines. After lunch, we visited the toddler play area. Alex had talked about seeing the dolphins, but when he finally did see them, he wasn't too impressed. Perhaps they weren't close enough, or perhaps it was because we only viewed them underwater, so he didn't see them jump. But he did enjoy a yellow submarine with lots of buttons and knobs to play with. The only thing that got him out of there was a stuffed penguin Eugene bought for him; when Alex saw that, he tried to reach it through the glass window. We then spent some time watching the real penguins swim. I got a kick out of one penguin standing on the rock; he posed for a while as if he was some penguin martial arts master about to dramatically dive into the water, but in the end he waddled off like a poseur.

We knew Alex would need to nap at some point, so we wouldn't be able to spend the whole afternoon there. Although he was obviously tired, he gained a second wind from eating and a third from playing. But by 3:00, even the fumes of energy were gone. He fell asleep in my arms as I carried him toward the exit. He woke up for a short while but napped on the way home.

Later this evening, Alex put shoes on his stuffed penguin's feet and made him dance. I took a couple of pictures but haven't uploaded them yet. We've never shown him Happy Feet; it's possible he may have seen it at daycare as a special treat. But at least he has a friend to remind him of his visit to the Shedd; we probably won't go back until he's old enough to last a full day.

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