Saturday, 28 August 2010
While waiting around for the hike to begin, I bumped into one of the instructors from the birthing class Jennifer and I had attended earlier in the summer. Huh. What a coincidence. Or is it…?
Then later, while Owen was playing with some other kids in a small creek, Jodi, the Happy Trails organizer came over to me and asked what was new in my life. So I told her about my new daughter, and this attracted the attention of a few other parents who congratulated me. Jodi asked how Owen likes being a big brother, and I mentioned a few things and, in doing so, said something that indicated Isla was born at home. I just said it in passing, but immediately two moms began asking questions: who was the attending midwife? one of them asked, and she knew who I was talking about. Another mom began relating her home birth story, comparing notes, as it were.
Here’s my point (and I’ve taken heat for pointing this out before, but I stand by my observation): People who are attracted to certain kinds of activities can be counted on to be attracted to certain other – seemingly unrelated – kinds of activities. In this instance, it appears that people who feel it’s important to get their kids out exploring nature are the same people who are ‘into’ natural childbirth.
A similar observation was made by my wife some nine years ago: we were waiting in line to get into the brand-spanking new Apple Store (at the Mall of America), and the people standing in line around us were making all sorts of Star Trek and Simpsons references. Ergo: people who like Star Trek and the Simpsons generally prefer Macs to PCs. My wife even noted that, if we were not Witnesses, we could’ve been good friends with just about anyone in line that morning. And here’s the funny thing: we didn’t like being Witnesses, anyway (and besides, Witnesses are more likely to be found waiting in line for the grand opening of Burlington Coat Factory than Apple). I could go on, and I think I will:
People who like motorcycles also like to wear leather. People who like Wal-Mart also like spandex. People who like guns also like Sarah Palin. People who are assholes are also lawyers. People who like Mason Jennings’ music, also like pot. See? There’s no end.
Sunday, 29 August 2010
Today Owen and I paid another visit to the Twin Cities’ Model Railroad Museum (TCMRM). I say “another visit,” because he and I had first visited there two years ago, whilst Jennifer was on a trip (as in, ‘out of town,’ not as in, ‘acid’).
When we went two years ago, we showed up with a library pass to get in for free. Unfortunately, the TCMRM doesn’t participate in that program anymore. Oh – wait – maybe they do participate in that program, but only if you live in Isanti County. But I digress. So not only did we have to pay this time, but we had to pay a lot. Back in ’08, the cost was only $5 per person. Now it’s $6 and…more bad news…Owen, now that he’s five years old, costs full price. Oh well.
Actually, in the end, I didn’t mind paying $12, even though that was an infinite amount more than I paid last time, because now the museum is twice the size it used to be. The main building houses an amazing scale-model railroad system that features a detailed model of Minneapolis and St. Paul (including the flour mills, St. Anthony Falls, the Midway Yards and several other landmarks). The trains also pass through the city of Mattlin. It’s a cute little town…but, Mattlin? Is that even a city in Minnesota? I’ve never heard of it.
Another building houses several more model trains, including one that kids can operate and another one with loads of buttons to push. One button operates the roller coaster, another one operates the merry-go-round and another one – Owen’s favorite – operated a tiny model train inside a tiny model toy store. It was like a play within a play. I think it blew our minds. And we weren’t even on a trip!
So, yeah, bottom line: bring your kids to the TCMRM, preferably before they turn five. It’s located in St. Paul, at Bandana Square. Make sure you go on the weekends, ’cause that’s the only time they open up building #2.
This has been a public service announcement.