Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Leaping Lizards! Where Is Alvin?!

Today is Alvin's fifth birthday!  It seems very appropriate that much of today's tale relates to Alvin's adventures on our trip.  He seems to be going through a "stage" right now.  (Dear Lord, please let it be just a stage.  Amen.)  A very curious, adventurous, destructive stage.  A "mom probably won't like this and would definitely tell me no so I better hurry and get it done" stage.  I remember going through this at the age of five myself.  In fact, five is one of my all time favorite ages.  Or at least, it was . . .

Where were we, oh yes!  Rob and Cy had left for two hours of ziptastic fun.  I had four children to shepherd through the Creation Museum exhibits.  Should be fun.

Where's Alvin?

There he is, looking at the mastodon skeleton.

If we can just get in line here to enter the Main Exhibit hall . . .

Where's Alvin?!

"Get off that ledge!!!"

Okay, you kids go through the spooky black light cave with glow in the dark scorpions.  I'll meet you on the other side.

Where in the Sam Hill is Alvin?!!

We had no sooner  passed from the first room (the Dinosaur Dig site) into the Lucy room when  Dee became deathly thirsty.  He seriously didn't think he could survive .   I callously assured him he could.

After examining  replicated bones from "Lucy" and duly considering the evidence from an alternative point of view, we passed into a series of exhibits demonstrating the importance of the Word of God.  It was all very interesting, but there were no dinosaurs in this room, so Alvin slipped into the next.  Ana had launched into an eloquent protest of her confinement to the stroller.  Dee was languishing from thirst and Elle decided since everyone else was malcontent, she should be too.

I drug my screaming/squirming brood through the Consequences Alley.  It really did look like a scary New York street.  The crumbling brick walls were papered with newspaper and magazine clippings of atrocities, disease and death.  These are the practical results of living in a sin cursed world.  The atmosphere was oppressive.  Even  Alvin stayed close by my side.

Unfortunately, even within "the church" things are not much brighter than that dimly lit alley.  The next exhibit let us peer into the windows of a suburban neighborhood.  The young people within were using drugs, exploring pornography and discussing options to get rid of an unwanted pregnancy.  Right around the corner we found the same youth sitting side by side, sharing a hymnal in a worship service.  The walls to this church have been smashed with a wrecking ball labeled "Evolution".  These kids might be physically sitting in a church, but they are already gone.  Believe it or not, this has everything to do with their view of the first 11 chapters of Genesis!

We then scampered through the Tunnel of Time, transporting us back to the Six Days of Creation.  I took the chance to nurse my totally depraved little angel during the beautifully filmed highlights of each Day.  Alvin kept sneaking out of the theater.

The next room was known as The Hall of Wonders.  More video screens with featurettes describing the science behind each Day of Creation.  Genetics, Micro-Biology, Astronomy, Physics.  There were so many things I wanted to learn about.  But right about this time Dee's head collided with my glasses.  The ancient, green clay masque encrusted nose guard snapped.  And I had pretty much had it too.  I think I must have been praying audibly by this time.  Dee suddenly decided he could hold on without a drink a little bit longer.  I threatened Alvin within an inch of his life if he ran off again.  And I think Elle was too scared to move.  I strapped the hapless Elle back into the stroller.  This time on her stomach.  She absolutely would not sleep on her back.  I was desperate for her to take a nap.  I kept waiting for a security guard or a first time mom to inform me that only Bad and Terrible Mothers place infants on their stomachs.  But, none materialized.   I think all the security guards and first time moms on the premises were just relieved that she had quit crying.  I shoved a kleenex between my nose and glasses and proceeded into the Garden of Eden.

From here on we wandered through scenes straight out of the Bible.  No detail was overlooked.  Interwoven with the stunning dioramas and landscapes were plaques and videos bringing the latest scientific research.  Animatronic animals, dinosaurs and people moved throughout.  Noah sat in the middle of a 1/100 scale ark and answered questions!

By the time we had reached the Tower of Babel I was beginning to get anxious.  I needed to meet Robert by the Mastodon soon.  But I was still stuck in Ancient Mesopotamia and had no idea how to escape.  We had been traveling through history for over two hours and I had yet to see an exit sign.   With the determination of a spawning salmon I reversed course and headed upstream towards the beginning.

At last we were back in range of a water fountain!  Dee could guzzle all he wanted.  Bathrooms were naturally the next stop.  It was with grave forboding I sent Alvin and Dee into the Men's Room alone.  I took the girls for a much needed change.  I tried to hurry.  I really did.  But the plain truth is, two little boys are going to be finished with  their business long before a momma and two diapered girls.  I could hear Dee outside the door yelling for us to hurry up.  I opened the bathroom door.

"Dee, you can stop yelling now.  The whole county can hear you, for Pete's Sake WHEREISALVIN!!!"

"Oh, I don't know.  He left."

"WHATDOYOUMEANHELEFT!!!!"

"I guess he got tired of waiting.  You took too long."

"HOWCOULDYOULETHIMLEAVE!!!!!!"

Commence frantic searching.

When we are at the park I have a rule.  I'm not allowed to panic over missing children until I have first slowly counted to 20.  99.9% of the time they resurface by the time I get to 18.  It wasn't working this time.  He was plainly missing.  I put out an APB to the lady taking tickets.  I checked nooks and crannies.  I hyperventilated.  I turned to the last person who had seen him. 

"Dee, did you actually see Alvin leave the bathroom?"

"Well, no."

"How do you know he left?"

"When I came out of the stall he wasn't there."

"Go back to the bathroom and check again."

Guess who had been obediently waiting in the bathroom!

What a relief.  That's enough adventure for one morning.  I was ready for lunch.

Needless to say, by the end of the day I was frazzled.  All I wanted to do was send Robert with the kids to the pool while I relaxed in the room by myself.

The pool was closed.

The kids were bouncing off the walls, the bed, the floor.  I felt the room closing in on me.  I laid the sleeping Ana in her bed, picked up my book and told Rob he was on duty, I was going for coffee.  I walked out the door and didn't look back.

Down in the lobby I bought myself a chocolate bar to go with my coffee.  Then I headed for the lounge on the patio.  At last!  Peace, coffee, chocolate and a good book.  Now this is a vacation!

A lady approached me.

"Do you have a little blond haired boy and blond haired girl?"

"Uh, maybe?" 

"They were found wandering the halls.  They said they were looking for their mommy."