Warmth, Crowds & King Tut…Don’t Equal a Happy Boy!

Several months ago we bought tickets to go to the King Tut exhibit.  We were thrilled to share such an amazing learning opportunity with our son.  We decided to wait several months  before going so that it wouldn’t be crowded.  Apparently, we didn’t wait long enough because it was crowded.  Really crowded.  We were met with a line of waiting people and then stopped at a holding room where you are supposed to watch an introductory video.  Initially it wasn’t too bad, but as the room filled…my son’s anxiety peaked.  The fight or flight response takes over and he ran to the door.  I asked the tour guide if we could skip the movie and go straight in hoping that it would be less crowded inside.  She allowed us to go in, but unfortunately it was still full and the room was warmer than expected.

As adults, we realized the magnificent treasures that we were able to see up close.   We tried to explain how rare an opportunity this was to my son, but he wasn’t interested (or couldn’t focus) on the beauty around him.  Although our stay was shorter than imagined, we were able to take pictures of some of the items displayed.

Once we were out of the exhibit, he was able to explain that it was too warm and crowded and he was uncomfortable.  Although I understood (because it really was both of those things), it was still frustrating.  I was sure that this would be something that he would love.  To me, seeing all of the unique treasures and hearing about the materials and methods that were used, would have been highly interesting to him.   As I talk with him about this, he apologizes repeatedly.

Since we had planned to be at the exhibit for a while and had a few hours left of parking, we talked him into trying some of the science exhibits.  He was very hesitant and set on going home until we saw a large fountain where children can experiment with water.  Thank goodness, this site stops the cycle of talking about home.

I don’t know if it was the fresh air or the experiences with water, but after a few minutes he was willing to stay longer and see what else was displayed.  This was a great success because previous trips have always been cut short by the crowds and his inability to work through his discomfort.   I am glad that we stayed.  He was curious and actively engaged in many of the experiments.

I would be lying if I said that it was a perfect day.  There were moments where we were all a bit frustrated!  But here’s the thing…we set out to spend quality family time doing something fun and educational.  We accomplished it.   Yes…we have to compromise and have more patience than we ever imagined possible, but we love our son and are proud of the progress that he is making.  Honestly, I think we are all making some progress 🙂

11 thoughts on “Warmth, Crowds & King Tut…Don’t Equal a Happy Boy!

  1. We have had some awful experiences in museums so I can really relate. At our local children’s museum, they occasionally open it up on Sunday mornings just for kids with special needs. That has allowed our son to explore without the crowds. I only wish more places would do this. In the meantime, we have to scale back our expectations. Hopefully your son will want to go back sometime now that he had a good experience with the experiments he did.

  2. There you go…boys love hands on activities! My son loved the science museums with interactive displays. Actually, neither he, nor I, like museums much..unless they engage us physically 🙂

    • Shiroi-Yes, we have tried some great museums with beautiful exhibits and similar outcomes. Each time, I hope for a different experience but no such luck. What a good reminder about the needed physical interaction…I try and get him to read or wrote about Mine Craft and he answers…”why can’t I just DO it?!”

  3. I’m sorry things didn’t work out as planned. But time and again I am impressed by how patient you are and how flexible. It seems to be working better and better. It’s so nice to see him making progress. Hopefully, there will always be a “water exhibit” to capture his interest.

    • @hnMom-On good days, the patience & flexibility seems to work and we are seeing real positive growth! On those challenging days, the typical compromises don’t always do the trick and that’s where the frustration comes from at times. You know as a mom…it takes energy and patience and sometimes, you run out of strategies & tricks. Thank you for the sweet comment and support!

  4. I totally understand! We took our toddler to the science center, especially since that’s one of his favorite places and we were just sure he would love it yet again. Well, the little guy was about to explode for whatever reason, so we took him outside and visited the rose garden instead. Suddenly he just calmed down and we were able to enjoy the rest of the trip.

    So even though it wasn’t the perfect day, it was nice in that we found a substitute to a potentially all-out bad day.

    I also feel ya on seeing rare exhibits. Sometimes you bring your kids and they don’t always grasp how insanely cool this is until they’re much older. All they care about are the less-special exhibits haha.

    • Yes…we get in trouble at the “once in a lifetime” exhibits. We were at a fabulous exhibit in Vancouver and even as a toddler, he was horrble acting! We literally races past beautiful Van Gogh’s and Picasso’s because no one wanted to hear him.

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