I knew this trip was going to be different the moment she announced that she needed to change into a nice dress before we left. "You have to what?" I asked, but Christine gave me a look that I've come to know means "I know this doesn't make sense to you, but go with it."
Allison picked this outfit out herself and announced that we needed to take a picture. There I stand the proud, totally outclassed father. Next time I'll have to wear a suit.
The first thing we did when we arrived at the museum was head over to the gecko exhibit. Allison had a ball searching for all the different geckos. Those things are really good at hiding, but they were no match for Allison.
Having successfully found all the geckos we headed over to the butterfly garden. I've been in there a half dozen times, but Allison turned it into a completely different experience. She got her hands on a placard that mapped the butterfly wing patterns to their names. She then spent the next 20 minutes taking me around the room finding butterflies and figuring out their names. "Daddy, lift me up so I can see that one." I slowly started to realize that I was not leading this expedition to the museum.
After the butterflies we tried out some of the standard exhibits. Just like Conner, Allison had her own way of taking things in. She'd walk over to something that looked interesting, immediately put the audio assist speaker to her ear, and push the play button.
I offered to explain the exhibits, but she firmly quieted me. "Shhh Daddy I'm learning."
And she patiently listened until the recording finished. Then she'd put down the speaker and proceed to explain the exhibit to me.
For the next 45 minutes I became the student as she took me from exhibit to exhibit and taught me all about them.
For lunch I figured we'd go with Dippin Dots just like her brothers had, but she insisted on a green apple. We looked out over the Charles River and ate. Incidentally the MOS has a surprisingly good salad bar.
People came and went and Allison outlasted everyone.
I think she would have stayed their all day if I hadn't lured her away. We moved on to a puzzle where we pieced together an entire human thorax. Allison got a chuckle out of the crowd when she announced that we had boy parts left over. There are no pictures of this because she had me holding a kidney, a lung and half a plastic scrotum for most of the puzzle building. Then it was off to more exhibits.
Eventually she wore me out and agreed we could go home if
- I promised to bring her back, and
- She could get both her hands stamped on the way out.
I had a good time on our first trip to the MOS and the events of the day only reinforce my belief that I'm really not in charge when it comes to Russell women.