It was fun not telling them where we were going. Calvin (my dreamer) watched out the window and about every 5 minutes asked when we would be there. Daniel (my first born and control freak) kept trying to guess, sure that he knew where we were going. Molly (my rock star) sang along with the radio and just enjoyed the fact that she wasn't home cleaning her room.
I was worried that Daniel would be too old and not enjoy himself. I had heard about this bookstore and have wanted to take my kids there (before they were too old and too cool). Daniel is on the fence right now. He is at that point in his life where he is almost too cool, but the kid that is there in his heart still gets the best of him.
So, we pull up in front of Wild Rumpus (a 35 minute drive from our house) and Daniel and Cal (wasn't expecting Cal to be too cool), were both disappointed that we were at a children's bookstore. Molly, of course, couldn't wait to get out of the car. I thought at the very least they would love the name. Our favorite part of Where the Wild Things Are has always been when Max yells "let the wild rumpus start"!
As I am parking, I go on the defense and explain that this isn't any bookstore and let them know about the animals and their mood starts to change. I can now see that they are interested. Next, we get out of the car and start walking down a pretty little street and run into the sweetest thing. I could see on their faces that they couldn't believe that this was just sitting there for anyone to take. It was a "little library". It said "Take One. Leave One". It was so sweet and fun to see and we hadn't even reached the bookstore yet.
Once we got inside Wild Rumpus, Daniel and Cal returned to their super cool selves again...until they saw other super cool preteens, right alongside toddlers looking in aquariums, checking out the bathroom fish tank, casually reading while a chicken peeked out from under a chair.
Molly was just Molly. She loved it all up. Every single second of it. She wasn't too cool for anything.
As we were leaving, Cal asked if we could come again. I knew he would like all of those animals. Daniel said he was surprised by how much fun it was. He found books that he had never heard of before. He said that we should get a chicken for a pet and we can name it Steve. I was so relieved that I had squeaked them in before they were too cool to appreciate what an amazing place this is. The tiny door was also a big giveaway. You can't be too cool AND leave by the tiny door. You can really only use the tiny door with a big smile on your face when you just had a really good time.
As a bonus, we found this guy across the street from the bookstore. And being on a "that was an awesome bookstore high" and a little bit of a sugar buzz, they were happy to pose with him. Daniel did panic a bit and told me to hurry up before someone yelled at us. He is from the suburbs. When was the last time he got yelled at for posing with a snowman? I don't know where the panic comes from. He is first born, I guess.
On our way home, we drove around one of our favorite lakes in the Twin Cities. Lake Calhoun. I wanted to pull over really quick and get a picture of the kids with downtown Minneapolis in the background. I pulled over (facing the wrong way along the street, thinking we could jump out and take a quick photo). Of course, the minute I did this, a police car pulled up. Daniel's eyes were HUGE (again, the panic). In fact, the policeman walked up to the car and started laughing because Daniel's expression was so funny. He kindly told me to legally park before getting out of the car. We have never had a run in with the law, so that added a little spice to the day.
|Calvin waiting his turn to pee in the porta potty.|
And, that was our surprise field trip today.