Tag Archives: museums

On Pants

Every children’s museum gift shop needs to equip itself with the following items:
*emergency diapers in size 3 (most versatile diaper size EVER)
*pants in at least sizes 2T through 4T with a museum logo
*size 3T or 4T underwear

I’m guessing I don’t need to explain why this should be, but today our children’s museum had NONE of those items. There were shirts that could pass as dresses on a toddler, but no pants. Actually the rest of the items I listed we could live without, what we really needed were the pants, but all four of the above items could come in handy at a children’s museum I’m guessing on a daily basis.

She started the museum trip appropriately dressed for winter, but it didn’t last.

Today Rose’s public toilet phobia got the better of her. She peed all over herself and the play grocery store at the children’s museum. I have an extra pair of underwear in the car, but our car had been valet parked. It would cost me $7 and two tips to get to that pair of underwear. I refused to leave the museum at that point because I’d paid about $25 to get us in and we’d only been there about 45 minutes. We drove almost that long to even get there! I was not leaving until we got our money’s worth! I don’t care how miserable everyone was, we were getting $25 worth of museum fun out of our trip!

Luckily she was wearing a dress, and the dress was relatively dry after her accident. However, the dress was pretty short and she’s prone to lifting it up because she’s 3 years old and has zero modesty. The girl couldn’t be walking around commando because she’d surely flash half the museum.

Where did Rose’s pants go?

Just yesterday I switched little Violet up to size 3 diapers. Thank goodness I put them in my diaper bag this morning. They just barely stretch enough to cover Rose’s girl parts. She thought it was hilarious. We rushed down to the gift shop to see if we could get some pants, but no. The shop did not sell pants. They sold t-shirts, but not pants.

I’m guessing based on the average age of their weekday child-aged clientele, that museum could easily sell at least one pair of emergency pants per day. Considering how much museum gift shops seem to mark up their merchandise, they could be making a pretty penny on these emergency pants AND get some advertising out of these kids running around with a museum logo on their butts.

The pants wouldn’t be labeled as “emergency pants” but as “museum apparel”. I mean, t-shirts are great, but what I (and probably many, many other moms) need in that gift shop are pants! If Rose had been wearing a shirt and pants when she had her accident, we’d have to leave that minute. I’m sure there are a lot of moms out there who have emergency diaper/wipe situations going on too. Establishments catering to kids should probably have these things around.

But they don’t. I wonder how much money they lose on a daily basis over this issue? Not only do they lose money on the pants they could have sold, but they lose money on the moms who have to leave with their wet kids instead of sticking around to buy lunch at the museum. So they lose pants AND lunch money.

Get some pants in the gift shop, museums!


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Guest Post by Dr. Toy Warden: Diversity Doll

As mentioned here a couple of weeks ago, I took the kids solo to Indianapolis for a wedding while Toy Warden took a little break at home. On our way back, we stopped at a Mcdonald’s where I called Toy Warden to update the progress of our trip. I started talking about what we did at the Indianapolis Children’s Museum when Lily interjected loudly “Rose carried the black baby everywhere! Rose loves the black baby!”

Now I am generally comfortable using the term “black” when describing someone of African descent and I’m told it’s a perfectly acceptable term. Somehow, though, referring to a baby doll as black and having a four-year-old shout it out in public seemed a bit inappropriate. Yet I found it pretty funny at the same time. Anyways, the following is the story of Rose and the black baby.

When we were planning our trip I was real excited not just about the wedding, but also the world famous Indianapolis Children’s Museum about which I had heard such great things. The wedding was great, but the museum was largely a disappointment especially at the beginning. All I saw was educational exhibits for things like trains, dinosaurs and world cultures. Frankly, I wasn’t interested in any of that stuff. I came there to have fun, not to learn about stuff. Somehow though the girls kept migrating to these educational exhibits, the last being “The Power of Children” Normally I’m passionate about fair treatment of everyone and fighting discrimination, but I didn’t shell out $42.50 to learn about the Holocaust, racism and children with AIDS. The kids though didn’t want to leave. They spent about 30 minutes putting together puzzles of children from diverse racial backgrounds and coloring bookmarks at a table of books about Anne Frank, Ruby Bridges, and Ryan White.

Certainly these were courageous and important children in history, but I had had enough. All of this stuff we can do at home. So I called Toy Warden. “Where the hell is all the fun stuff? I have had enough of this educational crap!” She suggested we try “Playscape.”

So I somehow finally managed to get the girls out of “The Power of Children” and into “Playscape.” They spent some time at the water table and the sand box before discovering the black baby at the pretend kitchen. Lily and Rose spent a good twenty minutes feeding this baby with everything the kitchen had to offer. Once again I got impatient because we already have this kind of stuff at home. Lily moved on and enjoyed other parts of Playscape, but Rose stayed with the baby. Another kid stopped by with this white/perhaps half-Asian baby and wanted to use the highchair, but Rose insisted that it was her baby’s highchair and wouldn’t allow it.

Eventually Rose did move on and took the black baby everywhere. Down the Slide.

Planting Crops.


Despite Rose feeding the baby everything in the kitchen earlier, she returned in shock that a different white baby had taken her baby’s spot on the high chair.

So naturally Rose throws out this other baby and puts her baby in her rightful place in the high chair.

I worried that we wouldn’t be able to leave the baby there without a major tantrum. I thought about asking if there was a way to buy the baby from the museum, but much to my surprise we were able to leave without incident.

I called Toy Warden and told her about how Rose carried a black baby everywhere and how she dumped the white baby out of the high chair. So Lily didn’t actually come up with term “black baby” on her own. That was from me.

Personally, I thought the whole episode was pretty awesome. I usually scoff at people who say “I don’t see race” because you know, of course they do. However, it appears that Rose really didn’t see race, so perhaps it is possible. It also may be that she actually preferred that baby because it was black, and that would be fine with me too. The fact that I bothered to note that this was a black baby perhaps reveals my own subconscious racism where white is normal or ideal even though I am Asian. I know if Rose was playing with a white baby I wouldn’t have called it a “white baby”. I would have just called it a baby. Perhaps I should have paid more attention at “The Power of Children” exhibit and maybe Rose did learn something there about loving and treating everyone the same. I hope she doesn’t forget.

My husband Dr. Toy Warden has a hilarious blog about his organic chemistry student evaluations over at Beratemyprofessor.blogspot.com.


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Tunnels of Death: The City Museum of St. Louis

Yesterday I experienced the most bizarre thing I’ve ever seen in my life. Some people call it a “museum”. In fact, it has the word “museum” in its name. But the fact is St Louis’s City Museum is more of a surreal fun house turned adult jungle gym turned death trap than it is a museum. I missed some of the exhibits, but while I was there I didn’t see a single factoid written next to an exhibit. I’m not saying that’s what makes a museum, but I have trouble seeing how this is a museum rather than a giant obstacle course.

Source: sodahead.com via Jenica on Pinterest


Most of the museum is comprised of a series of tunnels through increasingly bizarre and surreal landscapes. There are tunnels through wine barrels, fake dinosaur skeletons, ancient faux architecture and a tree house. Some of the tunnels are made out of faux stone and get increasingly narrow and dark. You can never see where you are going. You aren’t sure where you will end up. You aren’t sure if you’ll get STUCK in the tunnel, though I suppose that’s not as much as an issue as I thought it would be because I never saw anyone screaming for help .

Source: google.com via Jenica on Pinterest


Wire tunnels entwine their way outside of the building and people are climbing seemingly in midair. It’s kind of freaky. For someone who is afraid of heights, it’s absolutely terrifying. I could definitely see how it would be a ton of fun for two lean adults who enjoy climbing things, but as a chubby mother trying to keep her 2 year old from falling down one of the hidden tunnels in the ground, it was pretty frightening.

That’s another thing, it was totally surreal to be standing somewhere in the middle of the museum and suddenly see someone emerge for a small hidden hole in the floor that doesn’t look big enough to fit a person– yet out of the hole someone would squeeze.

It was absolutely fascinating.

And absolutely bizarre.

But we probably shouldn’t take our kids back there until they are at least 7 and we can send them off together with orders to meet us somewhere at X time. Even then, I will be standing there worried one of them broke their neck in a tunnel or that one of the wire cages collapsed hundreds of feet in the air.

Not that I’m paranoid or anything.

Except that I am.

Source: google.com via Jenica on Pinterest


This exhibit was way more our speed:


I’d like to go back sometime, thinner and without kids so I can fully explore the place. I’d probably still be too scared to do some of the tunnels, but I’d definitely love to explore it more.

They should probably advertise it more as a place to go rock climbing than as a children’s museum though. Just saying.



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Unfortunate Museum Exhibit Name

I am sure when The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis created this exhibit they had no idea the political unrest that went down in Egypt recently was about to happen, but it did. Now this sign implies that we should all want to be taken to Egypt. I’d prefer to stay away for a couple of years at least, but I’m a big chicken about potential catastrophe while traveling in foreign counties.

While things have calmed down over there, this sign was up when all of the action was going on a couple of months ago. Pretty much nobody but journalists (but not THIS journalist) wanted to travel to Egypt at that time. Imagine how strange it would be to see that sign during the riots. “Experience Egypt” may have been a better choice for an exhibit name, but how as the museum to know what was about to happen? Still, seeing that sign made both me and my friend Maria giggle on first glance. “Take Me There?” Not quite now, thanks.


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