Yesterday, The Boy, The Girl and I went to the Museum of Science and Industry. If there is one thing I do not recommend, it is attending a Chicago museum during one of its free days at the cusp of the holiday season. Truthfully, for us, it is always free day at MSI, due to a nice bit of reciprocity among the Chicago Academy of the Sciences, of which we are members through our membership to the Peggy Notebeart Nature Museum. But I had not realized that it was free day at MSI before suggesting to The Boy that we go (rather than freezing our bums off at Brookfield Zoo, as was our original plan for the day). So, we went.
It was crazy-crowded. So crowded that I had a headache within 10 minutes of entering the place. I had the foresight to bring a little backpack with a leash on it for The Girl, and fortunately, The Boy is at the age when he is more terrified of losing me in a crowd than in seeing whatever interests him, so he doesn't wander off. But still, there were so many school groups and daycare groups and out-of-towners and kids-off-of-school and general mayhem that I asked The Boy to recite his name and where he lives (unfortunately, he now says "Chicago," instead of our neighborhood name, which doesn't work so well when you are still inside city limits, but is still pretty good for a not-quite-4-year-old). After The Boy was bumped off the risers in the train room by school-aged children, I was ready to cut my losses and skedaddle. I managed to convince The Boy that we should go and come back another time by calling Mr. C. to meet us for lunch.
Fortunately, I always park on a side street near the museum and never pay the $12 for the privilege of parking in the underground lot, so I was really only out time and a good deal of energy.
After circling the western part of the Loop in search of a metered spot, I finally found one, and ponied up $6 to park on the street for 2 hours. Yikes! But then The Boy, The Girl and I went to visit Daddy's office, and we all went out for a not-very-exciting, but still-very-tasty lunch at Potbelly. Afterward, we walked over to Daley Plaza to see the tree, which will have its official lighting and unveiling on Friday. Despite the incomplete decorations and the metal gate around the area, The Boy was still impressed, and The Girl rocked out to a city worker singing "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" to her.