Tuesday, March 15, 2011

What Do They Remember?


Today I took the girls to The Natural History Museum in downtown Los Angeles. Paprika had a field trip with her preschool, so we met up with the other kids and parents from her class.

After navigating three Los Angeles freeways, cruising the streets of downtown looking for the museum, and finding parking, we were there!

I was kinda hesitant to go because it was right smack dab in the middle of Ginger's naptime and Ginger is a runner (like her big sister), so I knew our stay with Paprika's class would be brief! Indeed, we ended up going off and exploring the museum by ourselves (with Ginger in the lead) about 10 minutes into our visit.


It is amazing to me that I have taken Paprika to this museum so many times before (even when I was 5 months pregnant with twins). Before she was three years old, she had been to every museum, every Aquarium, every zoo, every botanical garden in Los Angeles, Chicago, Indianapolis, and Santa Barbara. Not to mention all the stage shows and theater productions she went to as a tiny tot...Mary Poppins, Madeline, Annie, The Wiz, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and even the Ballet...just for starters. Oh yes, and who could forget those My Gym and Kindermusik classes?

I asked her if she remembered ever visiting this museum before. I was sure she would. Her answer? Nope!

When I think back to all the places I took Paprika when she was really too young to "get" it- I just think, "Wow, why did I do that?! Why didn't I just stay home and relax?"

Maybe she got something out of all those trips...but when I compare how much Paprika at age 4 1/2 gets out of these trips compared to Ginger at 20 months...well, there really is no comparison!

I think when you are first a parent, you are so excited to be a parent that you do things like schlep your baby to Mommy and Me Yoga when your baby is 6 weeks old (I know I did!)...when there is a very real possibility that YOU are the only one getting anything out of it. Oh, maybe I'm just being cyncial. Maybe all the exposure to art and culture really does do something to benefit a child's intellect and creativity. That's what I'm hoping anyway!


And if not? I really did enjoy all those crazy, amazing things I did with Paprika when she was too little to get it...I cherish our time when I took her to the Museum of Modern Art in Chicago when she was nine months old. I don't know if she benefitted from it exactly, but I loved doing it...so that's what's important, right?


Today was fun, too. Ginger had a great time running through the Museum and hopefully she got more out of it than just a workout! Paprika had a great time looking at all the dinosaur bones, especially. She even wore her favorite shirt- the one she made herself at Preschool with dinosaurs in Puffy Paint. Fashion!

All in all, it was a great trip. And unlike the many many many times Paprika has been to this museum before, I think she will really remember it this time! Ha!



Ellena said...

Memories are funny things (: Growing up (I still am!) my parents, like you, filled our days with museum trips, stage productions, playgrounds, zoos etc. and although at 4 years old I may not have remembered the museum we went to last year, but now a decade later a memory pops into my mind of that one museum we went to and a moment we had there - and that's when I realize how blessed I am to have such wonderful parents who DIDN'T stay home with me watching PBS Kids all day. Paprika and Ginger are very blessed having such a wonderful mother and father (: God bless you guys!

Sheila said...

Nope, they don't remember things much before the age of 4 or 5. That doesn't mean they didn't enjoy it at the time. Any time you spend with your children is a memory. You need to note them as they happen because there will be things you won't remember and they will. It's all part of the blur and sleep deprivation that comes with Mommyhood. They will also ask you to recall things they can't remember. They get very curious about themselves as babies and toddlers and usually find it all very funny. It's wonderful that you have been so diligent in noting feeling, thoughts and sayings with your pictures. A true treasure for your children and their children.