Sunday, December 7, 2008

Tube People

I blogged a little while ago about the cool Skokie Exploratorium. No, I am not being paid by them. But you know what the greatest place in the world is? The Exploratorium!

Anyhoo, after Diana woke up from her much deserved Saturday morning sleep, our options for entertaining Elijah was treat him for hypothermia or take him to the $4 scream fest.

Saturday morning must be Dad’s day, because the parking lot was filled with men yanking their kids by the mittens and pounding coffee. Di, Eli and I had a blast. Because it was 11 degrees, all the smart parents kept their kids at home, so the Exploratorium was relatively empty.

Diana, as always, was snapping photos so fast Annie Leibovitz called from San Francisco to ask that we give it a rest. So with more than a twinge of mischief, I decided to carry Eli up into the giant series of tubes that line the ceiling. The tubes are meant for older kids, but I still lugged Eli up there thinking, “Best. Photo moment. Ever.”

I shouted down to Diana, “Take my picture! Take my picture! No! Not Eli! Take MY picture!”

Once we got to the tubes I remembered my fear of heights. They were connected by a series of unstable nets and plastic catwalks that creaked under my considerable weight. The entire structure seemed to groan like the hull of the Titanic. I was petrified with terror. Elijah, on the other hand, scampered around with stunt man abandon. I begged him to stay still and let daddy have a heart attack in peace. But he did not share my desire to live past Saturday.

I realized the only way down off the tubes was to ascend to the next level of horror and then slide down a twisting slide that clearly wouldn’t fit both a fragile baby and his sweat-drenched father. But then I found we could descend the way we came, down a series of plastic steps.

Luckily, Eli didn’t mind carrying me as I hyperventilated with sobs.

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