"All bravery stands upon comparison." ~ Francis Bacon
A quick story about my grandson. Gunther James Whisler turned two back in Nov and loves him some dinosaurs. He’s bright, learns fast - like all two year olds and is a treasure. He loves to watch Dinosaur story on the History Channel, has a set of plastic dinosaurs and will watch Dinotrux for hours.
So Ann and I invited Gunner and his parents to go with us to see the Minnesota Science Museum and its’ fairly extensive collection of dino fossils. The museum is your standard airy, sunlit box of big windows sitting on the north bank of the Mississippi River in St Paul. The main lobby is huge, probably close to half an acre and is close to 50’ high. The exhibit designers have sited a complete Allosaurus skeleton in the classic ‘Sue’ pose – nose close to the ground, hunting – and it is oriented vaguely towards the lobby entry door from the parking lot.
The same door that we came through with a fired up Gunner. At this point, Gunner had not really internalized how big dinos were. Filling his world is this huge, bony apparition, full of teeth all pointed in his general direction. Worse, behind the Allosaur is another exhibit. It’s an Allosaur skull fitted up with a hydraulic frame that kids can operate the lever to open and close the skull’s mouth. Which is happening as Gunner walks in. Chomp, chomp.
This is when Gunner’s Dinosaur Paradigm shifted.
Two seconds into the Minnesota Science Museum he has had all of the dinosaurs he wants and he’s done. He’s making a 180 and getting the heck out of here. And screaming. It does not help that the adults he loves and trusts are preventing him from doing this. Nor does the grandfatherly laughter. (I hang my head in shame here.)
George and Brook do some magnificent parenting, get him calmed down and distracted and within 30 minutes or so Gunner is sitting on dad’s shoulders and walking around the Allosaur skeleton in rapt attention.
Best was when he got to see the most complete Triceratops skeleton in the world. He likes Triceratops.
Despite the scary beginning, the kid had a great time at the museum.
On that happy note, I remain,
Dad / Geoff