MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY

When it's the dead of winter, there's no place better to spend a morning than the Museum of Natural History. Scott and I went to a party on the UWS on Friday night, and by the time we were leaving the neighborhood, at midnight, we decided to leave the car and take a cab home. Since we were parked directly in front of the museum, it gave us the perfect excuse to pack onto the subway on Saturday morning and visit the museum... to pick up the car, of course. 

We always start with the North American Mammals. They are so gorgeous, it's like being in a dream.

Alice kept saying "Look, it's my reindeer and my Bambi."

Bears!

I didn't even notice the hare hiding from the lynx, but Alice spotted it right away. It's amazing how much she could understand – she explained to me that the "rabbit is hiding in tree so he not get eaten." Staggeringly accurate, little girl. 

"Alice do you like the dinosaurs?" "Dinosaur skeletons." Ummm, how on earth did she get so smart? We spent a lot of time running around, jumping up on benches and roaring like dinosaurs.

Pretty incredible.

This is Everett explaining to me why T-Rex is his favorite. 

When you ask Alice which one is her favorite, she spends the rest of the day pointing at literally every single thing, naming it, and saying it's her favorite. She has a long list, excluding no one and no thing.

I can't believe how much bigger Everett is this time. It's such a change from just even last year! I'm so glad he gets to grow up coming to places like this and having memories of visiting the most incredible museums in the world. What a special place to grow up.

We cut through the Hall of Human Origins trying to get to the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life. I was a bit concerned that it might all be a little scary – humanoids and half-human-half-monkey skeletons – but neither batted an eye. In fact, Everett knew that it was all somehow connected to something called "evo-nun-tion." And Alice was really drawn to this particular diorama of a hominid couple in the sites of an attacking bird of prey. She stood there for the longest time, staring at it, feeling like she was understanding something about it, but wanting to make more sense of it. She was really, really fascinated by it.

Everett liked running through the gems. The multi-level, carpeted steps might have had something to do with it. Well, that and the neon, glowing, gigantic rocks and meteorites. 

The "big, big, giant whale"! It's amazing. I cannot wait until they're old enough to do a sleepover here. 

And polar bears! For some reason – not sure of the origin – we already have a tradition of hiding from polar bears every night at bedtime. Inevitably, while we're cuddling, Alice will turn to me, suddenly, and with mock terror, gasp "oh, no! The polar bear is coming! Hide!" And she pulls the covers up over our heads, simultaneously giggling and shushing me, with her eyes wide open as if something really is about to pounce on us and pull the covers aside. Sometimes on the weekend we hide from polar bears, too, burrowing under pillows as we cuddle and wait. So it was nice to finally see one up close, in person, and in its natural habitat so we can better prepare next time one is coming to get us. 

Back in the car, passing Banksy on the way home just as it was starting to snow again.

Has it been 2 whole years since we've been to the Museum of Natural History? I think the last time we were there was that one time when we took Uncle CJ and just a few weeks before that. Everett was the same age Alice is now – I can hardly remember a time when he was so little!