Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Long Outing

I made it to "Mother's First" playgroup today. I only managed to spend 45 minutes there before the Monkey's howls put an end to our participation.

Mondays -- or Tuesdays in this abbreviated holiday week -- are always rough. His sleep rhythms are generally more precariously balanced than ours, so disrupting the weekday rhythms with something a little more free-wheeling on the weekend takes a toll. Not to mention the excitement of Christmas.

It turns out that usually the Monkey Mama gives him a pep talk at the beginning of a week to persuade him to be nice to the Monkey Daddy. She forgot this time. (Also, there was something about milk that is unpalatable when thawed from a frozen state.) The other mothers in Mother's First had never seen our mellow Monkey in such a state; there has always been fast recourse to the pacifying boob.

So I made a beeline from the Petworth library to the National Building Museum for another daytime rendezvous with the Monkey Mama. They had a nice nursing session while I ate lunch, and then I packed the Monkey back into the car for a cultural outing.

My first thought was to take the Monkey to the U.S. Botanical Gardens at the foot of the Capitol. There was a line out the door; whether it was for the blooming corpse flower or the miniature Capitol surrounded by holiday poinsettias I don't know. Either way, I'll take the Monkey there on a quieter day. He doesn't care about those things, and I just want to take him to the unseasonably warm, humid, and hyperoxygenated environment of the Conservatory.

So we went to the Renwick Gallery instead. A lot of shiny eye candy for the Monkey in the "Modernism in American Silver: 20th Century Design" exhibit. But now I know why "Look but don't touch" is essentially synonymous with museums. It's a shame, too: some of the materials and curves of the American folk art collection beg to be touched. (A chair by Sam Maloof, for instance.)

A great feature of the Renwick: a changing table in the bathroom. (I had to field dress the Boy.)

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