Surviving Spring Break

March 31, 2012

in no manual for parenting,through the looking glass

Last week I mused about driving by myself with the kids to Mount Rushmore over spring break. 950 glorious miles. I am sorry if I let some of your down. That was just crazy talk. I was under duress: Spring break week happened to be performance review week at work. The boys seemed to be fine not going anywhere however. They have the entire Minecraft universe to roam about where they can build fanciful things, and probably more importantly, then blow them up. I wanted to make a special effort to do some non-Minecraft related activities because

1. Last Friday, at the beginning of Spring Break, 9-year-old Mr. Monk suffered first degree burns when I bumped into him and he spilled hot tea all over his upper chest. OUCH. He’s been a trooper even though he questions my skills as a Florence Nightingale every time I change the dressing. (I should also admit that when the disaster happened, I immediately Googled in order to find out what to do since I had NO clue whatsoever. Shouldn’t First Aid training be mandatory for people about to become parents?!)

2. On our way to see the doctor (for a followup visit) I actually told Mr. Monk, “I cannot deal with stupid people. Please don’t be stupid.”

3. After seeing all the creative, amazing plots inside Minecraft, I told Number One Son, “I am so embarrassed by your lackadaisical effort. You spend all your time on this, and you only have this pyramid to show for?”


Long story short: We went to Museum of Science and Industry, and a grand time was had by all. I realized one thing: Museum visits become less horrifying once all your children are out of the stroller and have attention span longer than that of a fly.

And really, what kind of monster can resist baby chicks? It’s a shame though: the process of a baby chick pecking its way out of the shell can take up to 10 hours. We did not witness any birthing.





I was very excited to be able to revisit the Twinkie experiment right before closing time. I wrote about this insane plan of MSI back in October 2009: they decided to test whether Twinkie indeed could survive a nuclear Armageddon by leaving a Twinkie out in a display case. I am happy (or actually, horrified) to report that the Twinkie is alive and well, and has not aged a bit.


Here is a picture of the good ol’ Swiss Jolly Ball at MSI. I can stand and watch this thing over and over again. It is a giant pinball machine, essentially. The tour of the ball takes more than 5 minutes to complete. I took a 2-minute video of it because it is awesome and I need more people to know something this fascinating exists near the exit of MSI. Yup. Most people probably don’t even notice it as they rush towards the exit. It bothers me.

Swiss Jolly Ball at MSI. One of the only two in the world. Click on the picture for the 2-minute video if you want to see it in action


Maybe this is exactly how the natural world works: repetitive, fascinating motions. There are many things that I could stand and watch at length. Just watching and being mesmerized. The giant Newton’s Cradle for one. And also something called Avalanche Disk. (The video below is only 30 seconds)

You’ve got to admit, it’s pretty darn cool. No medicinal aid required to get into a trance.


I thought, “Hey, instead of hitting play over and over again, I should just copy and paste the clip to extend it! Multiple times!” Soon, a song popped into my head. The perfect song to accompany my insanity. Oh, sorry, L’insanity. I know this post is now tl;dr. Somebody stop me! I am leaving this 5+ minute video on here because Mr. Blue Sky told me to. I am staring at this video and listening to this song until spring break is over.



Jack@TheJackB April 1, 2012 at 5:06 pm

The Coal Mine- haven’t seen it in years but I like that museum an awful lot. Just a really sweet place and easy to get lost in. Time wise that is, easy to lose track of time.
Jack@TheJackB´s last blog post…Blogging With The Triberr Global Commenting System

Absence Alternatives April 2, 2012 at 8:10 am

We don’t see the coal mine because tickets were sold out. But we enjoyed very much the exhibit called Science Storm. It really makes you in awe of mother nature. We alsodidn’t see the Myth Buster exhibit. But really, any more things would have been too overwhelming for me.

Kathy McCullough April 1, 2012 at 4:16 pm

So sorry to hear about Mr. Monk’s burns–poor baby. Something very similar happened to my brother when he was little. He lived to tell about it.

Hope you have fun in your next museum adventure.

Kathy McCullough´s last blog post…To Blip or Not to Blip: The Struggle to Collaborate Creatively

Absence Alternatives April 1, 2012 at 9:29 pm

Thank you! We went to the aquarium today and it was a lot of fun! There’s an exhibit of jellyfish. Talk about mesmerizing!

Life with Kaishon March 31, 2012 at 11:57 pm

I am glad that you did something so fun over break. Kaishon’s is coming up this week. I hope I can muster up the energy to do at least one exciting thing… : )
Life with Kaishon´s last blog post…If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other. ~Mother Teresa

Absence Alternatives April 1, 2012 at 12:04 am

Hey you! 🙂 Sometimes I feel it’s a wasted effort on my part since they probably would be just as happy staying home playing Minecraft. It can get really frustrating because often at the end of the break, they’d whine, “But we didn’t get to go anywhere!” and I understand why animals sometimes eat their young… We are going to the aquarium tomorrow. I don’t care whether they are excited or not. I am going to see Jellyfish!

Alex@LateEnough March 31, 2012 at 5:24 am

I love a good science museum.

Absence Alternatives March 31, 2012 at 5:30 pm

Now that my kids are older and do not whine (that much), I enjoy going to museums a lot more!

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