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Free Fun Friday at the Boston Children's Museum

As background, Junior loves the Boston Children's Museum, so we became members last year and go there whenever the weather sucks.
Photo from last year in case you forgot Junior is adorable

It looked like rain yesterday, so at the last minute I changed our plans from riding the Frog Pond Carousel to spending an hour at the Children's Museum. And thus our tale begins...

The Highland Street Foundation, bless its heart, runs a Free Fun Fridays program for communities in and around Boston. One of them happened to be at the Boston Children's Museum yesterday, and Junior and I unintentionally wandered in because there's Crazy Prepared Mom and there's Clueless Mom, and then there's me: Crazy Clueless Mom. The Children's Museum, a very popular destination on ordinary days, had transformed into an utter madhouse:
Original image from Cambridge Seven Associates, Inc.

I was like, "Seriously? Why is this happening???"

Since I'm extra special, according to my own mother (the word she uses is "tanga"), it literally took me several hours to figure out why the place was so insanely crowded. But in my defense, every day is a "free" day for us (in quotes because we paid for it to be free, capitalism is so confusing), so when I waltzed in ahead of everyone 'twas business as usual. Yes, dahhh-ling, you must get a membership to get ahead of the riff-raff. I guess the fact that they set up a stroller valet outside -- A STROLLER VALET, D'YOU HEAR ME -- should have been my first clue that I was entering the danger zone.

Once inside, I couldn't hear anything over the ruckus. It was crowd-fighting territory, so Junior and I plowed through the other families and ran up the stairs to the Construction Zone on the third floor. That section was not as nuts, so Junior got to play a little bit:
This is apparently the "big" skid steer

But then came a line of kids demanding a turn at the skid steer, which Junior is not used to. This was actually the first time I saw him get mad at other kids, anger that he expressed by furiously working the levers and refusing to get out. I lured him out by promising to take him to the trains, on the second floor.

When we got there, another red flag waved itself furiously in front of me: the play space for kids under three was at capacity, and we could only get in when people came out. Luckily, a couple of families were leaving as we planted ourselves in front of the swing door, so we got in pretty fast. Junior settled into playing with the train set.

About ten minutes later, the friend we were meeting for lunch texted to say she was pretty close to the city, so Junior and I headed out. The crowds and the noise tuckered him out; I could tell because he obediently followed when I said it was time to go.

Getting out was harder than getting in because by this point there were even more people. Before we could reach the main level, we had to wait at the top of a staircase for about sixteen thousand children to pass with their chaperones. The struggle is real, people.

We met my friend, had lunch, went home, and napped. It was only after I woke up that a light bulb went over my head and I exclaimed, "It must have been a Free Fun Friday today, that's why there were so many people!"

The lesson here is: Do Not Leave Your House on a Free Fun Friday.

TL;DR: The Boston Children's Museum was mad crowded on Free Fun Friday, spoiler alert.

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This post brought to you by the 4th of July weekend!

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