Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Dino Day

My boy is wild about dinosaurs.

He's got a tub full of plastic "saurs" that he roars & rumbles the mornings away with. His favorite books are the "How Do Dinosaurs" series that he insists we read over & over & over again & I watched as he experienced sheer disappointment on the day of our zoo trip once he found out there were no dinosaurs to be found lurking around at our local zoo.

Ever since our ZOO DAY back in April, I've probably reminded myself a million times that I need to research some sort of age appropriate dinosaur experience for my little guy {Dinosaur Dan on Nick Jr. just ain't cuttin' it}.

So when Jared came home from work one day letting me know an interactive dinosaur exhibit had come to town, we both agreed it was a must see.

Sunday after church, we decided to scrap our pool plans {& the excessive heat index that went along with it} & head on out for a dinosaur adventure.

Once we revealed our plans for a Dino Day to Jett, he exploded with excitement. But that excitement quickly fizzled into nervousness & he proceeded to ask me at least a dozen times, "Momma? Saurs eat Jett?" I have no clue where he got the idea that the dinosaurs would be interested in eating him, but I could tell it was certainly a concern of his.

We battled back & forth for a bit where he would bubble with excitement telling me he wanted to go & visit the dinosaurs, but then his hesitation would consume him & he would have me reassuring him once again that he wasn't going to become a mid-day snack for said dinosaurs.

He wasn't sure what he wanted to do. And as I watched this little internal struggle going on inside of his tender little two year old self, I couldn't help but vividly remember the same kind of struggles in myself as a little girl. I was so shy, so hesitant, so unsure of things & sometimes the risks I desired so greatly to take got squished into oblivion by the fears I allowed to well up & consume me--little things like not riding Fire In The Hole at Silver Dollar City, even though the biggest part of me wanted to plunge down that roller coaster & be amidst the shrieks & shrills that I heard echoing from within it. Or not standing up to my 6th grade teacher & mustering the guts to tell her that yes, I did in fact, know what the word "quarreled" meant when I used it in a story I had written & that no, my parents did not do my homework for me like she was implying. I always seemed to back down when I wasn't sure, even when my heart was saying, "Do it." 

So I decided, based on the fire I could see in my little boy's eyes, that we would go & visit the dinosaurs. We'd grow our own set of dinosaur feet & we'd smush & stomp those fears into the ground. We'd find the excitement, we'd experience the thrill I could see he was simply dying to taste of. We'd learn what it means to loosen the cuffs of fear & follow your heart when it's calling, "Do it".

I have to be honest, I wasn't all that impressed with the interactive dinosaur display. It was small & cramped, germ infested & smelly. 

But my boy? He had himself a ball. He walked into the exhibit slow & cautious, Monkey clutched at his side & took every bit of it in. Slowly, his guard came down {when he realized the dinosaurs weren't looking at him like he was lunch} & he had such a great time. He braved up the courage to stand next to T-Rex, he perched himself on the back of a Tyrannosaurus, he dug for fossils, he climbed through lava tunnels & he zipped across grassy bridges. He had himself quite the dinosaur adventure & I could see that his little heart was content that he was there experiencing it all.

Once we finished up at the dinosaur exhibit, we decided to extend our Dino Day & head out to T-Rex Cafe for a little more dinosaur fun. 

When we walked into the restaurant & were greeted by a gigantic moving, growling, roaring T-Rex with razor sharp teeth {which we reassured Jett were for eating trees & leaves}, Jett held onto me as tight as he could. I scooped him into my arms, immediately feeling his little body relax & before I knew it, he was roaring right back at that scary ol' T-Rex. That's my boy! 

Jett gobbled up his overpriced dinner of dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets, did some more dinosaur exploring, checking out all the prehistoric life that T-Rex Cafe held & then we were off to find a cool treat.

We were thinking ice cream...

Jett was thinking...


He stands with his little arms behind his back when he isn't quite sure of something. I love it.

Eventually, we found ourselves that nice cool ice cream treat.

That's one serious ice cream eatin' face right there

And we took home with us, one happy little dinosaur.


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