The kids have grown so much since our last visit to the Shedd Aquarium. We decided at the spur of the moment to make the trip in today and used our new GPS navigation system to guide us there. Atticus and Norah treated us by repeating everything the navigator said, so we ended up hearing each instruction at least three times. On the bright side, we did not get lost - which is a lot more than can be said when I'm the one in charge of navigating on road trips.
It was a day of free admission, so the entire place was packed. While we were waiting, I started to get nervous about getting separated and decided to write their names and our cellphone number on their arms. In theory they know their own names, but I don't trust any preschooler to be able to give that information out in a decipherable manner when he or she is lost and upset. Quite a while later, Atticus was running ahead of me through dark corridors and I reminded him to stick close so he wouldn't get lost. He responded, "It's okay because I have my tattoo." On our way home when Paul and I were consulting the GPS map and wondering out loud if we were lost, we caught Atticus rolling up his sleeve to prepare to help.
It was a great day and the kiddos behaved beautifully. Their favorite parts of the aquarium this year were the new yellow submarine play area and another interactive station where they could pretend to go camping, cook outdoors, and row a boat. Norah played social director and called out orders to all the nearby kids about what they should imagine to be happening. Interest in the fish was relatively low, but the whales, dolphins, and otters garnered some attention.
On our way home, we had to exit through a parking lot that was hosting a huge congregation of people tailgating for the Bears game. Atticus looked at all the grills setup outside of the line of buses and said, "Oh wow! Those buses must be getting older 'cause they're having a birthday party!"