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20 Things I'm Really Thinking at the Children's Museum

Photograph by Twenty20

My toddler son and I spend a lot of time at the children's museum. It's an oasis—that rare place where a rambling, fired-up little guy can run freely, a sanctuary of rounded corners and rubbery surfaces where I can sit down and exhale for a minute or two without worrying that he's going to dart into the street or careen down a staircase.

But every time we go, I find myself stealthily scoping out the other mothers (or fathers or nannies or grandparents) and wondering what they're thinking. Are they, too, relieved and exhausted and under-showered and over-caffeinated? Do they look at me and see a cool, calm mama?

If only they knew ...

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1. Why doesn't the cafe serve wine?

2. My kid is cuter than yours.

3. Where’s the Purell?

4. These tiny potties and sinks are brilliant engineering.

5. If I had a dollar for every kid named Carter, Ava, Miles or Sophia, I could buy this place.

6. Please God let them get tired out.

7. Please God let them sleep on the way home.

8. Please God let them wait 'til we get home to poop.

9. Aww, he’s so cute cuddling that shovel.

10. My kid’s stealing your kid’s shit. Sorry. But not sorry enough to get up and stop him.

11. God bless iPhones, Ye blessed portal into the adult world.

12. Who else didn’t shower today?

13. If your kid coughs on my kid, I’ll cut you.

14. Benches everywhere. Amen. I can just sit quietly while he plays.

15. Save the water spouts for the end. Remember last time? Wet sand in every crevice.

16. Seriously, how do they all end up with the same names? For real. Another Henry or Oliver or Bella or Emma and I’ll croak.

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17. Two thumbs up for outsourcing childcare. Ping-pong ball vacuums for the win.

18. Is it nap time yet?

19. What mom wears white pants? How are you not covered in avocado and poop right now? What ninja secret do you know that I don’t?

20. Next time: bringing a flask.

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