There are dinosaurs in Louisiana. I know because I’ve seen them. But first, the back story: baby-sitting is a hit-and-miss kind of situation for us. The babies’ dad is a firefighter with a strange schedule. Let’s say we haven’t figured it out. But that’s neither here nor there. Right? What’s important is that we get the kiddies.
Now in case you’re wondering, this is not a rave about our grandies kind of post. They bring us great joy. They’re smart. One is sassy and bossy. One is whiny and hates naps when he needs them most. Still, they bring us great joy and we miss them terribly when we don’t see them for a fast minute. (Fast minutes equal several days. Generally weekends.)
We’ve been talking about doing something with them. You know, something fun. Something like those things we did with our own children and their children. Dusti, especially, was my shadow for a few years. I credit her with giving me a reason to live in the darkest of days. Anyway. We talked. We discussed. We planned.
But it’s hot in Louisiana. My body is not keeping up with climate change. Really. Louisiana often get to 100 degrees, but that’s at the END of July and into August. Also, that heat comes and goes. Now? Oh, it’s hot. Heat indexes well into the 100s and staying that way for weeks. So getting out with three- and five-year-olds is stressful. But we’re trying anyway.
We decided that the dinosaur park in Henderson would be a good place. It’s outdoors but shaded. Since there were almost no other people to share the park with, we strolled in a barely-moving maner. I walked through the sunny parts and played in the shady ones. We had sunscreen on, but it’s heat that I need to avoid. Still, there was much more shade than sun on the sidewalk because the area is overgrowned. Sort of. It’s obvious that people come in and chop away the biggest undergrowth. Not necessarily the poison ivy, but I can spot that demon from quite a distance.
The dinos are huge (life-size) and quite realistic looking, though some are beginning to show their age. Hurricanes are rough on free-standing objects as well as trees and buildings. Somewhere in the center of the woods is a speaker that loops through dinosaur roars and screaches. They are quite real-sounding. Not that anyone really knows.
Between the enormous size of the statues and the roaring noise, the kiddos needed a little encouraging (and proof) that it would be okay to walk through. Poppa had to pet a few statues. But once they understood that there was no danger, it became difficult to keep them contained. They wanted to scout ahead, find a dino and race back to report their dispatch. It wore them out.
And they learned a few things (mostly following directions) but they had fun building memories with DeeDee and Poppa. And DeeDee and Poppa learned a good lesson: we have to find some indoor activities!