Posted by: Kate | November 22, 2008

One Million Children per Square Foot

I just got home from an afternoon at the Dover Children’s Museum.  A decent enough place, it strikes me as a bit on the small side but the kids love it with a love that is more than love, so it’s a good afternoon escape from the house, which we have recently converted from 1300 square feet of living space to about 900, in hopes of lowering the heating bill and driving each other completel batshit crazy by the end of winter.

It’s also a good chance to get out and remember that my kids are actually very well-behaved critters, compared to the Jacks and Marias of the world.  Jack has an issue with taking turns and only using as many balls in the create-a-maze thing as he can hold in his two fat, sweaty little hands, and Maria has an issue with being unable to communicate in a noise below the frequency and volume at which deaf dolphins must communicate over hundreds of miles of empty ocean.  Both of their parents consider constant apathetic repetitions of the child’s name to be adequate teaching and discipline.

My kids, meanwhile, reacted in precisely true-to-self sorts of ways.  When Jacob got tired of Jack’s constant invasions of personal space, he simply wandered off to the next exhibit, without even a shrug of frustration.  Emily focused only on the things that she wanted to focus on, and effectively tuned out the background noise.

And boy, was there a lot of background noise.  I would estimate that there were, conservatively, a gazillion shrill children and associated parents crammed into one building.  I have to assume that a gazillion is still within fire codes, but my personal preference would be to knock the capacity of the building way, way down.  To, say, ten.

Ah, well, the kids enjoyed themselves, and I would expect that sometime in the next three or four weeks, my ears should stop ringing.



  1. Ah, enjoy some of the noise if it’s happy noises. When I go to places now, I have to laugh at the noises that kids make. I’d rather have a noisy kid than an obnoxious noisy adult (with cell phone) any day!:)

  2. Sadly, I just read they are closing at the end of the year due to budget issues.

  3. Sorry – Derry, not Dover – phew…

  4. I did the indoor playground thing this weekend as well, and am going to write a post about it. I have a sneaking suspicion that you, as do I, tend not to interfere in children’s play. I picture you knitting, yet always knowing where your children are. As do I. I sat and read, amazed at the sheer volume of parents who actually took off their shoes and GOT IN the play apparatus WITH their children.


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