Monday, February 9, 2009
Sesame Street, Elmo and a tantrum just for kicks
This weekend, C and I headed to Sesame Street Presents: The Body at Hollywood & Highland. Luckily for me, this was nothing like the now-infamous Body Worlds experience I had a few years ago. No, there was no danger of me fainting at this child's-eye view of the human body. There was only a tantrum, courtesy of my little cookie monster -- and, if I could will myself to faint, I might have actually exercised that option.
The exhibit itself is geared toward young children who are not afraid to explore. Not only is it extremely kid-friendly -- something you'd probably already expect from Sesame Street -- but it's also interactive and unruffled by kids actually being kids. Lots of touching. Lots of running. Lots of yelling. OK, the yelling part might have been just me.
We had barely walked in before C was off and running. "Hold on. I'll be right back," I promised the attendant. "Just have to lasso my child." She smiled knowingly as if to say: Been there, heard that. Bought the Baby T with Snuffaluffagus on the front.
C's first stop, after we were both properly wrist-banded: the playground. There is a corner of the exhibit that features a heavily padded play area, complete with slide, steps and zigzag doors. If children aren't wooed by the sneezing nose or poo machine -- yes, there is a poo machine -- there's always just plain running around. It's a thoughtful concept.
Now those two machines I just mentioned are part of the respiratory and digestive system areas, respectively. Not only can you pull a slot-machine-like handle to intentionally irritate a giant nose, you can also turn a crank to see how acid is churned in the stomach.
There's even a witty musical organ, whose keys represent various body organs, natch. As you can see in the video above, if you turn your head, C was rocking out to the kidney and the large intestines. Who wouldn't, really?
I won't spoil it all. There's lots to see. Even the piece de resistance -- Elmo. Big, furry, red Elmo. Or as C calls him: "Memo!"
Insert tantrum here. Sometimes children do not like to wait in line. OK, I don't like to wait in line, either. But C has this magical way of turning the waiting game into a Shakespearean death scene. There's wailing, tears, falling on the floor and the general attitude that life is just about to end. That is, if she doesn't see Elmo, like, 5 minutes ago. "Memo! Memo!" she howled.
But I hung in there. I wanted to take her out of the line and say forget it. Too bad. You don't get to see Elmo if you keep acting like this. But you know what, I waited while my child re-enacted Hamlet's death throes at Hollywood & Highland. And once we got to Elmo, well the only photo I got was of her looking away. But I made sure she was sitting there and that she got hugged, dammit.
Granted, Elmo may have looked a little shell-shocked himself. But it was worth it.
Sesame Street Presents: The Body
Hollywood & Highland Center (across from Starbucks and CPK)
Fridays-Sundays 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. through April 26
$10 per child, includes one free accompanying adult
$5 each additional accompanying adult