My son's plane broke. This shouldn't be a big deal. After all, toys break all of the time. (At least they do in my house.) Unfortunately, the minute the toy plane broke, it became my son's all-time favorite toy. When he asked me to buy him a new one, I tried to explain that we had gotten it from the museum gift store, that we can't replace it at the regular stores we go to. He's not asking for a new plane anymore. He's asking to go to the museum. He's three-years-old. Is this a good thing?
Yes, the beloved plane came from the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum in Washington, DC. The plane itself was only about five dollars, cheap by gift store standards. The museum isn't that far away... only about an hour drive from here (assuming no traffic, which happens from approximately 1am to 2am daily.) Entrance to the museum is free. The problem is that in DC parking is at a premium. Okay, I exaggerate. Parking is nonexistant (unless you really do go there around 2am, but that's too scary to consider.)
I had hoped that this obsession with the plane would cease, but every day since the plane broke my little one has asked to go to the museum. My next course of action was to explain that we can't replace every broken toy, especially one that was purchased so far away. I thought I was winning this argument until the rest of the truth came out. My son hadn't broken his plane, a sibling had. It was an accident to be sure, but the bottom line was that his plane was broken beyond repair by a big sister, and my son is devastated because apparently this plane has always been a favorite toy.
So now, I am contemplating making the drive into Arlington (down the road from the National Cemetery), catching the Metro (subway), and then walking with a three-year-old the 1/2 mile (or more) to the museum just because my son's plane broke. Summing it up, I will get to spend three hours in traffic, an hour on the subway, an hour at lunch in Arlington (not bad if you don't consider dining with a three-year-old), thirty minutes walking between the subway and museum, and an hour or so at the museum, and five minutes in the gift shop (because I am not buying anything else besides a new plane!) Then we also add in parking in Arlington, $4, subway fare, $6, toy airplane, $5, Tylenol for the headache and back ache that are sure to ensue, $3, spending time with my three-year-old alone in Washington, DC, it had darn well better be priceless!