Saturday, February 09, 2008

mummification and the 5 year old mind...

Last year a large exhibit on ancient Egypt came through the Portland Art museum.

Something you should maybe know about me... I'm completely awestruck and fascinated by the ancient Egyptian civilization.

Mesmerized even.

So having that collection so close to our home... good thing for me. Mr. Kaos too finds the area of study intriguing so good thing for him.

K on the other hand... her only exposure to mummies and ancient Egyptian culture came courtesy of those meddling kids and their dog too.

We felt at 5 years old she was old enough for the real the thing.

We were... kind of right. She poured over each artifact and art piece. She marveled at the statues. She oohed and awed at the jewels. She was enthralled throughout the exhibit. She tried listening to the walking tour for kids but she got nothing from it. I switched her to the walking tour for adults (it had big words but somehow they managed to avoid the f-bomb). It was much more her speed. She craved real knowledge not kitschy bits of information.

We moved through each room seamlessly until we reached the area they had set as a tomb. It was dark enough that we had to pause just inside the doorway to allow our eyes to adjust.

Though the room held far too many people for my comfort, it was quiet. A sense of calm and awe seemed to have settled over the crowd as each person silently peered at each item in the room and tried to interpret the carvings the museum had replicated on the walls... She was shaken. Unsure of what would follow but she carried on her hand in mine. As we stepped into the next room we saw the sarcophagus which was one of the primary draws of the show. I moved her swiftly toward it noticing that another of the most interesting pieces, the mummy, lay encased in glass next to it.

I didn't tell her where we were heading.

I did not tell her the mummy lay next to the sarcophagus...

Not until we were withing a couple of feet of it.

K, my brave adventurous girl, froze.

She froze and seemed torn between her intense desire to run and her yearning to know.

I picked her up and settled her on my hip as I walked quietly to the case where we looked inside...

She peered into its wrapped face and let out a deep breath before she began to panic and demand that we leave the room.

RIGHT NOW MAMA.

I took her to a brighter area and set her down on the floor. She stood staring at me with tears in her eyes, panic in her voice, convinced that that mummy was going to chase her just like on Scooby Doo.

We calmed her down, Mr. Kaos took her so I could go back in to see the mummy and coffin and then hand in hand in hand the three of us strode out towards the rainy evening... On our way we stumbled upon a docent, K immediately went to her and told her urgently "Don't you know what they have in there! It's a real MUMMY"

I'm sure she thought it was a mistake and if she just told the right person they would rectify the situation.

That's my girl.

But that was a year ago... When she was almost 5.

Now she's just a month or so from her 6th birthday. It was a long week at school and typically on Friday we have a quiet walk home and treat ourselves to a tasty snack and some tv. Today she couldn't wait to get home.

To have that time with me.

To bake our cookies.

To watch The Mummy Who Would Be King.

It's all she could talk about... well that and the Captain Bogg & Salty show coming up...

We watched the whole show. She saw every inch of that mummy twice.

every. inch.

And now, a year later, she's asked if we can please take her to Egypt so she can study the royal mummies dynasty by dynasty.

Her words...

What a difference a year makes... with kids and mummies at least.

18 comments:

mielikki said...

what a great, inquisitive mind she has. I can't wait to see the kind of grownup she turns into.
But, yet. I can. Because I love them at the age she is now, too.
What a conundrum!

Amy said...

I'm hoping a year from now mine will poop in the toilet instead of hiding and screaming "NO! GO! MOMMY GO!" if I see her crouched behind the chair.

I'm really trying hard to come up with something in the likes of "mummified me" in regards to the subject. It's just not happening. I'll try harder next time.

sybil law said...

Cleopatra for Halloween!!!
Yes - I am queer enough to think so far ahead.
The dizziness is overtaking me. I came here, read, and left without commenting. So I had to come back, and now my comment sucks.
Teach her about how the Egyptians looved cats! She'll like that, if she's like Gilda!

angel said...

ooh thats so cool- she wants to be an archaeologist!!!
i wanted to be one too- and i may just go back when damien finishes school and study it anyway.
i do love egypt, the art, the history, the stories... fascinating!

Lilacspecs said...

I love Egyptology. It's fascinating. And that's really cool that your daughter is sucking it all up like that. What a great thing for a kid to be interested in..sure beats Bratz. *shudder*

Jo Beaufoix said...

Cool. I love that kids want to learn stuff. Miss M did Egypt this school year, and we're hoping to take her to the Tutankhamun Exhibition in London later for her birthday in August. She was a bit spooked by the mummies, but she is like that. We had to change her bed in case they were underneath it, remember? But she learned so much and we really loved it. I can't wait to visit that exhibition.
Oh, and never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never,
never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never...gzfasnxnope, I can't do it. You are the Queen.

Lindy said...

That's one smart kid you've got there.

holly said...

i was absolutely sure i said something earlier. i remember waking up, not having had tea yet, enjoying the post, and saying something. *something*. where is it?

okay. it was something like how those meddling kids have ruined amusement parks and ski lodges for me.

oh YEAH and tiki. it is only recently i'm able to enjoy it without fear.

and i know i admired your quality time with k. it was good what i said. now, early evening brain fog has set in...and all you get is this. not nearly as good as a t-shirt.

Groovy Mom said...

Aw, what a sweetie. Smart too!

DaddyKaos said...

That's my girl (really, more like NK, she's the real Egypt freak).

katydidnot said...

she's. so. cool.

n said...

When you and DW were kids we used to sit and look at the Mummy book over and over again. You both loved it. You even thought the way they removed the brain was funny, ofcourse we had to use sound effects. I still love that stuff, the King Tut display Florida was really cool, and the Fields Museum in Chicago has alot of neat stuff. I'll make sure I have the pics with me when I come for the Tea Party. NanaKaos

Deb said...

I saw the King Tut exhibit when I was 7 or 8, and it freaked and then intrigued me to no end. I calmed down in the museum store, and so museum shops still feel like therapist offices--just as expensive, too. You're such a good mommy!

Bubblewench said...

Very awesome. She is so smart.

Mr. Fabulous said...

If you're gonna take her to Egypt you gotta take me to Egypt too!

Lori- Fairytales & Margaritas said...

What fun! And how wonderful that her anxiety caused her to learn more and eventually love it!

julie said...

I've always been very fascinated with the whole Egypt thing, too. K rocks. She just does.

Oh, and this made me laugh out loud and wake up The Boy from his snory slumber: (it had big words but somehow they managed to avoid the f-bomb).

missburrows said...

Sounds like she needs a trip to Vegas, baby!