Hatching Dinosaurs and Hitler's Henchmen


Hatching Dinosaurs and Hitler's Henchmen


  • 2010 - now

My kids, now almost 3 and 5, have grown up in the ROM. Since they could walk, each has spent nearly a day a week running through the bat cave, singing "Baby Beluga" as they wander through the Shad Gallery, or trying to commandeer the elevators.

When my youngest discovered the button to trigger the paleontologist's video documentary near the entrance to the dinosaurs gallery, and he became fairly obsessed with constantly restarting the video to switch it to French, I told him the group of dinosaur eggs under glass would hatch and come to life if after 10 button presses. At first, he tried to call my bluff, but after 8-or-so presses, decided he didn't want to risk it. He still tiptoes somewhat cautiously around that space.

My oldest usually goes straight for the stairs, but on one evening visit decided to head into the Asian galleries on the first floor. I had been reading about WWII with him at home, and he became somewhat obsessed with finding images of Hitler ("THE WORST GUY IN THE WORLD!!!"), mostly because of the scene in the third Indiana Jones movie where Indy bumps into Hitler at a rally. Anyway, it was an evening visit, and my hyper kid wasn't used to the different pace of the first floor galleries. He kept going behind ropes, trying to climb things, etc. I had to tell him to cool his jets a number of times... Until he blurted out: "DAD... IT'S ONE OF HITLER'S GUYS!!!" He had noticed a swastika on the chest of a Buddha, and I immediately used this to my advantage by warning him that the security guard watching us like a hawk was probably one of Hitler's guards. Even though he loves going into those galleries now, he always tries to dodge security guards whenever he sees them.