This is the summer of adventures. The past two years, Hannah attended her school’s toddler summer program every day. But she’s not in the toddler program anymore, and no more summer program. She’s not quite ready for camp, so it is Hannah and me together all day, every day.

Which I am not complaining about, 4 years old is the best age yet. And you’d think I say that about every age, but I do not. Three years old? DEFINITELY NOT MY FAVORITE. H was a chill baby, as a toddler the hard stuff was all related to her special needs, and as a two-year-old she was really pleasant. But last year? Hoo boy, that was a tough age. She ran off at random, frequently towards traffic, had meltdowns in restaurants, yelled, argued, didn’t listen to anything we said. She totally ignored Adam for a solid year. We didn’t do as much at age 3. She was adorable and lovely and our favorite person on earth, but girlfriend was definitely testing. Growing up, pushing boundaries, doing all of the stuff that she is absolutely supposed to do. But just because it’s a natural part of her development doesn’t make it fun!

And then, four arrived. Like a lovely, fresh breeze after a hot thunderstorm. Four is amazing! We can do things! We can make plans, we can have adventures, she can follow directions. It’s pretty glorious, plus she’s basically 95% out of her stroller. And she’s just talking up a storm, and so curious. About everything. Her imagination is the best thing I’ve ever watched in action, and we’re just loving this time so much. So I am packing this summer with all of the adventures, all of the things she was too young for, or too impulsive for, or just not interested in. And that includes the awesome natural history museum.

Last week I had to go into Manhattan to pick something up for work, so then we headed over to spend a few hours wandering the museum. NYC public schools don’t close until this coming Tuesday, so on a Wednesday at lunchtime it was so easy to navigate. Nice and quiet.

I knew she wouldn’t last the entire museum, which is just ginormous, so we focused on The Things Most Exciting to a Four-Year-Old: space, big mammals, ocean life, and dinosaurs.

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It was a great afternoon, hopefully the first adventure of many this summer.