Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The best thing about taking a toddler on a White House garden tour

On Sunday Jordan and I walked down to the White House and then the Mall with our friends who are moving away.

Here you can see us screaming indignantly because we are having to hold still for 13 seconds.

Our friends had tickets for the garden tour. They're trying to get in the kinds of touristy things that you don't do when you live somewhere. So we went with them in the hopes of getting last-minute tickets, which we did. They are free and it's a very nice experience.

If you don't have a toddler. Or you have a cooperative one.

I learned two things on this tour: 1. The White House and its grounds are a hell of a lot bigger than they seem from outside the fence. 2. The best thing about taking my toddler on a garden tour is absolutely nothing.

Jordan was not remotely impressed by our proximity to the abode of the president. He was not impressed by the band playing. He was not impressed by the beautiful view. He was entirely undaunted by the guards.

Here he is plotting his route to the fountain:
I spent the bulk of our time sprinting after Jordan, who was determined to get off the beaten path (and by beaten I mean paved and/or fenced and where you are ALLOWED to go) and into the roped-off grass and such. At one point, when I thought he was all impressed with the fountain, I just barely grabbed his shirt and stopped him as he tried to slip under the fence.

He had his own agenda, and when stopped, his preferred response was to say, "No!" and lay down on the ground in protest.

You could see how this might be Unhelpful in a moving crowd.

A number of people remarked on how I certainly have my hands full! Smile!

In fact, I would say this photo sums up our afternoon.


  1. replace "a white house garden tour" with "anywhere on earth, including but not limited to the back yard, the front yard, the mall, home depot, avalon carpet and tile, my old high school gym, target, and the new jersey state aquarium" and that's my life.

    they're cute, though, our boys. lucky for them...

  2. I don't want to be all, "Grass is greener", but man!, the grass at the White House is really green. I'm struggling with my backyard right now.

    I bet Jordan was just trying to make the Garden Tour a memorable experience for both of you. The last photo is priceless!

  3. Oh no.
    I scored tickets to that last year and took my oldest who was 5 at the time and not inclined to make a break for the fountains or streak across the South Lawn.
    I hope you guys can go again when he's more interested. It really is a cool event.
    Also, I get the "hands full" comment all the time and while I'm generally not bothered by random comments on my parenting, I always have to stifle a grimace with that one.

  4. Ha! Love that last picture. Shew, it can be hard work huh!

  5. I love the second picture... As for the third picture, I expect better grass than that on the White House lawn. Was that on the Mall?

  6. All I can say is you are a strong, brave woman... I simply do not have the wherewithal to taunt the jittery white house guards with my kids!

  7. Why not take him over to see Congress? He can show them how to get moving! /rant off

  8. Coleen - The cute is very, very helpful. You are right - it's hard to take a toddler anywhere except maybe the playground.

    HK - This is a true grass is greener case! Haha! It's really quite lovely.

    Dana - I would love to go when I can stroll and enjoy. It turned out to be a pretty afternoon, too. As for the hands full people, I just smiled at them. I'm sure they were all parents.

    Miranda - My goodness! He's gotten so much more fun but so much MORE work.

    vvk - You are right, my friend, the Mall. The White House has delicious green grass.

    Moomser - If I had more than one, I could not handle it. I was exhausted.

    lacochran - Maybe I will. I have a bone to pick with the family values assholes over there. There's no support for families in this country.

  9. LOVE IT! Jessica is 5 and that last picture describes her perfectly, even now!

  10. I still wonder how my mom made it through raising three boys without losing one of us somewhere. We were masters of the "two distract while the third dashes" maneuver. Nothing could stop us.


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