Museums are really for nine year old boys, but not for me

Justine O'mahony

ISAMPLED a little bit of history and culture over Easter Most unexpected I have to say. The Nine Year old won two bus tickets to Dublin in his school raffle and was ecstatic.

I was volunteered as his travel companion (we tossed - I lost!) and a trip to the zoo was suggested. No he wasn't interested. A show then maybe? A very definite no, he said. "I don't suppose we could go on a little shopping spree?" I asked hopefully, to which he didn't even bother to reply.

No. He wanted to go to the National History Museum, a proposal which shamed me slightly as really we should have brought him before now. If you're a good parent, you're supposed to do things like that with your kids aren't you? - bring them to museums and art galleries, go nature walks and picnics. We are far more likely to bring them to Mcdonalds and the cinema and stop off for a pint on the way home while they play their nintendos.

But museums aren't really my thing. I appreciate art and history but that doesn't mean I want to gaze at it all day. Yes maybe I'm a philistine but at least I'm an honest one. Every so often I'll make a half hearted effort to be a bit more cultured and suggest a visit to the opera but truth be told I'd be far happier on the couch watching Homeland.

So the trip to Dublin was organised. I suggested we bring his best buddy so at least that way he'd have someone to appreciate the finer points of the bronze age. We didn't get off to an auspicious start. I lost the bus tickets which meant I had to fork out €42 to Bus Eireann for three seats on a smelly bus. I was pretty browned off.

Three long hours later, having stopped in every one horse town along the way, we arrived in the Big Smoke. Having fed them chocolate on the way up they were suitably high and I managed to get them to make a detour into Brown Thomas cosmetic department on the way to the museum. Two lipsticks and a spritz of Tom Ford later we were on Kildare Street looking for the museum.

We managed to walk up and down Kildare Street twice and pass the museum by before we actually found it. When we finally got inside the boys were suitably impressed. They grabbed a couple of guides and we started to follow the map. Half way through the bronze age, I was trying to figure out a way to sneak off for a coffee. If you've seen one ancient dagger you've seen them all! But the boys were fascinated and any hope I had of bypassing a few sections was quickly extinguished.

Two hours later we emerged into a Dublin shower, the boys full of chat about Egyptian Mummies and High Kings. As we stood on the pavement contemplating a restorative glass of wine (for me, I'm not that liberal) the nine year old turned to me and said, "can we go to Mcdonalds now?"

That's my boy! All is not lost!

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