Festibond 2011 – My Date with Hayley

When Hayley and I were deciding on what to do for our Festibond date together, I suggested going to the Children’s Museum in Portland. We let our annual membership expire a couple years ago, and Hayley has missed going. Of course when I made the suggestion and told her about some special activities going on there that day, she was ecstatic about it.

I really enjoyed talking with Hayley on the drive to Portland and hearing her perspectives and opinions about various subjects and issues. I am constantly impressed with her understanding and interpretation of complex concepts, and her memory is amazing. It is fun to debate with her; and she often challenges my own way of thinking. She is so much fun to hang out with!

My little Hayley and me

When we arrived at the children’s museum, Hayley chose to go down to the theater area which included a stage, costumes, puppet theater, and puppets. She was a little shy about putting on a puppet show by herself in front of strangers, but she quickly got over it and put on an enthusiastic performance. I then joined in with her, and we had a good time doing improv with various puppet characters.

Hayley's puppet show

One of Hayley’s favorite parts of the children’s museum is the pretend town. She concocted a story that connected working as a fire fighter, getting gasoline in a car, fishing on a lobster boat, shopping at a market, collecting eggs at a farm, and working as a veterinarian all together. I enjoyed playing with her and observing the way she combined her imagination with her understanding of reality.

Hayley the fire fighter

Hayley signed up for an activity which involved making homemade peppermint stick ice cream. She was fascinated by the process and eagerly answered questions that Jamie, the museum employee running the demonstration, asked the children in the group. The kids each took turns smashing the peppermint candies that were to go into the ice cream with a large mallet. During the few minutes it took for the ice cream to be ready to eat, they drew pictures of their favorite flavors.

Hayley vigorously crushes peppermint candies.
Hayley liked the ice cream she helped make.

We both enjoyed an exhibit that explores the science of motion. It offers opportunities to experiment with momentum, friction, and energy and to make and test hypotheses. I asked if she wanted to go to the tidepool touch tank to touch and observe marine creatures and learn about their adaptions. She declined, telling me that it wasn’t that awesome compared to the New England Aquarium to which have an annual membership.

Hayley spent a lot of time in an area dedicated to the process of sustainable forestry. She later told me this was her favorite part of our visit, especially climbing in the treehouse. I told her I didn’t think it looked that exciting, to which she smartly replied “You can’t say that because you never tried it.” She had a good point. :-)

We attended a final activity which involved learning about the science of snowflakes and included a memory game and making snowflakes out of paper. Hayey was proud of her snowflake with intricate cuts and designs.

Hayley enjoyed the snowflake activity.
Hayley's finished snowflake

Because Hayley loves to bake, we decided to end our date baking cookies from recipe that she has been wanting to try from a cookie magazine she had recently purchased. She put on the apron she ordered through her art class on which there is a picture she drew of me with a sheet of cookies and Brent with his iPad. I really enjoyed (as I always do) baking with Hayley. I loved seeing her figure out the ingredients and measurements, and watching her excitement with each step of the process. I could see why she chose this particular recipe because of the complexity of rolling out the dough, the ingredients (she LOVES white chocolate), and the artistic finish of decorating the cookies.

Hayley's tongue helps her concentration.
Hayley spreads melted chocolate on the cookies.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time spent with Hayley. She is always so happy, thoughtful, and appreciative. Her enthusiasm is always contagious!

Our cookies turned out pretty and delicious!

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