May 30, 2009

Mint Condition: A Trip to the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia


Since my kids are obsessed with coins, I thought that a trip to the U.S. Mint in downtown Philadelphia might be interesting for them.

I was wrong.

"This is boring," wailed Cortlen as we watched newly minted pennies move along a factory conveyor belt below us. "Are you going to buy me something from the gift shop?"

"I'm super hungry," cried Kellen. "And my belly hurts!" he cried, clutching his stomach. "Did you bring any snacks?"

"Are they going to give us money at the end of this tour?" Camber asked. After answering everyone in the negative, two out of my three mobile children collapsed on the ground. "My legs hurt!" whined my daughter. "I can't walk anymore! Can I ride in the stroller?"

Before disturbing my sleeping eight-month-old to make room for his six-year-old sister, I clarified my daughter's request.

"You really think it's a good idea to wake the baby up so you can get in there?" I asked.
"Yes," she said seriously.

Fortunately, the tour was self-guided. After politely "excusing" our way through a school group, we exited the building and made haste toward the car, which was parked at a parking meter ALL THE WAY across the street.

"A little further, a little further," I said encouragingly, as I lured my slouching brood across the crosswalk with a bag of licorice whips.

After much whining and gnashing of teeth over the hardships of field trips and cruelty of parents who refuse to buy bags of souvenir chocolate half dollars from the gift shop, everyone made it safely to the car and into their seats.

The stats:
Time it took us to get to and from the U.S. Mint in traffic: 2 hours

Total time spent inside the U.S. Mint including a trip to the bathroom: 12 minutes

Total distance walked: approximately 300 paces

Number of children who claim to have suffered permanent psychological damage from this experience: 3

Number of moms who secretly bought a bag of chocolate half dollars and ate them after her kids went to bed that night: 1

36 comments

TheQueen@TerrorsInTiaras said...

Your poor kids! I hope they will one day be able to look at money again without remembering this torture session.
I love that you bought chocolate on the sly. :)

Beate said...

300 paces? I don't know why you go out of your way to TORTURE them so! LOL I found your blog on a random clicking spree. I love :)

MAM said...

It doesn't seem unreasonable to me to inquire as to whether there might be "free samples" at the end of the tour. --Mary

Musings of the Mrs. said...

You really ARE the meanest Mom.

Heather Fretz said...

You are so stinkin hilarious. I love your persepective. You would like fallingoutofthewardrobe.blogspot.com

mindij said...

I would've bought myself 2 bags!

Young and Hip Mom/Wife said...

This sounds like how my father felt when he took us to the Grand Teton National Park. My brother and I looked at the Tetons and said "They are just mountains." At least you were able to reward yourself, good thinking!

Texan Mama @ Who Put Me In Charge said...

Dude, you need to live up to your title. You should have had the bag of chocolate coins in PLAIN SIGHT and eaten one any time a kid complains. Then said, "When the tour is over, the remaining coins are for you three to split. YOU determine how many coins I eat by how much complaining you do. ready set go. Oh, I'll take one more cause I need energy..."

And, in the end, you can always buy a spare bag for yourself anyway.

You're too nice! Be more Hitler-ish. ha ha

Janae said...

Holy Moly you make me laugh. I just have to say I am going to miss the daily laughter during the summer. Sadly I have to admit that I will probably be to busy keeping my kids entertained to read daily.

Connie said...

The Philadelphia Mint needs some interactive video games if they want to keep the interest of children. Sheesh, why can't they accomodate the moms and children who venture out for such a boring field trip?

And where are the "samples" at the end of the tour. When we went to Disneyland, we got a tortilla and some sourdough bread after a tour!

Ethan, Zach, and Emma's Mom said...

Did you have to pay to get into the museum? I hope not, because then it totally wasn't worth it. But I'd love that tour, it sounds like fun! (Just not with my six year old, thankyouverymuch.)

Amy said...

Hilarious! I have been reading your blog for a few weeks now, and I love the stories of your kiddos. They sound like quite the interesting array. I remember going there with a group when I was in sixth grade, and I thought it was incredibly boring. But I bought a bag of shredded money in the gift shop and thought it was awesome until it ended up in the deep recesses of my dresser drawer, never to be cared about again.

Amalie said...

hahaha! you really really are a mean mom. except I totally would have done the same thing

emily said...

Geez. HOw could you be so mean?

I went there when I was 10 and LOVED it. I wanted to buy that little bag of shredded money that add up to a million dollars. Was that still there?

pan x 8 said...

I hate it when I have this "self-proclaimed awesome" trip for the kids and we get there and all I see are those bored faces!!! I so feel you and I've done the same treat-buying for myself as well...

Post-it Note said...

WOW.

You are a credit to your race. My kids would be dead. Or worse, having completed the tour! Maybe I will change my mind when my kids are that old.

-Paige

hansenfive said...

that's so stinkin funny. kids are crazy...my daughter always wants to stay up late because she isn't tired...i say no, then we get to her bed and she says she can't say her prayers because she's too tired.

Skubaliscious said...

Glad I'm not the only one whose daughters suffer from constantly tired and incapacitated legs.

Country Mouse said...

Oh my gosh! Just love your blog! It's so nice to know if I need a good laugh I just need to read your blog!

Heartsabustin said...

Gosh, that sounds like my kids. "I don't wanna see the alligators, I wanna go to the zoooooooo (Whines)" Too funny.

Chens said...

Hi -- If you check this today (Sunday) I am wondering if you have the phone number for Bonnie Loves Pictures. She is supposed to come to our house tonight but my son is vomiting! I have been e-mailing her all day -- no response. We live in DC so I am really, really hoping to catch her before she leaves. My e-mail address is annandvictor@gmail.com. If you can help -- that would be great! Thanks!

Renny said...

Haha! I remember so many family trips as children that I didn't want to enjoy. Funny how we do that as kids. Your kids will look back on this fondly, remembering yet another time when they drove their mother crazy together :)

Cosette said...

The husband is in the Tabernacle Choir, and when I went with him on a tour to Phil. we tried to go to the Mint. You had to sign up in advance so they turned us away. We cried in 4 part harmony.

Jennifer said...

I would've let them see the candy being bought and told them they weren't getting any. :)

Jeannie said...

I think you're one of my new favorite bloggers!

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

I wonder why moms keep doing this to ourselves ... planning "fun" outings that end in pain and suffering.

I think it's funny that I'll go to all the trouble to plan these trips and outings because I don't have the patience to sit on the floor with them and just play duck duck goose for 30 minutes, which would probably make them way happier... especially if I threw in a surprise bag of chocolate money.

Emily's Bloggin' Out!!!! said...

The numbers just don't add up right. But atleast you snacthed up those gold coins lol...and oddly enough the ad by google in your side bar is for gold coins...lol

Kayleen said...

Yes, my 5-year-old thinks that she just HAS to ride in the baby's stroller after taking 5 grueling steps on any outing. She's the size of an 8 year old. People look at her as if she's "special" especially when the riding is accompanied by a tantrum.

Note to self: my kids would not do well at the U.S Mint. Thanks for the tip.

Sarah's blog... and I guess our newlywed blog that I update like twice a year. said...

This post made my day.

Elisa said...

you know what would be interesting? meeting for coffee!! I'm only about 2 hours away from Philly! And I certainly can't live the US without meeting you :-) (scared yet?)

Suzanne said...

Good for you buying your own chocolate!! That's my favorite part.

Michelle said...

My husband and I visited Philly a couple of weeks ago and learned, upon arriving at the Mint, that we couldn't come in with a camera or a cell phone with a camera and we couldn't check them. We decided to take turns watching the contraband outside. I went into the Mint first and completed the tour at a slight trot, while looking down at the coin-producing machines. It was BORING, any way. My husband returned the favor and was equally as fast. You didn't miss much.

Audra said...

I love that you bought and ate the chocolate! You rock!

lizcooper said...

I don't think I would have eaten them in secret...it would have been a public award for enduring 3 whining children, and then maybe next time they wouldn't be so whiny ;-)

Mommasita said...

Too bad for the kids, maybe when they are older?
I *LOVE* the Philadelphia mint, even visited as a grown up. Still have the souvenir coin that you can make in the lobby. OK, it's in the junk drawer but I do still have it!

E.m.K. said...

I just found your blog for the first time yesterday, and for some reason your final comment about covertly buying the chocolate seems one of your funniest bits so far. Thank you!