The Apple Doesn’t Drive Far From The Tree

, , , , , , | Right | January 8, 2021

My partner and I stop at a motor museum on our way back from our holidays. The museum is a smaller, countryside one, where the vehicles aren’t fully barred off but staged in scenes with props.

Shortly after we arrive, a family starts following us through the museum. The kids seem disinterested, but no big deal; it’s not exactly thrilling for a group of five kids that seem about three to thirteen years old.

Then, we notice that the two older girls are touching the cars — the multi-million-pound, carefully preserved vintage cars.

Still, no big deal. Kids touch stuff; they like to push boundaries. We figure the parents will say something. But they don’t. Instead, the mum joins in, prodding and poking this and that. The dad is ignoring them all and racing ahead like he’s trying to escape.

Then, the kids start opening doors, climbing inside the cars, reaching in, and pulling out the historic props. My partner and I are exchanging incredulous looks, but being British, we’re both too awkward to say anything to them — the same as everyone else. Plus, I haven’t noticed any super obvious “Do Not Touch” signs yet, so I think, “Maybe they don’t know they aren’t meant to touch them.”

Then, one of the girls grabs an antique windscreen wiper and starts pulling it up and down. The toddler is now pounding his fist on the cars. The parents don’t bat an eye. In fact, the mum starts fiddling with a bike.

We just look at each other in disbelief. One of the kids has literally been leaning on a “Please do not touch the vehicles!” sign on top of an antique bike seat.

My partner and I look at each other, and then we hear a clink. We turn around and the father is desperately trying to re-attach a headlight to the kind of car you see billionaires driving in black and white movies. The mum is chastising the toddler, who looks utterly perplexed, and snapping at the older girls for touching things.

The dad gets the headlight to stay and they hastily rush off. We start looking for a member of the museum staff. Before they leave, we see all the kids climb inside an antique toy car and try to “make it go.”

We don’t catch a member of staff until after they have left, and I feel a little bad for not speaking up as I feel other visitors would’ve backed us up. But seriously, if you can’t behave inside a museum, how do you expect your kids to know what to do?

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