I am here to declare that a picture may be worth 1000 words.....but it doesn't tell the whole story! Over the weekend, I took my youngest three to an art museum while their older sisters were in Japanese school. It started out beautifully with three happy children!
Then, after entering the museum, I took a picture of the children in front of a beautiful light projector type art.
Unfortunately, the flash went off which not only ruined the shot but brought the museum docent up the stairs to give a 10 minute lecture about not using flash photography (in my defense, the only thing behind the children was a wall...not actual artwork) This was followed by another 10 minutes of me trying to figure out how to turn off the flash on our new camera. Where were my older girls when I needed them!?! We were additionally told by the docent to go to the second floor because it would be great for the children.
As soon as we stepped off of the elevator we were surrounded by beautiful but delicate and detailed African wooden sculptures with no protective barriers. They were down on the floor like wonderful wooden toys just waiting to be played with. Eleanor was delighted. I was panicked! "Don't touch, don't touch!...Look with your eyes!" I kept hearing myself say. Yuck! What awful words to say to a two year old who is so excited and eager to touch and learn.
We continued down a long hallway that had a glass balcony. I am horribly afraid of heights and despite my brain registering that it was okay for the children to lean on and press their hands on the glass, I just couldn't take it. Mean mom strikes again...no touching and now, no balcony.
We did find a few interesting pieces of artwork. There were some paintings with such thick and rough paint that it was kind of 3-D (I'm sure there's a name for that style but just ask Lauren, I am artistically illiterate!) Anyway, Eleanor announced that the thick painted paintings were "messy" and made a yucky face. She then spotted a life sized human female sculpture. It was largely painted white but had blue paint on the buttocks down to the back of the thigh. Eleanor pointed and announced loudly, "POOP! YUCK! You wash!"
She was fascinated by the sculpture and didn't want to leave. Can you tell that she is in the potty training phase? The fact that we eventually had to leave the pooping sculpture, combined with the fact that she was growing weary of not being able to touch anything, caused Eleanor to begin to fall apart. Unfortunately for all of the quiet and respectable museum patrons, Eleanor has a voice that carries for miles.
Another visit from the docent...I am quickly pondering that turning Eleanor off would prove to be much more difficult than turning off the camera flash. Amidst protesting shrieks, I can hear bits and pieces of the docent saying, "...she must be the baby....she must be spoiled....my child would never have been allowed...." Just then I spotted the drinking fountains and said with enthusiasm, "Look Eleanor! Water fountains!" Eleanor's howling stopped briefly while she considered her options. This gave me enough time to quickly get us out of there. While the children were getting a drink, I remembered something I had seen when we first arrived.
There was a large outdoor waterfall that was connected to a very empty courtyard. It seemed like the perfect place for the children to run around and burn off some energy. I was still hoping to see the rest of the museum in order to get my money's worth for the admission fee. I discussed this insane way of thinking with my husband later that evening. Why is it that myself and many other parents feel compelled to make themselves miserable with the idea of getting their money's worth? Especially when you know that the odds are heavily stacked against you ever being able to see or appreciate anything...and even if you did, everyone is sure to be insane by the end of it all!
So, here is the attempt to salvage our museum adventure:
So far so good...
Can you guess what happened next?
Of course...now we have an injury to add to the woes. (By the way, Eleanor loves this pic of her boo boo!)
So, I decided that we should go back inside the museum and get something to eat to help everyone feel better. We went into the cafe where we were told that the two items that are made "in house" were the scones and hand pies. They were a whopping $4 a piece, but I was desperate. I decided to get one of each and we would share to keep costs down. The cashier informed us that only one hand pie was left and that we were lucky. However, before we could purchase them, the baker came out of the back and said that he had a whole new bunch of warm hand pies. YUM! Eleanor started to take off so I quickly made my purchase and headed for the tables. I then realized that the cashier gave me the one and only cold hand pie! Grrrr!
We settle in to enjoy our snack. The children are happy once again and I'm thinking that we just might salvage our outing. I look over at Eleanor just as she takes a big bite of the hand pie and declares, "I no like it!!" and throws the hand pie to the floor. Robertson, Amelia, and I all watch in horror as our delicious and expensive hand pie went skidding across the floor, spilling it's gooey contents along the way.
And, so we left. Which is what we should have done long before. How long do you all think it took for Eleanor to fall asleep in the car? About three minutes after this picture was taken by Amelia. The best part of it all? I left feeling very frustrated at how the day had turned out. After writing the blog, I realized that these are funny memories that I will savor....I never was much for quiet and boring anyway!