What a day. I chaperoned Chloe’s class trip to the museum – and I now have a much greater appreciation for teachers of young children – the crap they must deal with on a daily basis is astounding. This is mostly because kids do stupid things.
The visit itself was a little strange – the museum suffers from a bit of an identity crisis. Part art gallery, part science museum, we spent the first part of the morning in a room filled with ancient Greek artifacts while the docent talked to the kids about the differences between mammals, birds and reptiles. This part of the tour culminated in the kids making turtles out of clay. What ancient Greek artifacts and turtles have to do with one another is beyond me. Why the docent couldn’t talk to the kids about the cool Greek stuff was also beyond me.
The second part of the visit was a whirlwind tour through “Asia,” which for the most part involved talking about Tibet, yaks and the symbolism of Buddha hand gestures. One child made it very clear that he wasn’t going to pray to Buddha. You know what’s next. Kid goes home, having misinterpreted the situation, and tells his parents that the museum guide was proselytizing the children about religion. Lawsuit ensues.
By the time the docent showed the class the 1400-year old sandstone wheel of law from I forget which country, the kids were antsy. They wanted to eat. The cafeteria was claustrophobic and NOISY! The acoustics were torture. My head is starting to pound just at the memory of that place.
After lunch we had over an hour (!!!) to discover the museum in our small groups – I was responsible for 5 kids. This is where the visit started to head south. I must say, the day started out all warm and fuzzy – with Chloe proudly hugging me and holding my hand for the first half of the excursion. She was possessive – in a way that warmed the cockles of my heart. That affection, however, didn’t last. When she found out that I had allowed another group to join us in our exploration, she had a hissy fit. She wasn’t willing to share me any more than she had to – should I have been flattered? Chloe tried to be discreet about her disappointment, but she is not good at discreet. And after a couple of hours of thinking that the bottle-of-aspirin headache was worth the mother-daughter bonding, I was wondering why I had bothered to come in the first place. Oh well – I tried. And I might even try again some day – in the surely naive hope that once she gets older, her fits will be reserved for things that really matter.