Welcome to my Weblog!
Welcome to 1 Mother 2 Another! To read my most recent weblog entries, scroll down. To read entries from one category, click the links at right. To read my journey from the beginning, click here. To find out more about me, click here.
Top 5s
Short on time? Click here to go to my Top 5s Page - links to my top five recommendations in every category from Breastfeeding Sites to Urban Living Solutions.

Girl Goes to the Museum

I’ve always been a big Egyptology buff, and I’m lucky that I can indulge my fetish at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; their collection is amazing and I’ll happily walk through it and lecture (completely incorrectly, I’m sure, but my friends know even less than I do) for hours.

The Met recently had a lovely exhibit come through on Queen Hatshepsut, and when I saw the ads early this spring my pulse quickened and I made a mental note in my daytimer not to miss it.

Until reality came back, and I realized oh, yes, I have a kid now.

Unfortunately for Maddie, I really like Egyptology, so in the last days of the exhibit the Madster and I carefully packed a diaper bag and hopped into the car. I spent the drive excitedly talking about the 18th Dynasty and politics of the day; Maddie spent the drive excitedly talking about her plastic keys.

Truth be told, the fantastic museums are one of the best perks of having a kid in New York and I was jazzed to have an excuse to introduce Maddie to one of the best in the world. I didn’t have any unrealistic expectations. I knew she’d only have so long before she started the toddler whine that’s the equivalent of, “I’m booooorreeeed!”, followed by the restless tossing about in her stroller, followed by the cry of, “Mommy!!!! Why aren’t you letting me do what I want????”

But I figured a couple hours would give me enough time to whiz through the Egyptian exhibit, race past a few choice permanent collections, inhale a snack, and be home for dinner.

The verdict?

Maddie loved it.

In order to get to the Hatshepsut exhibit we had to walk down the corridor of 19th Century European Collection and Maddie’s eyes were as big as saucers. Strolling past sculptures like Diana, and Rodin’s Hand of God, Madeleine didn’t even reach out a finger. Was she properly impressed by the mastery and pricelessness of what she saw? Nah. But something about all the white shiny marble captured her, and that was a good start.

The Egyptian exhibit was all dimly-lit rooms and hushed tones and I’m proud to say Maddie didn’t cry once. She waited patiently through my circling various statues and sarcophagi and only once tried to start up a conversation with the woman standing next to her. Apparently the woman was not impressed with Maddie’s knowledge of 18th Dynasty family politics (she was listening in the car after all!) and moved on quickly. I, however, was proud of her polite and quiet voice and she didn’t speak up for the rest of the exhibit after I explained this was a quiet place.

I think it was my lecture that did it; maybe it was the Cheerios I was constantly streaming her way.

Regardless, we got through the special exhibit unscathed and with nary a dirty look. Emboldened, I headed back to the European collection to show Maddie a few paintings. One of her favorite books is You Can’t Take A Balloon Into the Metropolitan Museum  and it’s filled with pictures of actual works of art from the Met. I was interested to see if she made a connection.

As we made our way towards one of the designated paintings, we wandered through the Monet and Van Gogh rooms. One of the highlights of the visit for me – Madeleine sitting parked in between two Van Goghs, studying them gravely. After a few moments of silence, she began looking from one painting to the other. “Gah!” She said definitively, pointing at one piece. “A Bah!” she then declared, stabbing at the other. Two art students behind us gasped in awe. I smiled serenely and moved on. No need to tell them she wasn’t commenting on brush stroke, simply noticing that one painting had a flower and another had a tree . . .

museum1.jpgOur final stop was at Seurat’s Circus Sideshow, featured in Maddie’s book. She frowned at it, as if thinking, “I know I know you from somewhere . . .” Then some sort of connection was made in her mind and she turned to me and said with a huge grin, “Buh!!”

“Yes, that’s right,” I said. “That’s in your book!” Satisfied, she sat back.

Knowing I’d pushed my luck about all I could, we strolled to the Atrium to sit for a well-earned snack. If there was any rule about not eating in the atrium, not one security guard said anything. I guess Cheerios and peaches aren’t too harmful. As we sat and she replenished her strength for the long ride home, Maddie looked happily about, exclaiming over and over at the three bears in statue in front of her until she happened to look up. Her eyes lit up in recognition and she pointed high up and said, “Aih!”

museum2.jpgOur church has a sculpture of an angel that’s actually a reproduction; the original we’ve got on permanent loan to the Met. We’d been dining right beneath it and Madeleine immediately recognized it; no surprise, since she points at it and talks incessantly to it every Sunday. Mostly during the sermon.

Look, I’m not going to pretend that my child’s some sort of art genius and understood everything she saw. But she lingers on the page in her book that features the painting she saw, exclaiming at it over and over again. And the next Sunday when she saw the angel in church she smiled at it and turned to me in collusion, like, “We’ve seen that before, haven’t we?” Maddie’s starting to see things out of context and make a connection, and recognizimg the pure beauty of something, she joyfully acknowledges that it makes her happy.

And isn’t that what art’s about?


Post a Comment

House Rules

Here are the rules for posting comments on 1mother2another.com. Posting a comment that violates these rules will result in the comment’s deletion, and you’ll probably be banned from commenting in the future.

1) Register first. If you would like to post a comment, you must create an account with us. Check out the home page to do so.

2) Constructive comments only. If you cannot maintain a respectful tone in your posting, even in disagreement, your comment will be deleted. We’re all trying to find our way in this thing and are struggling to be the best moms we can. If you disagree with something I say, feel free to politely email me. If you disagree with another reader’s posting, you’re welcome to kindly post in reply. Vitriolic diatribes will be deleted. This site is about encouraging and supporting, not tearing down and chastising.

3) Questions welcomed. If an entry raises a question, you’re welcome to email me directly or post it. Keep in mind that postings will result in public replies by strangers and not just me.

4) Don’t steal. All original writings contained within this website are under copyright protection. If you link to us, please credit us as your source and provide a link back to our website. If you're interested in using an excerpt in published material, please contact us.

5) Share your photos! We'd love to have photos from our registered readers to show on our home page under "Maddie's friends". Email us a jpeg of your little one's best photo to photos@1mother2another.com. Please, no photos from professional photographers which fall under copyright protection.