Thursday, January 28, 2010

Oh Sanity? Where For Art My Sanity?

I signed the Lady up for an art class one day a week at the local Children's Museum. This is a mommy and me type class, so I have to be hands on when we are creating.

All the Lady wants to do is paint. There is an easel set up in the middle of the classroom and she is all over it. In the car on the way there she tells me that she wants to paint, that it is her "turn to paint, all by myself," and that she wants the entire spectrum of colors at her disposal.

The class is structured a bit differently though, there are three specific crafts per class that focus on a main theme. The teacher seems a bit off to me, I mean I am all for explaining Chinese New Year, but the Lady has no interest in what each color symbolizes on the Dragon Masks. I mean this is a class for 2-4 year-olds, and almost all of the kids in the class are only 2. I think she kind of over prepares, these kids are not interested in the cultural colors of the Chinese.

All the Lady cares about is that there is glue and that the markers are permanent. (I have had to start telling her that the markers at the art class are permanent, because she is refusing to color with her own washable markers and insists on trying to get at and use my extensive Sharpie marker collection.)

Anyway, this weeks lesson was a little less heavy handed and focused mainly on snow. The Lady spent the first fifteen minutes of the class painting on the easel, sprinkling white glitter over a piece of cardboard and washing her hands over and over.

Then she had no interest in the closing circle time and instead chose to revisit the easel and work her magic. I have to say, she does enjoy the painting and I would rather her get the floor and easel in the classroom dirty than the floors in my house (although, God knows they need to be scrubbed!) She also tried to leave the classroom on multiple occasions, because she could hear things going on outside of the room and since we have been to the museum before, she felt like she was missing out on "pushing the buttons" on one of the exhibits.

So, I had the unruly child that day.

I hate being in the situation where my kid is the one who is getting negative attention. Not to mention that this is another one of those situations, where there are other moms in the room, but nobody talks to each other. I tried to break the ice last week with another mom, who had a six-week old with her. We talked briefly about how old our infants were and what the age difference was between them and the older kids. That is it. Not that I wanted to share any personal information about raising two kids, but you would think that we might have shared a polite nod this week. Not so much.

I was kind of happy when class ended. The Lady however, did not want to leave the museum. I mean, I guess it isn't possible to have a separate entrance for this art class that doesn't go through the main area of the museum. Normally, I wouldn't have minded if we stayed and hung out a while, but I had to pick up the little Lady and in all honesty, sometimes they keep that place so hot all I want to do is get out of there.

The Lady, wanted nothing to do with leaving, she made a bee-line for an exhibit, took off running and forced me to lumber after her in an attempt to convince her to leave. At one point, already in her pink coat and hat, she wedged herself between an exhibit, a little girl and a railing, and started coughing directly onto the glass enclosure. Can you say mortified?

I could see the little girl's mom glaring at me, like I was some sort of monster for bringing my kid with a cough to a public place and then allowing her to cough directly onto a shared surface, but what could I do? I kept telling her to cover her mouth, we have been practicing coughing into her elbow, but the best she can do is a half-assed attempt at coughing into her wrist or not covering her mouth at all.

I know I would have been grossed out and annoyed if it was someone else's kid doing the same thing, so I tried to carefully extricate the Lady from between the railing, taking extra caution to avoid her kicking the little girl in the head, while at the same time trying to cover her mouth with my hand and avoid the dreaded full-body limp + the deadly head throwback move that can occasionally crop up in these circumstances.

After that I think I need a little art therapy.

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