A memorable day for me, regarding eating with kids at a museum...
I take our kids on an annual sculpture tour and we end up at the MFA
sculpture garden for lunch and then a treasure hunt within the sculpture
garden. One day on our trip it was raining and eating outside was
impossible. The sculpture garden adjoins the museum school for adults.
I attend classes there and know the guards. I know how they feel about
having kids in there. Kids are NOT welcomed! In fact, to even use the
bathroom with kids, we have to take them 5 at a time with an adult.
Rules. The guards were a bit leery of letting us eat in the museum
school, but what choice did they have, or else look SO cold hearted.
They gave me a lecture about keeping them quiet, lining them up against
the wall in an upstairs hallway to eat, and making sure that we really
CLEANED UP. I promised we would do all of the above and filed my little
crumudgeons into the upstairs hallway to eat almost in silence so as not
to disturb classes. Every kid was so good. I had them throw away their
trash and come and sit at my feet while I quietly told them what we
would do next. There was a mom on the trip who was quite the society
type. Her daughter was sitting at my feet. I had a coke in my hands
and was trying to shuffle papers and lost track of the angle of my coke
can and accidentally dumped a bunch of coke right on this poor little
girl's head and all over the floor. Her mom looked horrified, as did
the girl, and I. The kids started laughing because here I was, the
teacher, having given them all explicit instructions on behavior and
cleanliness, and here I was dumping my coke all over the place. It was
really funny, and I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. Mostly because
of who this kid was and her lofty mom watching, the fact that I was
going to have to go beg for a mop or paper towels or something to clean
it up, etc. I kid the girl to this day about it, and she laughs now.
I'll never forget the look on her mom's face. I mean, I didn't TRY to
do it! But I couldn't have picked a better target, hee hee. This same
mom asked me to hand paint this child's trunk for her summercamp. I
suggested that I work with the girl and help her do her own, as she is
pretty talented. The look on mom's face at the prospect of letting her
3rd grade child paint her own camp trunk...Ohhhhnoooo....it wouldn't be
like all the others....you should see how beautiful they all are....GIVE
ME A BREAK! Poor kid really wanted to paint her own trunk, too! Oh
well...I'm sure someone painted her a beautiful little trunk, but if I
had had anything to do with it, we would have done it together. End of