July 02, 2012

Take that, Pinterest

Sometimes, after I ignore my kids for four days while painting Silas' room and refinishing his furniture, I feel like a bad mom. When every toy they own has been sitting on their floor for four days, or scattered down the hallway, or hiding in our sheets (with Mr. Potato Head's left arm burrowed into my neck for one entire night) - I sometimes feel slightly inadequate. When we eat out for four days running because in all my sanding and taping, I didn't think about feeding my offspring until two minutes before suppertime - I sometimes feel like a loser. When my kids have worn nothing but underwear for four days (and there aren't four pairs of changed underwear in the wash) - I sometimes feel slightly under par.

But when I think of something TOTALLY AWESOME (and probably not entirely original, but throw me a bone here) like an art museum scavenger hunt, I suddenly forget the ineptitude of the previous four days and give myself a 1st prize ribbon for best mom ever.

So Sunday we got the kids dressed (!!!!), went to church, then headed out to walk around the multiple (free!) art museums Fort Worth has to offer (all within a short walking distance of each other).

I drew this fantastic (<-- please read with sarcasm) chart while in the car on a scratch notepad. Then, with much flourish and drama, I told them their mission was to find everything on the chart to win a SECRET PRIZE.

It was like I was holding out catnip to The Spawn of Satan - the kids wanted to hold the list. Stroke the list. Practice naming off the pictures on the list. Role play their reactions to finding something on the list. Fight over who got to hold the list. (Whereupon I tore it in half - one piece for each sniveling child.)

And other than numerous security guards following us from room to room, we had a grand old time. Working together, the kids brought their lists to Rob for a hole punch (using his fancy schmancy car key - setting young kids loose with a pencil in a museum might be a train wreck, just FYI). Once we completed one museum, the kids were game for another because they still hadn't found a portrait of someone smiling. Greatness.

Rob and I got Picasso, Michelangelo, and Monet in relative peace; the kids got fun exposure to art and Sonic slushes on the way home (at half price) as their secret prize.

(Side note: We did entertain many other visitors with one instance where the kids started cracking up and loudly asked, "Mama! Why is no one wearing PANTIES??? Where are their panties? Did they take them off? Why is that fairy boy in the sky not wearing any undies? They're ALL NAKED!!!")

In case you want to feel like an A+ mom or dad to make up for lame parenting during renovation projects, here's a list of ideas to write (or draw, if your kids can't read) for an art museum scavenger hunt:

-a boat
-a flower
-a dog
-some fruit
-a building
-a cloud
-a tree
-a window
-a tree
-a fancy dress
-a child
-someone with long hair
-someone with short hair
-someone happy
-someone sad/mad
-someone serious/thoughtful

And for older kids, you could always throw in deeper elements of:
-a piece that makes you feel happy
-a piece that makes you feel lonely
-a piece that amazes you
-a piece that is super realistic
-a piece that uses mostly shapes
-a piece you think you could probably paint/sculpt yourself!

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