Can you believe this?
Last week I had a play date at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. This wasn’t such a great idea. I know my limits & I know my kids & I had a feeling this sort of place would not make for a good play date right now, especially during a holiday week. I thought maybe I was being too much of a scaredy cat and that I should suck it up and take a chance. Well, it didn’t go well. Here’s what happened.
We met at the MET. The mom had her giant toddler in an Ergo baby carrier. If I tried to put my three and a half year old in one of those he’d freak out, but hey, more power to her. She only has one kid and I wondered if she was going to keep him in the carrier the entire time. I’ve got two kids and they like to run so I was terrified of this art museum play date. I tried to get out of it by suggesting we take a stroll through Manhattan instead and go into the park, but she was on a mission. I then suggested the Central Park Zoo, but she said she wanted her kid to see art. That’s when I knew we were all in for it.
I asked her if she was going to remove her son from the carrier or at least put the carrier on her back so the kid could look around. She said he liked being close to her. The kid was pretty much staring at her face, it was weird. My kids were excited; they loved the building and being around so many people. This is what I expected, but the mom was becoming frustrated with my kids because they weren’t focusing while she was rambling on and on about the paintings. I knew this was going to happen and I started to feel insecure. I considered leaving, but decided I’d stay just a little bit longer. Her kid started jumping in the carrier, trying to break free. She took him out and then put him on a leash. My kids were confused and asked her if he was a dog. It was awkward.
She placed her kid in front of a Morris Louis painting and asked him how he felt about it. He said he didn’t like it. She scolded him and said “We never say that, we always talk about what we see, we don’t just say we like or dislike something, so tell me, how do you feel when you look at this painting?”
My kids were running around chasing each other at this point and I knew it was time for me to go. I was honest with her and just said I thought I had reached my breaking point and maybe we’d try again another day. I told the kids that if they listening and walked with me nicely they could have a treat once we got to the park. We got out of there and I finally felt like I could breathe again. I gave them each a ziplock bag of chocolate chip cookies that I had packed. We enjoyed the rest of the afternoon exploring the city.
The mom texted me later that evening saying her kid got so much out of that museum visit and they stayed for another hour. She said he was talking all afternoon about the paintings and how they made him feel. She also told me I made a big mistake by not “engaging my boys” and then went on to tell me that bribing them with treats isn’t really the greatest idea. I told her we had a nice afternoon running in the park, snacking and looking at skyscrapers.