My Fresh Hell
Life in Scribbletown.

Dusty Does Art

Thursday is the day of the week that I drive 90 minutes round trip to pick Dusty up from preschool and bring her home. It requires that I drive, during rush hour, down I-95 (truck nightmare from hell) and back up I-64 (constantly being worked on and filled with suburbanites fleeing the city in their suburban assault vehicles while having scintillating conversations via cell phone and sipping on their third Starbucks product of the day).

Last Thursday, I had to go to the credit union and take money out of savings to rescue our checking account and thought, I’ll pick Dusty up early and take her to the museum, which we pass every week on our way home. Dusty loves her some art museum. Gosh, my children are so cultured! Actually, what she likes the most isn’t so much the objets d’art but the cushy benches and the gift shop.

The last time my husband took her he was disappointed. He actually thought she’d be staring up at Renaissance paintings of Mary and her kid or taking in the John Singer Sargeant portrait of some Lady of Leisure and having some heavy conversation about it, rather than running from bench to bench saying, “My whole body can lay on this whole bench! Look how big I am!” while the ancient guards blink their eyes at her whirling dervishness. He thought she’d be capable of Appreciating Art. Ms. Masters in Elementary Education had to explain that it’s enough at this age that she WANTS to go to the museum. She’ll soak up a little art along the way. We’re just laying the groundwork here. Stand back and nobody gets hurt.

So, Dusty and I visited the 16th century knight and horse in armor, the Art Deco furniture collection, the Roman mosaic floor tiles, and then went to Mecca: the gift shop. Dusty was wearing one of her patented “layered” looks that allows her to wear summer clothes in February: a striped long sleeve shirt of many fruity colors under her short sleeved rainbow-striped dress with black and white striped Pippi Longstockings tights. This ensemble was finished off with her princess kitten tennis shoes, her faux cheetah coat and a black hat with cat ears and embroidered cat eyes.

Some clueless West End matron in the gift shop looked patronizingly down at Dusty and said in a high-pitched baby voice, “Oooh, I just love your hat! ‘Cats’, right?” Meaning the long-running Broadway musical, of which Dusty knows nothing. I looked at the woman and said, “No, Target.” She twittered at this and flapped away leaving Dusty and I free to make our meager purchases. Because you can’t go to the gift shop and not buy anything. She picked out a little thumbprint art kit ($7) and got Red a tactile book with monsters ($6) in it.

On our way home, Dusty and I discussed (or rather, she expostulated and I agreed with each point) the differences between the city and the country. “There aren’t too many trees in the city. Only the country has forests. The city has just works [as in places of business] and places and stores and banks and banks and banks.”

Today, because it’s snowing – just enough to be annoying but not enough to keep us home – I’ll pick her up early and bring her to my office for a bit before we go home. Dusty loves to visit my office because it has everything a kid of four could ever want: toilets that don’t flush loud, a kitchen, a water cooler with triangle cups, paper, highlighters, scissors, pens, stairs, and a big (“Your chair is hooooge, Mommy!”) swiveling chair, and….snacks!

On an entirely different note, here’s a list of things that make Red laugh:
-tongues sticking out
-Fox Mulder Action Figure

Also, my dear sister has added my reading list to this journal (see: Reading link to the right). I’m on book #8 for the year. You are so impressed, aren’t you?


9:33 a.m. ::
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