In my never-ending quest to win the Worst Mother in the Universe, Hands-Down (I hope my trophy comes with Hands-Down on it) I took the kids to LA on New Year’s Day to LACMA. Which is the LA County Museum of Art.

My MIL used to lament how none of the Dilloway girls had any artistic talent. Then my artistic genetics came into the picture. Both my girls love making art.

I *was* an art major, so it’s only natural that I love going to art museums and stuff like that. I love standing in front of art and telling the kids about it and asking them what they think until they roll their eyes and try to melt into the floor (usually takes about 20 seconds).

One of my friends had gone to LACMA and noted their FREE kids’ program, called NexGen, was going on. You sign up and each kid gets to take an adult in for FREE also.

Three free kids plus two free adults equals cost of gas to LA, plus food. So not a bad day trip.

Of course, it almost killed Son, who nearly keels over at the thought of doing anything. Anything he specifically doesn’t choose, that is. So the tar pit museum, which would be his speed (yeah, I know that’s not its proper name) was closed, so first we looked at the art.

We needed to go see the Monet/Lichtenstein cathedrals . You have to take an escalator to the 3rd floor, outside, to get there.

So we got on and realized, hey, this thing is TALL and high up.

One of my recurring nightmares is an escalator nightmare, where a tall escalator goes fast and I fall off. Make of that what you will. (My other recurring nightmare is about the Kardashians. Once I dreamed they were pod people turning everyone into them. SCARY! I know!)

Son is afraid of heights so he started freaking out. Little Girl freaked out because her brother was freaking out and both were holding onto Cadillac for dear life, their eyes shut.

I said, “Well, it is a rather tall escalator,” meaning to acknowledge what they were feeling (and also a fleeting memory of my nightmare). This only served to freak them out more.

This nearly ruined Son’s entire trip. Luckily, an ice cream sandwich saved the day.

Then we went and looked at the tar pits outside. A sad baby mammoth cries as its Daddy or Mommy sinks into the tar. Talk about nightmares!

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Finally we returned to the art museum, where we found these long plastic spaghetti-like strands where kids could roam free.

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Unfortunately some kids were roaming free-er than others. There were some hipster parents there whose kid, about age 10, had a mullet meant, I suppose, to be ironic (I just found this entertaining and enlightening post: “The Ironic of the Ironic: Hipsters Don’t Understand Irony“) They were all wearing these cowboy shirts and the mom had a faded pink streak in her hair.

Anyway, no problem with hipsters generally, but their kid began chasing a girl (his sister, perhaps) and grabbing handfuls of this plastic stuff and whipping it back in her face to smack and hurt her. She avoided it for the most part but he got more and more aggressive and soon was running all through the maze. I looked over at the mother and she was looking at me with an expression I couldn’t read– I hoped she was smiling and not understanding, but I felt like she was smirking and TOTALLY understanding and thinking, “What? What are you gonna do about it? I’ve got a pink streak in my hair I made with Kool-Aid.” I looked at her kid and back at her and I frowned and she was still smiling at me and her husband was staring at the sky or something. Usually this is the point where Responsible Parents understand their kid is being bad and do something about it. So I asked Cadillac if he wanted to say something and he said he really didn’t want to have to get into bloodshed at the art museum, but if I said something he would back me up.

So then it was all like this for a moment:

Then Son shouted, “Hey, cut that out! What are you trying to do?” and I looked inside to see him behind Little Girl, holding her shoulders, and his big sister covering him. And the kid stopped whipping the plastic around in peoples’ faces and we went inside.

Which was probably more effective, anyway.