All cultured up. For now.

bowers-smMy kids have brazenly set off museum no-touchy alarms from Salzburg to San Francisco. I imagine their mug shots are on some international watch-list database, for museum docents who need to keep track of the touchy ones. Probably finger prints too—obviously they’ve put down plenty of those for database collection.

But now as more seasoned museum-goers, I worry less about fast fingers. They actually seem to enjoy the visits more, and are more observant of the rules. Ok. Somewhat. Even if it’s only because they know there’s usually food in it for them afterward, I’m down with the bribe. Whatever it takes, people. I’m writing the book on realistic parenting as I go. I’m going to get these kids cultured up, even if it kills us all.

I’m pretty sure my son still recalls the Picasso exhibit at the Albertina in Vienna. Or not. I most certainly do. I still suffer from PTSD. I’m a liberal mom. I don’t hide the fact that the human body, in its naked, and in some cases… ehum… very impressive form… *coughstatueofDavidcough* is front and center museum fodder. The kids have progressed beyond the giggle fits, to the point that an overly prolonged and intensive examination prompts me to throw my phone at their heads as a distraction technique. (I lie. I would never throw my phone. I’d totally throw my husband’s phone however.) Anyway, I digress. They appreciate the beauty of the art, if not just the fact that it’s adult-sanctioned leering at the boobies. And the franks and beans.


One of Picasso’s more tame works.

Despite my liberal lean in regard to art and the human form, the Picasso exhibit in Vienna tested even my limits. This was several years ago, and we were dragging a then 10- and a 7-year old through Vienna. My daughter preferred looking at sparkly things. So the Habsburg crown jewels overshadowed everything for that entire day. However, a 10-year old boy takes particular note of things. And Picasso’s things in this particular exhibit happened to be porn with a capital-P-icasso. Fortunately Picasso’s style being more abstract, my son caught on to just a sliver of the subject matter. Though I did know it was time to hit the cobble stones when I heard him giggling with his sister and pointing,

“Look at that painting. He’s peeing on her.”

Yes, children, that’s called a golden shower. Thank yooooou, Mr. Picasso. And, yup, I’m the mother of the year. My kids now know about the odd subculture that is golden showers. Yay me. Though seriously, that’s nothing. The year after that, we visited Amsterdam. Now if you want a place to really screw a kid up, Amsterdam can be there for you….

“I’m sorry kids, though they look delicious, you may not eat the brownies.”

“Sweetheart, I don’t know why they’re blowing bubbles in the water in that vase.”

“Yes, I know. It’s sad that those ladies in the window can’t afford more than just underwear.”

“Come back here! Those people on the grass aren’t wrestling. And, they do not want you to play with them.”

But Amsterdam is another story for another time. We’re working on screwing up our kids, one vacation at a time. At any rate, yesterday’s trip to the Bowers Museum was fairly innocuous. Though if they were younger, I probably would have had more of an issue explaining the art of the Pacific Island headhunters’ exhibit, than Picasso’s erotic paintings. It’s all about heads, people. Some give ’em, some take ’em. *snort* But seriously, I’m bothered more by the violence than the sex. Call me crazy. Trust me, it wouldn’t be the first time.

So whether it was for the food, or for the promise of some parent-sponsored lewd sightings, the kids willingly left behind the Xbox for a morning of culture. I think they liked it mostly because it’s a smallish museum—translation, we’re in and out in a couple of hours. I don’t think my son would have rated it as highly on the titty scale as most European museums. With very few bare breasts, the juvenile giggles were mostly found with the impressive tools on the New Guinea totems. Based upon all that, The Bowers Museum rated seven happy-faces on the teen-rating scale.

Culture for the month, check. Feel free to go back to the Xbox, kids. For now.

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