Too Old, Too Young, Too Bored and I took them ALL to the Norton Museum today!

Now that I think about it those should have been the message tees assigned to each of my family members.  I have quite the eclectic mix.  We are not the quiet artsy people who actually debate the finer points of each artist’s work.  We are the family that went because it was free and air-conditioned.  Sold!

I will give credit to the lovely people at the  Norton Museum ,  they are the only museum in south Florida that give their county residents free access every Saturday during the summer and every Thursday for  Florida residents.  All the other museums I checked out have a more convoluted freebie method whereby one goes on the first Thursday  of the month when the moon and the stars align or something to that effect.

During our visit one of the temporary works on display was Nymphéas by Monet. Apparently my mom is a fan. I had no idea until we were on the top floor of the building and I mentioned it in passing.  Mom aka: Too Old, proceeded to inquire about its precise location in the museum to the point of irritation.  So the quest began… and behold I found a sign, placed exclusively to direct guests to that one Monet piece.  I’d like to think that after the 1,000th “Monet?” the ushers heaved a sigh of exasperation and had someone dangle management by the rooftop ’till it was “agreed” to post such a sign, which we followed into the solitary room where it was located.  The whole family plopped on the sofa opposite of it and stared at it and all of the behinds of the people 2 feet in front of it.

monet

I loudly explained to the kids, aka “Too Young” that Monet was meant to be viewed (Notable crescendo in my volume) from..a…distance… ahem.  Monet pixelated his art way before Minecraft did.  The horizon of silhouetted butts remained for a while and then finally dispersed (Giving up all hope of understanding this blurry mass I assume.)  Once there was a clear view, Too Old, Too Young and even Too Bored were able to immediately appreciate the details and intention of the whole piece, from the sofa, that was strategically placed far, far away from it. For our viewing pleasure.

Time to divide and conquer.  Everyone paired off with someone who either shuffled across the floor at the same pace or had the same attention span so they could spread out and enjoy the remaining art at their own leisure.

This is where one of the youngest, “Too Young” got her hand clasped by an enraptured parent.  The parent stopped and stared, mesmerized  by Ruby Green Sings by James Chapin.

rubygreensings

During the visit, Enraptured Parent revisited Ruby three times.  This is when art takes on another level.  I, “Enraptured Parent” knew nothing about the artist or the model, but for some reason felt like, clearly, something special was going on here.  Enraptured Parent proceeded to Google the work and read the whole history behind the artist, the model and the moment it captured.  She now stares at me from the fridge, where she is proudly mounted as a magnet.

I was awakened from my trance by persistent tugging and begging to please move along by “Too Young”.  Guilt ridden I took her on a speed tour.  We stood in each gallery and she picked out her favorite, told me why and then we read a little, just a little about it ’till her patience wore thin.  I was so, so geeked-out when her absolute favorite was an O’Keeffe! Behold the Red Flower 1919

o'keefferedflower

…and for those of you wondering about “Too Bored”.  They found an oil on canvas of a Star Trek scene and, wait for it… requested a return visit to see the upcoming exhibit Planes Traines & Automobiles . There is hope for all of them see!

So folks, until you step into the museum, you won’t know what moves you, whether it be across the entire facility in desperate need of a Monet or emotionally by a lady on the other side of the canvas.

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Ever Get The Feeling Your Sanity Is Being Questioned?

Yes, and often.

I used to question myself when someone questioned my sanity.

I would wonder what they knew that I did not.  What made their thoughts valid and mine not.

I am legitimately sane you see, but that does not take away the power of others to convince me that, clearly, I know not.

If only others would surround me and nod in agreement that in fact I had all the reason, but in time I learned that such a thing is called…

a Donkey Nod.

It is what people known as Yes Men do.  They nod in agreement at whatever the most influential  person says regardless of their own reasoning.

Now when someone questions my sanity I smile and think:

“Clearly you are trying to make an ass of me”

Summer is here, gee if only I could afford to toss my kids in camp and lock away the key.

I feel like a lost soul here in Boca Raton, Florida when it comes to summer time parenting.

Back in ancient times when I was a kid, my parents simply kicked me out of the door.  All of us neighborhood kids would land somewhere on the street and then find 101 ways of killing time until our parents fed us.

That was the only time we were allowed back in;  feedin’ time.

That and bathing-and-off-to-bed time.

Brilliant strategy.

I did my recon,

desperately hoping for at least one warm body for my kids to play with and…

nope.

All are going somewhere, to do something.

I could just do the modern thing and park them in front of the Idiot Box aka: a screen and leave them there all day and night.  The kids would be oh so content.  They would forget to eat, bathe, sleep…I know this, because well, as a parent I have had those desperate moments where I

just

can’t

deal

and I set them free to be transfixed by the screens.

No! No! No!  I can’t let this happen. We have enough zombies on tv I don’t need them in my house as well.

So the beach is there.  Yep… and I already milked that one on day one of summer vacation.  Now what?

Nurse Mom is amused by her sick husband and son.

For a week now both tiny child and his  father have been coughing incessantly.

Then Tiny got a fever, which means he has to stay home from school.  Its a policy.

No such policy exists in the workforce.  Better to be paranoid that you can and will be replaced if you don’t show up.

Then again, daddy had no fever. Hmm… odd.

At first the man blamed his coughing on my toxic chemical set used to clean our home.

Except he failed to consider that I switched to all the nerdy environmentally friendly cleansers. Nice try.

Then the 72 hour rule kicked in.

This rule was implemented by our local pediatrician to fend off the hover moms who demand antibiotics every time their child has a hiccup.

If said child has ridden out the illness for 72 hours without signs of recovery then, then you may seek your drugs.

So Jr. was checked out.  Jr who had been all rainbows and sunshine alongside his fever and cough…

has pneumonia.

I called his dad and asked, no told, begged…hmm maybe threatened him to see a doctor.

He actually went.

Daddy has bronchitis.

Here is the best part.

Somehow, upon learning of this diagnosis, the man’s demeanor went from workhorse to….

Mr. @DeathsDoor

So now I have two sickly ones.  One with a severe diagnosis who is Mr. SunshineandRainbows and then there is his father, who has the precursor to his son’s ailment.

Mr. @Deathsdoor is being treated with kid gloves and a large container of Oreo Ice-cream.  Poor thing.

Nasty Sunburn? Help is here.

Waking up to sun-charred paralysis allows for some quality time to reflect on how you will never… 

…ever

let this happen again.

Unless you were raised in the 80s where you intentionally chargrilled yourself with baby oil and Coppertone.  These people are still out there, sunning themselves into melanoma oblivian. 

Step one in prevention: Acknowledge that you too can get burnt.  

People of varying shades of skin color burn however they burn in different ways. Really. Melanin (pigment) matters.

For some skin types they can just check their shade and when they are “done” head in. For others the shade will not change until hours later when it is too late.

Thats you sunshine.

Prevention: Rash guards, sunscreen and sunglasses. Yep, we know. That is like telling everyone to eat veggies and exercise. 

Then they get so fat the doctor gives them some nasty medical prognosis. 

Then you get burnt to a crisp and can’t go anywhere, do anything, but strip down to the softest undies you can find.

When its that bad, break out the Tylenol, not aspirin, naproxin or ibuprofen. Tylenol has an analgesic which will help numb you,; lie to your nerve endings and say “Nothing is happening here folks!”.

Then get a kind soul to buy you a bottle of aloe vera with lidocain mixed in. Lidocain is also an analgesic. Keep the bottle in the refrigerator and apply  liberally and often. 

Have the folks with long nails wear latex gloves to apply the gel unless you really want to hit the nirvana of nerve pain when that razor sharp claw, I mean nail slices into you.

Drink as much water as you can in those first 48 hours. The pain comes from literally cooking your flesh in the sun, so you are dried out meat. 

Avoid warm showers and any sun. To you it will feel unusually hot.

Any fan or airconditioning vent will be the new love of your life. 

Let the peeling / healing begin. You will soon shed the crusty flesh to reveal your new hydrated skin.

Ever heard of the Gumbo Limbo tree? They call it the tourist tree because its trunk is red and peeling.

So Gumbo Limbo, until next time….

or hopefully

not.

Screens off! Get out!

…but there is nobody out there! Everybody is locked into their own trance with a screen. 

I get it. Times have changed…

but

people still need to see the sun, stars, moon, birds… moo at a damn cow.

So, we do what our parents never

ever

thought necessary.

We get out and make the most of being in an actual place with actual people. No screens. We look, listen, touch, smell and taste what life has to offer.

Running Through Pain

Athletic I am not, in fact I’m chubby. My pace is literally that of speed walkers. It hurts to run, yet I do. My body is full of hardware, nuts, bolts, titanium. My legs are fine, they are frustrated. They want to go as fast as the others, because they could if the rest of me would let them.

Then the flashbacks start. For once I have an outlet. Normally I have to disguise my PTSD by claiming physical pain, daydreaming…whatever alibi seems most rational. 

But when I run… and the grenade of horror lands inside my soul 

instead of diving on it,

protecting others from my wide eyes, screams, hyper awareness…

I tear off as fast as I can, heart pounding, pain slowly being left behind here and there under my feet.

Nobody else has a clue. Nobody else has to suffer through it. 

Poof, gone. No drugs, no alcohol, no public humiliation, no hurting my family.

I just ran through it…

and then…

my hardware creaks and my body wakes up from it all. Time for an aspirin.