Real Life: A trip to the MOMA.

That’s Wolfie up there. Admiring art. OK OK. I can’t lie. There is this little part of me that just wants to post that photo and impress you with my cosmopolitan ways and toss my hair and said, “Yes, this past week we took the young lad to the Museum of Modern Art where he made various astute observations about the exceptional collection of Abstract Expressionism and regaled me with the finer points of Pop Art!” And then tell you how I went home and made an asparagus goat cheese tart that my boy ate with gusto and how, just for a laugh, we ate on the floor because my house is THAT SPOTLESS.


But I can’t do that. Don’t worry, it’s still a nice story with a happy ending, we just took a slightly twisty route.

This past weekend was a pretty glorious one. We began our day with an awesome birthday party in Dolores Park—lots of running around and silliness involving a UFO pinata and a bunch of 5-6 year olds racing around. After the party we packed ourselves up and were going to head home when I suddenly thought, “Hey, lets swing by the SF MOMA!” Greg loves art galleries and I love museums. And also,  I was hankerin’ for this:

You see, the SF Museum of Modern Art has a rooftop cafe that is known for it’s spectacular art-inspired sweets. Like the Jeff Koons White Hot Chocolate (served in a dainty porcelain cup topped with golf leaf-coated marshmallows) and Andy Warhol Pop Art Corn (complete with commemorative box!). I have been DYING to get a slice of that Mondrian-inspired cake ever since I posted about it. I know, I know….Wolfie had already had a full day at a birthday party and here I was schleppin’ him to the Art Museum just so I could get cake. What can I say? I want to be the girl with the most cake. Also, Wolfie is a pretty chill little guy and we can pretty much take him anywhere without a fuss. Except, apparently, the MOMA on a Sunday.

We arrived at the museum and I dragged everyone up to the top floor (YAY to Greg for being so accommodating to my sweet tooth whims!). Alas, they were out of the Mondrian cake, but I had this:

with this:

which was inspired by this:

Mmmm. The Wayne Theibaud cake was completely delish. I was delighted and so content, happily sippin’ mah cappuccino. Alas, my little six year old was not as happy as I. “WHEN are we leaving? WHY are we here? I’m TIRED. I want to relax in the CAR!!!” [relax in the car?? ]  I tried joking. Offered him some cake (He was horrified. He hates sweets. Seriously.). “Do they have pretzels?” “Um…no.”  HMPH! And there he sat, pouting and playing his DS.

Once I ate my cake he looked up expectantly, eyes lighting up. “Are we going home??” “No. We’re here at the museum we’re going to go look at some cool stuff!” “Ohhhh man!!!” (head hanging dejectedly and a not particularly adorable scowl on his face.) And he turned into THAT CHILD. Dragging his feet. Whining. Sooooo not into this. And we could have just gone home. But I’m stubborn (where do you think he gets it from??) and refused to give up. As we were walking across the breeze way (oooooh….i don’t think I’ve EVER typed that word before) I looked out the windows and said, “HEY! There’s WALDO!”

On the roof top of the building across the street someone had made a big cut out of Waldo. We all totally laughed—and even my crank-a-puss child giggled. And suddenly I had an idea. “Hey Wolfie, we’re going to play a game.” “A game?” There was a flicker of interest in his eyes. “Yep. OK, so here’s what you have to do. You have to find these FIVE things for me:  1) Something with red in it,  2) Something with an animal in it,  3) Something with a tree in it, 4) The thing that looks the biggest and 5) The thing that looks the smallest, ok??” He seemed mildly amused, but not exactly thrilled with this thought. I should also clarify that I was TOTALLY making this up as I went along and had no clue if this was a cool game or the easiest game in the world and would be over in 5 sad seconds. Luck was on my side because the first room we walked into was filled with paintings….but only one had a red in it. “Hey! mama! I found a something red! Look!” he was triumphant. “Awesome!” The next room yielded nothing, which added to the mystery. Suddenly he was on a mission. While finding a painting with red in it was easy, finding something with an animal was surprisingly hard. We both triumphed when we finally spotted a teensy little horse figurine sitting on a dresser in a collection of Black and White photographs from the 40s. The cool thing about this was that he really LOOKED at everything. And it made me really look too. We chatted about the pieces (“Do you think that this is a really big comb or do you think that it’s just a really small bed?”), we pointed out our favorites and discussed why some painters made everything so dark (“it’s very angry, like a storm.”). And it was SO awesome.

He was totally intrigued by the Andy Warhol and we talked about self-portraits and having blue hair. Of course, the Jeff Koons porcelain Michael Jackson w/ Bubbles got a good look. (I posted the picture on Monday.) Our last sighting was this totally cool Barry McGee piece, which Wolfie proudly informed me was “Both the biggest AND the littlest!”

He was pretty adorable, marching through the rooms looking thoughtfully at everything. Allow me to brag and say he charmed every single guard in the place. Eventually we had to leave and he happily skipped down the stairs. “This was awesome mama.”

So I guess the whole point of this story is….don’t be afraid. And don’t give up. Life’s not always perfect, but a little bit of creativity (and mommy Jedi mind tricks) can go a long way. Dare I say it? I think I must. You can have your cake….and eat it too.

18 thoughts on “Real Life: A trip to the MOMA.

  1. You are an amazing mom! I need to come out and get some lessons… Stella is starting to catch on and realize she can say, um “I don’t want to, Mommy” Grrr….

  2. fabulous! that was some quick thinking there! i love taking my kiddo to the Nelson here in KC…and she loves it! we have a Classical Baby dvd about art that i think has helped her have an interest in it when we go see it in person. and how adorable does Wolfie look?!? geez louise!

  3. sooooo GREAT. i love this story!
    i love that wolfie asked for pretzels when there were all those amazing sweets to choose from. that boy and his salty tooth, i love it every time!!!!!

  4. very cool! i love how you got him involved!! we have a family tradition every thanksgiving weekend we take the kids to a different museum. the 2 younger ones have been going from the time they were born!

  5. I’m glad you guys liked this! We don’t usually get all personal, but its kind of fun to do it every once in a while huh! Also, i think this game would be fun for someone totally in the mood to hit the museum as well as someone who is a little bit uncertain. (For the uber reluctant, a small prize after finding everything could be added to the mix! haha!)

  6. relax in the car… that cracked me up.

    that was pretty awesome of you to come up with that game. i need to be more like that instead of the grumpy, stern sort.

    my husband’s new laptop wallpaper is your michael jackson sculpture photo.

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