Impressionism is Broken and We’re all Buddha

I had not realized how much fun it is to take a two-year-old to a museum. I mean that: it’s fun.

Sophie looked at a 13th-century wooden Bhodisattva and declared it was “Daddy.” Then she added that it was also “Momma, and Sophie” too. I love this. She thinks we’re all a buddha.

Nearby, a large sculpture of a water-buffalo was “Cow funny,” funny enough to provoke Sophie to loud laughter. An ancient Indian bronze warrior was “fireman,” probably because of his helmet. My little girl knows how to look, and how to chat about what she’s seeing, and I honestly find her great company in a museum.

A broad marble staircase was a chance for Sophie to show off, overemphasizing the labor of climbing that marble, grunting dramatically with every step, because, she declared, “Sophie funny” in order to match the funny flamboyance of that stairway. She matched the moods of lots of things, wanting to discuss the bowls and flowers and interesting hairstyles we saw. The cornrows on one African sculpture provoked especial discussion: she wanted to know why her hair won’t do the same thing. Degas’s “Little Dancer” inspired her to stand in exactly the same pose, hands back, belly out, one leg thrust forward. She kept circling around that sculpture in order to perfectly mimic its every angle. She even re-enacted it later, for her dad, in the park.

She looked at a medieval painting of the 3 wisemen presenting their gifts to Baby Jesus and declared it was “Baby and cookie.” Again, she’s right: the frankincense and myrrh were kind of a cookie. Every egg-shaped modern sculpture was “Momma.” The armor was baffling, to her, because she had no label to give it, but she liked the armored horse, especially its tail.  Several paintings of dogs, she declared, were pooping.

We had a great time, even though, she declared, the Monet seascape was “broken.”

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One response to “Impressionism is Broken and We’re all Buddha

  1. Pingback: A long time ago « Elaine’s blog

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