My decision was aided by the fact that for one day each year, art museums around the city offer free admission, which was enough motivation for me to plan a trip to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. I had never been there and had always wanted to go, so my excitement when I first broached the subject with Ashley was matched only by her phone distracted apathy.
Me (to Ashley): How would you like to go to LACMA on the 25th?
Ashley (staring at phone): What's LACMA?
Me: It's the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. It's free that day.
Ashley (still staring at phone): What do you do at a museum?
Me: Look at paintings and sculptures and stuff.
Ashley (looks up skeptically from phone)
If you have ever gotten the side eye from a kid when trying to convince them to do something that will separate them from their beloved technology for more than a few minutes, you will know that the next sentence in this exchange is CRUCIAL: it will mean the difference between an affirmative cultural experience with your child, or another Saturday spent watching her watch a screen.
Me: We can have lunch while we are there, and make a day of it.
Ashley (shugs, then goes back to the phone): OK, I guess.
"This looks like the horse from "Mulan".
A couple near us heard her, and gave me the pressed lip smile that let me know that they thought it was funny, but they didn't want to discourage her. I smiled back. You gotta start somewhere.
We finished that particular exhibit in about 30 minutes, and by then, she was ready for lunch. While we were eating, Ashley took the map from me, and started looking at the names and description of the other exhibits, and talking about what SHE wanted to see that day. I was happy to let her lead. This day was about her, and exposing her to something she might not otherwise see, so I fell back, and let her pick what sounded interesting to her.
We next went to a Latin Art exhibit, where she saw paintings by Diego Rivera for the first time, as did I. We also got to see some of the early film work of a pioneering Latin filmmaker, which started freaking her out a bit because of the early 20th century special effects, so we had to move on. As we were exiting the Latin art exhibit and about to make our way into the next pavilion, we came across what looked to me like giant spaghetti, drying on a rack:
"Well yeah. And all this stuff is starting to get a little inappropriate."
Our last exhibit for the day was a room with art from Southeast Asia and India. Ashley was quickly burning out, and spent as much time looking for someplace to sit as she did looking at the stunning art pieces. While I was fascinated looking at the hindu gods and goddesses, Ashley mostly looked at doors and archways:
I'll be planning that trip for later in the spring.