Five Things Friday: All I Have To Do Now Is Mug A Hooker

  1. I’ve taken to stealing cars

The whole “motherhood” bit was getting dull, especially since it has been ages since I broke into that nunnery, so I decided to play the videogame Grand Theft Auto, but in real life. Our van is an incredibly popular model, meaning that there are approximately six other cars that look like it at any one time in a parking lot. This means that I attempt to break into at least one car a week. I’m a godawful thief though- I make a huge scene, yanking on the door handle, swearing at the car, waving my keys at it before realizing that I don’t play lacrosse, so that definitely isn’t my sporting equipment in the front seat.

 

  1. FOMO is not a sushi dish

I stopped reading trashy magazines, partially because it was a New Year’s resolution, but mostly because I had no idea what the text meant. My weekly indulgence had started using terms like “IDK” and “ICYMI” which I found somewhat confusing, but the worst trendy acronym for me was “IRL”, which I had decided was the English version of “Beurk!” which is a French sound effect for when a person is disgusted. This made sentences like “Such and such extremely attractive actor started dating so and so, another excessively beautiful person, IRL!” confounding, because was the magazine trying not to toss its cookies because the two were so adorable? Or was the couple a bad match? Or was one of the attractive people cheating on a third attractive person?

In case you are also confused, IRL means “In Real Life”. I discovered that this week, meaning that I’m now 30% fluent in young personese. With this new status, I plan to hang out at skate parks to put my acquired language skills to good use. And in case you’re wondering, ICYMI is a Japanese word meaning “Look there’s an octopus!” I’m not sure why English speakers are using it, probably for the same reason that white people get Japanese characters indelibly inked onto their skin.

 

  1. Pants the universal sponge

To cement my status as “Dirtiest Hippie Ever”, prior to moving, I decided to hide all of the towels and placemats in the house. This should have made cleaning up spills a challenge given that we don’t have paper towels in the house ever, but ever the resourceful person that I am, I used my pants.

I’ve chosen to cling to this explanation as opposed to the more obvious one which is that I am an idiot who used every single hand towel, placemat and cloth napkin as packing material, not realizing that we had ten more days in the house.

 

5. I am a toddler

Remember when you were small and painstakingly counted ooooooone, Two… three, FIVE! You don’t? Well aren’t you lucky, today you get to relive your childhood, because this five things Friday edition, goes just like that. You may all have a lollipop and hug your teddybear now too.

All of My Favourite Parts

In case you missed it, I defamed my mother terribly in my last post, I poked fun at her vanity and her constant need to feel and be perceived as young. But my mother is more than just her foibles. Although my Mom’s peccadillos are what make her into an interesting story, it’s her strengths like her ability to laugh at herself which make her so much fun to write about. And in this post, whether she likes it or not, I’m going to expound upon all of her strengths, and the qualities I love most about my Mom.

What I admire most about my mother is her willingness to be outside of the box. When I was younger, my mother was a hippie with a compost barrel before environmentalism was cool. My Mom always wore these unique, artsy jackets and dresses that made her stick out. But best of all, she was herself, this slightly nerdy lady who loved science and would let the whole world know it by covering our dining room table in overheads of organ systems. It was through watching this person who just delighted in who she was that I gained the confidence to be myself as well.

This sounds trivial but it isn’t – my mother is good at math. It was only after I entered university that I learned about the stereotype that girls struggle with math. After watching my mother, it never occurred to me that I would experience anything but success when faced with numbers. By the same token, my mother demonstrated to me that if I worked hard enough, I was capable of anything.

Earlier, I mentioned my Mom’s ability to make fun of herself. There is nothing which is more likely to elicit a huge laugh from my mother than a story lampooning either an action or a trait of hers. I always try to emulate this, to never take myself too seriously. In that same vein, my mother is always up for an adventure. Traveling or attempting new sports with her is a riot, because to my Mom, every mishap or fall is a story and a story is something to smile about.

Lastly, the quality that most often makes my mother a model to others is her level of fitness. Upon meeting my Mom for the first time, once her back is turned, people will say to me “Your mother is jacked” which is both true and false at the same time. For a person in their late fifties, my mother is probably in the ninety-ninth percentile in terms of physical fitness. However, throughout my teens and early twenties, my mother was actually jacked, with biceps that made boyfriends contemplate picking me up down the street to avoid facing her. She used to wear crop tops every day of the week to show off her rockin’ six pack. My mother viewed every chin up bar that she met as a challenge to be conquered, which, had video games not been invented by then and thus gobbled up the neighbourhood children, would have made walks to the local playground exceptionally awkward. Regardless of whether or not she can still bench press the neighbour’s sedan, my mother lives the adage “use it or lose it”, and has passed on this commitment of personal fitness to me.

While I take great pleasure in teasing my mother for her weaknesses, I love her most for her strengths because they’re what she’s passed on to me. These unique qualities are the ones that I hope my own children will possess. I’m doing my best to be an equally good model as my own mom was and is, but I must confess, those are some big (and jacked) shoes to fill.

All Hail Cookie Owl

Appearances are very important to my mother. Whether it’s appearing to be a good hostess, mother or much younger than her years, my mother’s vanity has always been an entertaining part of my life. If only because in every instance, I often end up dashing these dreams of competency and youth upon the rocks.

Once upon a time, when I thought My Little Pony was the answer to all the world’s problems, I was in Brownies. It was a horrible, weekly event that I was forced into under the guise of “making friends”, “appearing normal” and “trying new things”. I resisted the group at every turn. In an effort to support my participation, my mother agreed to become one of the leaders. The first week that she joined, everyone sat in a circle and we were asked to give our new leader a name. All the leader’s names ended with “Owl”, there was probably justification for this but as I spent the majority of the meetings calculating how many seconds were left until my parents picked me up, I don’t remember it.

Anyway, so my mother sat there, next to Sleepy Owl, Happy Owl and Sneezy Owl. These weren’t actually the women’s “Brownie Names” but I don’t remember either the women or the names, so they very well could have been small bearded men for all I know.

Sneezy Owl asked the group whether anyone had any suggestions for the new Owl’s name. Ever the helpful child, I raised my hand. “You should call her Thunder Owl because she yells a lot” I suggested. My mother was mortified and gave me the kind of look that said that the car ride wasn’t going to be fun so perhaps I shouldn’t count the seconds this evening. She ended up being Cookie Owl, only the second most boring name after Happy Owl. Regardless, she could pretend to maintain the facade of being a perfect parent.

Although my mother denies that she yells, more often, she denies her age. The most recent example of this would be the name she demanded Mini-Tex call her. Everyone can breathe a sigh of relief, it’s not Cookie Owl. Even though her own mother became a grandma at fifty and willingly took on the moniker “Gran”, at fifty-eight, my mother decided she was to young to be a grandma and refused to be called any incarnation of the title, not granny, not buba, not grams. Instead she invented her own name – Gemma. She took the “g” and “m” from grandma and made a hip title so no one would dare offer her a discount on the early bird special.

One would think that denying the existence of a grandchild would be the pinnacle in narcissistic acts, but this week, my mother took it one step further. She chose to deny that she was a parent. No, she wasn’t parading around claiming that we were sisters, she chose to instead deny her role as a step parent.

Gary, a family friend and trusted contractor, made the jump last year to boyfriend status. My mother even upped the ante by having him move in with her. Since then, they have attended each other’s family functions, she routinely makes meals for his children and Gary’s sons often sleep over. Which led to the following conversation.

Unwashed – “So as their step parent”

Mom – “Whoa, whoa, whoa. Hold on. No one is anyone’s step parent.”

Unwashed – “I’m sorry, do they regularly sleep at your house?”

Mom – “Yes”

Unwashed – “Do you often make them meals?”

Mom – “Yes, but”

Unwashed rudely cutting her mother off – “Do you worry about how they’re doing in school and whether they’re attending.”

Mom in an obvious state of discomfort – “Yes, it’s different”

Unwashed obnoxiously talking loudly over her mother – “STEP PARENT!”

I’m not actually sure why my mother is denying her step children’s existence, they’re even teenagers so it would totally feed into her love of being mistaken for being much younger than she is. I think it’s one of those times where I just have to shake my head and smirk inwardly as everyone calls my mother “Cookie Owl” to soothe her ego. For the record, “Thunder Owl” is much more bad ass. It’s what a Hell’s Angel’s member would demand to be called if they weren’t too busy dealing cocaine to attend their children’s extra-curricular activities.

Who Are You People?

It occurs to me, that I write about myself, my husband, son, mother and closest friend often. So I decided to give a bit of a backstory to them. Yes, this blog has existed just fine without such a page for four and a half years, but think of the “characters” page as being like streamers on a bicycle. Who doesn’t love streamers?

I just posed the streamer question to my husband Tex and he gave me a perplexed look and asked me whether I would paint dicks on a wall. It would seem that only five year old girls and me love bicycle streamers. Although now I’m somewhat relieved that Tex has never shown interest in decorating our home, I’m understandably concerned what his accents for a room would look like.

So with that profane tangent aside, I encourage you all to check out the new page on The Great Unwashed.

Diary Excerpts: Monkey Balls, Feces Rinse Cycles and Laundry Mountains

Dear Diary,

The world=balls right now.

Giant hairy monkey balls that make you question why anyone wants to visit the zoo.

Diary, in case you forgot what my schedule looks like this month, let me remind you.

March 28th – T-minus 28 days until we move to a new house in a new town.

March 29th- Realize that there is a trip in two days and that in addition to not packing, you have no clothes. Frantically wash diapers. Then wash diapers again because you totally sent a poop filled diaper through the wash. Resolve never to inform Tex that this happened because it would scar him and he’d purchase a new washer.

March 30th – Wonder what in the heck you’ve been doing with your time as nothing is packed and the diapers are still lying disassembled in the basement. Put on same clothes as yesterday because -why not? It’s maternity leave, they don’t smell and no one will realize that you don’t do laundry.

This plan works until you pick up the babysitter from school and realize that she saw you in the identical outfit and will probably go home and tell her mother that she hates working for dirty people who insist on washing their baby’s feces.

March 31st- Why are there only five photo albums in a suitcase? WHY? You can’t wear your vacation pictures all weekend. Also why isn’t the laundry done? What kind of cockamamie, well endowed monkey is running this place?

April 1st- Arrived at family function late last night. Remembered everything except for shoes. Which is fine, muddy rubber boots and designer dresses fit the high/low chic trend this year.

April 2nd- Speed home with screaming baby in the car for four hours to make it just in the nick of time to Tex’s concert. Which feels less like the movie “Speed” and more like one of the characters out of the movie franchise “Saw”, who is slowly being tortured to death by having each of their finger and toe nails removed.

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The hunkiness factor of traveling with a baby is zero. The wanting-to-saw-a-limb-off-to-make-it-stop factor is about three squigillion. (Photo Credit cinemablend.com)

April 3rd – Pretend that you can take the day off from packing, laundering and general preparation.

April 4th – Curse yourself and your laziness, because tomorrow, you, Tex and Mini-Tex are shooting yourselves into the wild blue yonder to attend a conference for Tex’s work. Your day now =laundry. Endless laundry.

April 5th- Repeat the whole “Saw”/”Speed” scenario on drive to the airport. Cave at the airport and put “Peppa Pig” on the iPad. Wonder if this cartoon was the inspiration for “Saw” as the narrative drills a hole into your ears and through your brain.

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The original and unlikely villlain of the “Saw” series. (Photo Credit Google Play)

April 6th- Spend fun day with another family that is also attending the conference. Perhaps life is not entirely composed of giant, hairy monkey balls?

April 7th – Poo-pocolypse Now! On public transit! Remember why you loathe both cities and traveling, as you schlep your soiled self and your toddler back to the hotel.

April 8th- Looking around the hotel room, you realize that your belongings have mated, multiplied themselves by ten fold and have staged a take over of the room. In lieu of packing, lie down on the floor and wait for death.

It would seem death isn’t coming. Set about packing up belongings for the fourth time in ten days.

April 9th – Gazing at the suitcase, carry-on, diaper bag, computer bag, toy bag and baby carrier which all need to be lugged back to the airport, you decide to lie down and wait for death however long takes this time. Your helpful husband asks if you can lie down at the bus stop instead. The bus gets to the station seconds after you do, which is just as well, there are far cleaner places to lie down and wait for death.

April 10th – Lie underneath a mountain of laundry as your baby practices his spelunking skills on dirty diaper mountain using your knees and the twenty dirty, cloth diapers. Try to muster up the energy to move. Is impossible. Throw teething cookies in baby’s direction and continue lying on the floor.

April 11th- Saved! Tex returns home and whips around finishing up laundry and making dinner.

April 12th – Have hidden the calendars because otherwise they’d say to pack for the farm to celebrate Easter which would make life more horrible than monkey balls, would be mastadon balls or some other enormous creature.

 

 

Proper Corpse Storage and Musty Bearhugs

Under no circumstances should one ever store dead bodies below the kitchen sink. Along with being unhygienic, it doesn’t matter how tightly sealed the container is, or the materials the bin is made from, eventually the smell will escape. I speak from experience here.

I began with good intentions, in the way that most stories do which end with someone gagging on the smell of their regret. Longing to be the dippiest of hippy-dippy hippies, I had expressed interest in vermiculture; so for my birthday, Tex purchased three pounds of worms for me. In preparation for their arrival, we started gathering compost in a medium size tub underneath our sink. Contrary to popular belief, worms don’t actually eat the compost, they eat the bacteria which break down the compost.

It takes time for enough bacteria colonies to form, so the recommendation is to leave the compost for a week or so prior to adding the worms. I may have left our bin a little longer. Ok maybe a lot longer. Allright, fine, I confess, I left the compost waaaaaay too long. In a sealed container.

That last sentence is the important one, because an important clarification is that worms prefer aerobic bacteria, meaning bacteria that thrive when exposed to air. The awful smell that’s emitted from decomposing carcasses? That’s the work of anaerobic bacteria, or the bacteria that work without exposure to oxygen.

So there those bacteria were, working away on our vegetable peels and coffee grounds and apple cores, having a no oxygen party in their sealed paradise. For weeks. Ok a month. Allright, it was a month and a half, and during those last two weeks, my kitchen smelled seriously funky. It might have even stank just before I decided to deal with the container.

It’s possible that it wasn’t even my decision to take action. There may have been prodding from my dear spouse who commented that our kitchen smelled like a decomposing elk that expired in the woods near the farm which Tex’s uncle once bet my husband five dollars to try and touch without vomiting. For the record, there is only one response to this- “You had weird games growing up; my family just played Monopoly”.

Because I make bad decisions, I decided to open the aforementioned stinky container while still in the house. My first mistake was opening the container at all- the stench was so bad that it singed the inside of my nose and throat making an indelible mark. The second mistake was carrying this out in the kitchen, where the smell promptly clung to every surface.

Tex while yelling at me to take the container to the porch, quickly scooped up Mini-Tex and ran, in an effort to protect our infant son from the stink. Before making one of the worst decisions of my life, and one that will likely lose us our damage deposit when we move, I had prepared a larger tub full of leaves to mix in with the compost. Worms need a two to one mixture of leaves to compost in order to thrive.

My throat burning from the smell, I poured the half liquid, half solid, one hundred percent disgusting mess into the container of leaves. Even after the tempering effect of the leaves, the mixture still smelled like a combination of dead bodies, garbage and the devil’s air freshener.

In the meantime, Tex had opened every window in our home and thrown open all the doors despite the freezing temperatures. He had set Mini-Tex down in front of a fan which was channeling fresh air from outside, concluding that our son was at greater risk of dying from the smell of decay than hypothermia.

Previously, I thought that the olfactory low point of my week was going to be bearhugging bedding from my grandmother’s house to transport it to Value Village. Instead of Old Spice, I ended up smelling like Old House, a scent that was surprisingly pervasive and clingy but completely paled in comparison to the monstrosity I had unleashed upon our family and home in opening the container of death.

Following my eau de corpse debacle, we moved the compost bin to the porch and removed the lid so aerobic bacteria could mix with the air and party, thus outcompeting their putrid, oxygen hating counterparts.

How Many “F”s in Giraffe? Either a Bad Joke or an Act That’s Illegal in Most States

I’m fluent in French. This is a topic that doesn’t come up often here. Probably because this isn’t French blog. But my second language is something which affects my writing. When I’m studying French intensely, occasionally I’ll start writing a story only to realize it’s in the wrong language, for my audience at least. Other times, I’ll be penning a post, trying to think of a word, and only the French one will come to mind, which is a bit maddening. But most perplexing of all has been the loss of my once near perfect ability to spell.

My family has a language learning disability. A trait that I used to haughtily proclaim I was unaffected by, based on my love of writing and my superior memory for orthography, that is, until I tried to pick up another language. In learning French as an adult, my brain somehow got jumbled, so now I can’t recall whether broccoli has one c or two or if it’s girafe or giraffe.

This rearrangment and omission of letters and words has been further compounded by sleep deprivation that comes with caring for a small person. Tonight it lead to the following series of non-words. Or perhaps I’m merely following in The Bloggess’s shoes and making up my own words to accurately express myself. At any rate, this was my thought process this evening as I tried to make a grocery list

“Zuchini”

That looks wrong, I think it needs another “n”

“Zuchinni”

There are way too many eenies in that word, it looks seedy and not at all tasty. Better try another combination.

“Zucchini”

That cannot possibly be right. It must be another letter that needs doubling, at least I’m 100% certain it isn’t the “u”.

“Zuchhini”

Definitely wrong. But maybe if I balance out the eenies with the hhhhs it’ll work.

“Zuchhinni”

Right before I was going to try spelling a vegetable with four “i”s, I caved and asked my husband.

For anyone whose brain isn’t sleep deprived and fluctuating between two languages, it’s zucchini and it doesn’t look right because it’s an italian word.

 

 

Under The Threat of Being Grounded From 3,000 Kilometers Away

Dear the Bank and Mikey oops I mean Mike,

I’m very sorry about my earlier email. My Dad read it because I always CC my family when I think an email is funny and my father said, and I quote, “Unwashed, you are to email that man, then email the bank and beg them for forgiveness.” Actually that isn’t a quote, there may have been a speech about being grown up and writing for your audience.

It was a long soliquay, and my Dad sounded almost as disappointed in me as the time I wrote a post about sending my mother pictures of animal genetalia as a Valentine. That it was really bad, Mike, if I had still been living at home when the penis post came out, I get the feeling that I would have been sitting in my room sans computer, pen, paper, papyrus, stone tablet and rocks, all forms of writing tools hidden with me in the corner reflecting on “What I had done”. So like I said, my Dad’s reaction to the email was close to that, so allow me to take this moment to apologize and retract my words.

I am absolutely a responsible adult, who doesn’t drink at all. I am a pillar of society; I would never get my grandmother arrested or chase after a neighbour’s dog while barking. Also I come from responsible stock- my mother carefully drives around shopping carts instead of ramming them to make her own parking space. Also, I have a squeaky clean background, I sit at home weaving sleeping mats for children in third world countries; I have no time for those who commit break and enters.

If that doesn’t convince you, of what an upstanding, responsible, financially sound citizen I am, then you should come to my house to see my filing system. Admittedly I’ve been told that filing “G for swim goggles” is a bit confusing but once you get the hang of it it’s quite easy and the possum only bites when there’s the chance of kiwi.

Anyway, please give me my mortgage and disregard my earlier email. I promise to be grown up and very very serious from here on out. I’ll even wear a girdle if that’s what it take. Just as soon as I figure out what piece of clothing a girdle is.

Sincerely and most adultedly yours,

The Great Unwashed

UPDATE- Mike, I’m really sorry, I know I said I’d wear one, but I just discovered what a girdle is. It seems way too uncomfortable. Would you settle for a bonnet? Then I wouldn’t have to worry about bad hair days.

The Bank Got Drunk and Let Me Buy A House

To : The Very Understanding Man Who Patiently Explained Mortgages To Me And Wasn’t Offended When I Abruptly Hung Up On Him. Twice

Subject : CRAP!

Mike,

Hi, I’m so sorry about all the documents. It’s not that I forgot, it’s actually that I’m a horrible person AND I forgot. But they’re here now. Or at least they will be as soon as my husband gets home and makes the scanner work.

This would be why my mortgage was set up by my Aunt Camelia; she’s the only one tenacious enough to continually hunt me down and force me to complete all the necessary bank documents. Mike, can I call you Mikey? Mikey, if it makes you feel any better, I was writing and editing a book the month I applied for a mortgage three years ago, so if you think that I’m hard to get a hold of now, you can imagine what it would have been like then. Also I was constantly drunk.

This email is making me sound very responsible. Which I am. You should totally renew my mortgage. At a low rate too, just as soon as I figure out how to send those documents you requested two months ago. Did I mention that our scanner is confusing and has a vendetta against me?

In addition to no longer being drunk all of the time or spending my life writing a book that I’m not being paid for, you should know that I no longer have a filing system involving naked backs. That tidbit should probably go in the folder that the bank keeps on me, the comment should read “Has advanced organizational system- no nudity”. That comment alone is a testament to how grown up I’ve become.

And, I should add that this is the first off the wall email you’ve received from me. If that’s not progress, I don’t know what is. Three years ago after my Aunt Camelia had left five messages on my phone requesting ridiculous items like my Notice of Assessment and other nonsense, saying things like “tomorrow” then, “Friday at the latest” and finally “Please, please Unwashed get it to me in two weeks and stop publishing posts about kicking financial institutions”, I would finally return her calls with a bizarre email about how I was channeling “Little House on the Prairie” and building a cabin in the woods so as to avoid all this mind numbing paperwork.

My aunt loves me very much.

Mikey, I realize that none of this email is those documents that you need but you have my assurance that I will send them to you post haste and won’t get side tracked by researching locally made bamboo toothbrushes or Playboy bunnies.

You’ll have it tonight, I swear. Tuesday at the latest. Maybe April, but only if I forget completely, which I won’t because I wrote myself a detailed note on the fridge “Mike, no naked backs” so as long as my husband doesn’t erase my words thinking that I’m protesting Channing Tatum movies,

channing-tatum-diet-plan

Who would protest chiseled abs? (Photo Credit : Pintrest.com)

then my mortgage renewal papers will definitely be in your inbox at some point this year.

 

Maturely yours,

Unwashed

 

 

My Terrible Secret Crime: Goldilocks and Three Nuns

I broke into a nunnery. Before fingers start pointing and the police are called, I should state that it was an accident. Also it wasn’t my fault, unlike the time that my Grandma got arrested which was a little bit my fault. If we’re going to get technical about it, the whole break-in situation was my son’s fault. An explanation which sounds improbable but is true. I don’t know about you, but I’ve known some devious ten month olds in my day.

We had just moved to town, and Tex had a concert. Prior to heading out the door, he wrote down directions to the place and quickly told me the name of the building. It sounded like it could have been a place of worship, or a school. One of the two.

So there I was, running late, of course, because there is no other way to run with a ten month old baby. Also it was snowing. Not the nice, “Oh look, the yard is a snow globe” kind of snow, no it was the “You thought the world was going to end in flames? Wrong, it’ll be encased in ice” type of snow.

Popping Mini-Tex into the carrier and ducking my head to shield my face from the barrage of ice pellets, I ran from the car towards the building, which was a school, or a large church. Definitely one of the two. The snow obliterated sight, so unless the building was called “blank white space”, I have no idea what it said. Sitting here, reflecting on this blustery, winter moment, I realize that the whole debacle was actually the weather’s fault. If I am ever tried in court, I plan to pin the crime on Mother Nature. That woman is an unpredictable capital B sometimes.

Sprinting my late self and son up the steps, I pulled open the door, hoping to figure out where in the heck I was. Directly in front of me were two unassuming pieces of printer paper, one with the word “school” on it, directing to the right, and the other with “sisters”, concisely directing people up the other stairwell. This didn’t help me to figure out where I was, but I was fairly certain that any concert would be held in a school auditorium so I veered right.

The thing about small towns is that the school is the church, is also the curling rink, is the funeral home, is the dance hall, is the farmer’s market but the last one is only held there every other Saturday in the winter months. So I was just as likely to walk into a musical performance as to be yelled at to “hurry hard”, or have to pay my respects to a person I never knew, or quickly learn the steps to the electric slide with a baby on my back, as to find my husband.

Luckily I won the town lottery that day and found the right spot, which was just as well because any directions I would have received, had I been lost, would have included turning right at McPherson’s old farm even though McPherson hasn’t owned the land in years and no one can remember when the sign on the corner disappeared. Seeing my husband, I breathed a sigh of relief.

A quick sigh though, because I had to nurse Mini-Tex before my husband took the stage. Mini-Tex had just reached that challenging stage where he was still dependent on breastmilk but everything in the world was more exciting than boobs. The fact that in about twelve years, the only thought on Mini-Tex’s mind would be boobs, didn’t help me in the moment. Hence, I went off in search of a quiet, secluded place to feed him.

The band was occupying what looked like a teacher’s lounge, so I headed across the corridor to a darkened room. It was large and furnished with furniture which would have been trendy in your grandmother’s living room in 1940. Perhaps this was another teacher’s lounge? A super plush but dated one that the staff could mark tests in? But I wasn’t in search of a comfortable wing backed chair, I was looking for silence. The din from across the hall made Mini-Tex’s head whip around, he was desperate to figure out how to get in on the action.

On the other side of the room, beyond the floral-printed settees was a door. I still had yet to figure out the building’s purpose, but I was 100% sure it was a school with old furniture. Or a church with a lot of upholstered seating. Regardless, having grown up in a church, not like Quasimodo style obviously with my parents locking me in the bell tower until I bathed ( I would still be there), but more like, spent an average of two nights and a morning there, I was comfortable in God’s various homes. Like everyone but the moon children who learn math and history from their mothers, I had also spent the majority of my childhood in schools, making the other option a familiar stomping ground. Either way, I felt confident about the odds of locating an out of the way office or classroom to quietly nurse in.

I crossed the room and tried the door handle, it turned easily. On the other side of the door was the plushest, most luxurious carpet I had ever seen in any church or school. Not wanting to wet it with my boots, I slipped them off, and stepped inside a spartanly decorated room. It contained two wingback chairs, clearly the interior designer loved firm but cushy back support, and a desk with a wooden chair. There were only two items on the desk; half a pear and a knife.

At this point in the story when I was relaying it to my mother, she stopped and shrieked “Unwashed, tell me you didn’t eat the pear.” I didn’t. However I was getting a super weird vibe from the place. This was the weirdest school/church/curling rink that I had ever visited, however, Mini-Tex was finally eating with gusto, so I wasn’t about to return to the noisy room. Instead, I tiptoed towards what looked like an open entrance to a closet or another office.

Peering around the corner I saw a double bed, covered with a hand-tatted, lace quilt. Even if this was the most swanky sick room where students laid down before being picked up by their parents, the whole place was feeling way too strange for me, so I quickly hightailed it out of the room back to the band’s meeting spot. The musicians were just packing up their instruments to go onstage, so Mini-Tex and I made our way into the auditorium and found a seat near the back.

Mini-Tex bounced on my lap for three numbers, but wiggled his way loose during a march. Chasing my son as he crawled for freedom towards the exit, I spotted them, the two sisters sitting together in the last row. No doubt the third one was standing eating her pair, looking at the imprints my feet made on her carpet wondering “Who’s been looking at my bed?”

When I finished sharing the story with my mother, she gave me some sage advice; “Unwashed, when you feel the need to remove your shoes, that’s when you need to turn back.” I thought I’d share this wise nugget with you dear readers, so none of you make the same mistake, although clearly it wasn’t my mistake, it was entirely a combination Mini-Tex’s need to nurse, Mother Nature and small towns’ odd habit of multi-purposing buildings. I think of this story sometimes though, when I hear moms comment that they don’t have anything to tell their husbands at the end of the day- these ladies just aren’t committing enough break and enters.