A Hot Buoyant Mess

I got invited to mom and baby aquafit. Before attending, I figured that it would be something along the lines of mom and baby yoga, wherein a whole bunch of moms stand on yoga mats while jiggling their babies for half an hour and talking about “Namaste”.

I was starting the aquafit class midway through the session, so I had grand plans of arriving early and asking the instructor nicely if I could only pay half of the fee. Mini-Tex of course had another idea in mind, specifically napping five minutes before the exact time that we had to leave. So I rushed around frantically packing what we needed, half-in-half-out of my one piece bathing suit, flashing my neighbours as I rushed past the windows, just in case they needed some more evidence that I’m disorganized and a little white-trash.

Ten minutes later, I woke Mini Tex up, sped towards where I thought the class was, parked, got him out of the car seat, popped him into the carrier and sprinted towards the doors into the church/school/nunnery/all purpose building downtown. Breathless, I bounded towards the security guard and asked where the change rooms were. “You want the Aquatic Center” she told me “it’s on the other end of the building, it’s a ways away. You have to go outside and walk over a block”. Because putting an infant into a car seat takes almost as long, if not longer, than walking any place in town, I ran out the doors and down the street. I entered the Aquatic Center panting and said “Swimming?” to the woman at the desk. “Boots” replied the woman looking pointedly at my snowy footwear. “I need to pay for the class” I added, while removing my rubber boots, which were an inappropriate choice for the weather but I can jump into them, so more often than not I appear at places looking like I’ve been splashing in mud puddles.

“I’m sorry, I meant to get here early to register but we visited the nuns” I explained. “You know the nuns?” the woman at the desk asked. It seemed like an inopportune time to share the story of my accidentally breaking into a nun’s bedroom the day before so I answered succinctly “We got lost”.

The visibly irritated instructor informed me that I was late so we would complete my registration after the class. I bounded into the change room as all of the other moms were exiting to the pool. I pulled out a swim diaper that I had purchased months ago. It was too small and wouldn’t stay on. “It’s fine” I reassured myself aloud, “I’ll just put his bathing onesie over it and it will fit” except that his bathing onesie, size 3-Toddler was too small despite my son being only 9 months old. So doing up the zipper was like closing an overstuffed suitcase, minus putting my knee on my son’s chest to zip it up the last little way. However he was dressed and the swim diaper was in the onesie, so that was all that mattered.

I had put on my suit at the house, so I threw off my clothes like a stripper about to be yanked off stage. Holding Mini Tex like a football, I charged like a running back towards the showers, it was only by virtue of good luck that he was away from the spray and not scalded by the boiling water coming out of the heads as I doused myself. We then sprinted to the pool where the surly instructor told me “Other side” as I attempted to climb down the ladder holding my son.

I had pictured something like mom and baby yoga where moms stand in the pool jiggling their babies talking about jumping jacks. Instead I was met with an unexpected sight of twenty babies in tiny baby boats. They were all bobbing around their moms, sitting in oversized flutter boards with holes cut in the middle to accommodate a fabric baby seat.

I waded over to the instructor, who dropped Mini-Tex into a boat and then started the class. The babies were each given two toys and moms were to hold on to the rope attached to the boat and tow their babies about while they played. Mini-Tex didn’t get the memo about this process, and preferred to chew on the rope, tossing his toys off the side so the instructor had to fish them out of the water while shooting me an annoyed look. So Mini-Tex gnawed on the rope, while riding the waves of the women’s movements and I did aquafit and intermittently chased after the boat when he drifted too far away.

It was awesome, and I loved it. I have grand plans of arriving early to talk with the other moms next week. We’ll see whether that happens or whether I take a wrong turn and pay a visit to the local bait and tackle shop for directions and end up being late, running around like my hot, buoyant mess self.

What’s In My Bag?

Celebrities are always upending their totes and clutches to share with the world the all-important items they can’t live without: La Montagne cream made from the buttocks of Himalayan llamas to give their skin that bouncy, mountain-kissed glow; photosynthesizing wipes because using pure chlorophyll to wash your hands is the greenest alternative of all and of course drugstore sunglasses to make them seem down to earth. Being that I am a big time blogger known the next street over (Hi Mrs. Kasnicki!), I decided it was high time I share what’s in my bag.

A plain metal credit card case – At one point a decade ago it had metal designs on it, those got rubbed/chipped off. Just as well- who can commit to a design they liked ten years ago?

A blobby keychain that measures the UV index – These come free with every order of my UV shirts although it’s always sunburn o’clock for me. Other non vampires might find this gadget useful but they’re probably not the ones ordering UV protective clothing.

Reusable diapers – Being a card carrying hippie, this is my billboard to the world that I believe in saving the environment by handling my son’s waste as much is humanly possible while making sure his butt is GIANT. Others may toss their offspring’s urine into the trash with disposable diapers, but I carry it around with me so the pee can ferment in my bag until I remember to throw it in the wash two weeks later. This is how much I love trees.

Something brown, gooey and squishy – Oh good grief, it smells too! I’m fairly sure this was my son’s snack at one point, regardless; it’s going in the compost.

Huggies diaper wipes – There are reusable wipes at home, but packing the spray bottle to wet them seems a bit much.

110 SPF sunscreen – Tex hides tubes of this stuff everywhere like he’s the Easter bunny of skin protection. He knows the only thing worse than a grumpy wife is a sunburned one.

Tiny nail clippers – Newborns and babies look so defenseless until they sink their ten miniatures daggers into the fleshy part of your neck. Supposedly daily trimming prevents this carnage. That hasn’t been my experience though.

A lone red silicone muffin cup – Because sometimes I like to bake on the go. In small batches. No, actually it’s Mini-Tex’s favourite toy. Who knew bake ware could be so versatile? It goes from being a hat to a Frisbee to a teether in under a minute.

Aside from the crumbs of a thousand smushed baby crackers, that’s everything in my bag. What can’t you live without?

On The Glory Of Shoving Oneself Into Flying Metal Tubes

Can we all just agree on one piece of information? No matter how you feel about Trump, gluten or labradoodles, I think that we as a species can decisively say that air travel sucks. Well more literally it squishes and compacts but the experience as a whole is a bit like ants at a picnic. If the ants were the size of tanks and trying to rip chunks out of you while stealing your lunch.

Regardless of descriptions, of which I have many, for example, flying is like having a mammogram of your entire body that lasts for hours and hours, airplanes are overrated. There are a limited number of places in the world whose beauty, amenities and people offer enough incentive to justify shoving myself into a flying metal tube for any length of time. In fact, I have more reasons to stay home than not.

A List of Countries and Reasons Why Sitting on the Couch With a Bag of Doritos Is Preferable To Forking Over Gobs of Money To United Airlines or Some Other Similar Company Hell Bent on Violating Your Rights in Ways that Only Airlines Can

Greece- People are always wetting their pants with excitement over the blue waters of this nation. Where I live, we have a big blue sky. Hanging upside down from a tree while my husband sprays me with water from the hose would probably have the same effect.

Australia – These people were once a British colony. Canada was a British colony. Why would I spend eighteen squillion hours on a plane to see what is most likely another version of Canada?

New Zealand – Is just Australia 2.0 as far as I’m concerned. New Zealand – The woolier version of Australia. Also they have an annoying habit of calling themselves “kiwis”, it would be like if all the Canucks decided to refer to one another as “orangillos”. Equally mystifying and ridiculous. By contrast, following the success of the Peter Jackson films, calling New Zealanders “hobbits” fits perfectly.

Mexico – A country that is losing the war on drugs. Nobody likes to hang around with a loser.

France – Historical, old buildings filled with dusty, aging furniture that no one is allowed to sit on. If I wanted to not sit on furniture, I’d visit my Grandma’s house circa 1980. Counterpoint- excellent wine but we can get that here.

Italy – France’s hairy, pizza making cousin.

Uzbekistan- Is this actually a real country? I thought this was made up for the Borat films. Also my jet setting Uncle had a policy that he never traveled anywhere that ended in “stan” for safety reasons.

Japan – I’m not a fan of being squashed into a small space for a short period of time, why in goodness’ name would I make a vacation of the experience? Also showering over the toilet is an experience I don’t wish to repeat, after living and bathing in an RV for a week, I can safely say I’m “over” this foreign country.

South Africa – My vampire skin makes this a bad idea from the get go. The fact that people are regularly mugged at gun point adds to the fire of my question of “But why?”

Greenland – This country is quite literally melting. Despite being a lifeguard, I’m not a great swimmer. Also my pale little legs just scream “eat me”. I’m not sure what kinds of human-munching sea creatures are up there, but they must be hardy and large to survive around a country made partially of ice.

Galapagos – It’s possible this isn’t a country. Or maybe it’s just a country for scientists. Regardless, I loathe regular air travel. Flying in teeny tiny planes is its own special ring of Hell that I never wish to experience. I’m told that’s a requirement of traveling to the Galapagos.

That’s an incomplete and abridged list of all the places that are not as good as a bag of Doritos and staring out my front window at home.  Please stay tuned for more whinging as my family convinces me to return home for Christmas.

Traveling Haikus

Squashed tight spaces

Though little I am crushed

In with a baby

 

Babies hate stillness

Discomfort, bedlam follows

Airborne Smarties, toys

 

At least he’s quiet

Quietly throwing objects

Hate me, I chose this

 

Babies shouldn’t fly

People shouldn’t fly period

But babies for sure

 

Even now, still flat

Air travel has crushed me

Junk food, wine, gossip

 

Only a Band-Aid

My two dimensional soul

Formerly 3-D

 

Tired drama queen

Say thanks for the right to fly

Travel is fun no?

 

Your regularly scheduled Unwashed shall return next week. Tragically, passage by plane has all but stolen her will to live.  In the meantime, you can find her convalescing on the couch while her son watches endless episodes of Peppa Pig. Sweet alcohol and pictures of high fashion can be shipped directly to her house. She will answer the door in pyjamas, with wild, unkempt Medusa hair.

This Isn’t A Post. It’s In Your Best Interest Not To Read It. Perhaps Try A Game Of Bocce Ball Instead.

Remember when you were a kid and had to travel somewhere, so your parents would be packing frantically while you laid face down on the stairs, pressing your forehead into the carpet, blocking everyone’s passage while groaning loudly? That’s how I’m feeling about writing this evening, like lying with my nose and cheeks squished against the keys would be preferable to typing out a post.

It’s not that I don’t have content. I’ve spent the past week and a half traveling about, alternating between terrorizing my sister and perfect strangers. It can be safely stated that I am a small town person. I’m meant for a slower, more familiar pace of life, where you know not only the cashier at the grocery store but two of their first cousins too.

The kind of behavior that is encouraged in a small town; skipping small talk and asking personal questions about another person’s family, might be viewed as rude or eccentric in the big smoke. So at home I am charming. When I visit the terrible metropolis empire, I am a weirdo that people ignore or move quickly away from.

To me cities are a soul strangling mix of noise and anonymity with a fierce underlying sense of competition. I suck at competing. It’s the primary reason why I chose to coach overgrown toddlers to ski. No one expects someone who recently looked kneecaps in the eye, to beat out other three year olds at whizzing down snow covered hills. The crowd just cheers if the little people make it to the bottom. Consequently in cities, when faced with the cold, indifferent looks of strangers as they bolt across loud, construction-congested streets, I start to question my life’s decisions. So I do what makes me feel good; I look for the bits of the world that make me happy and I comment on them.

I told a woman at the GO station that I didn’t think she was old enough to retire. As another lady passed me while boarding the train I commented that her dress was lovely. She ignored me. I chased down a woman wearing her toddler awkwardly in a poorly fitted carrier and offered to help adjust the straps. I smiled at the horrible skyscrapers even as they bared their metal and glass teeth at me. I sang my sweetest folk songs to comfort me and my son as the city’s desire to grow taller than the sky thundered around us in the form of bulldozers, cranes and drills as they erected endless series of towers.

When I tired of alarming passersby, I focused on my sister. Diana decided to accompany Mini-Tex and I on a visit to our grandmother’s assisted living home. “What is the food like?” my sister asked as we rode the subway there. “I’m not sure” I replied, “I’ve never eaten there”. After a second, Diana suggested that she thought the food would be soft. “Excellent” I replied, “Nothing beats a lunch of cream cheese, pudding and wet paper towels”.

Diana’s proclamation was correct. While tasty, everything in the dining room of the assisted living facility left one feeling as though their food had been pre-chewed. Mini-Tex didn’t mind in the least except for when I gave him what I thought were peaches. He spat them out forcefully and pulled a face. Surprised, I turned to my sister, “that’s strange, he likes peaches”. Diana then pointed out that Mini-Tex wasn’t a fan because the wobbly orange slices weren’t peaches but in fact apricots.

Sampling a piece, I realized the fruit was sour. “Let me try one” Diana asked. As my sister put an apricot half into her mouth, I looked at her deviously and said “Slimy, and you get the feeling they keep sliding all the way down”. The line hit its mark and my sister gave a small cough. “I just gagged” she exclaimed. “I don’t think I can eat this” Diana disdainfully held up the rest of the apricot. I was delighted and filled with the same satisfaction that a five year old has when they’ve bopped their sibling on the head with a particularly sturdy toy. Which is terrible, not the delight part, because there’s always some small part of a person, no matter their age which enjoys terrorizing their sibling, but because the line was stolen from Gilmore Girls– I take pride in coming up with my own material to disgust Diana.

As much fun as I had at my sister’s expense, some of the strangers I encountered didn’t get off scot-free either. On a late, late trip home on the GO train, the car was packed. I had a seat for most of the ride, but before disembarking at our stop, I stood in a crush of people all of whom were forced to stand for the trip. Next to me was a beautiful man. He was well dressed, immaculately manicured and very very handsome. And boy did he know it. In all of my life, I have never seen such preening. In the reflection of the window, he gazed at his perfect visage from this angle and that angle. As though he was asking himself  each time, “Am I gorgeous on this side? Oh yes. What about this side?” After I watched this for a couple of minutes, the man stopped. I thought the show was over. But then he started again. “Don’t worry” I reassured him “you’re still pretty”. He turned away from me after that and tragically stopped his preening. Pity that, I was looking forward to the bicep flexes, which I assumed were coming next.

That’s the nonsense I’ve been up to. This wasn’t actually a post. It was more a series of bizarre interactions which Diana would claim is the manner that I inflict myself upon the world.

Orgies, Meth Labs and Theft: How To Properly Welcome a Babysitter


Dear Stacy,

Thank you so much for coming over to watch our son, it’s been so long since my husband and I have had a care-free evening alone. To make your night easier, we thought we should let you know a couple of things. First off, the heroin is kept in the cupboard above the fridge. It’s difficult to reach but you know how it is; if the heroin is on the counter, no one wants to finish their dinner. You’re welcome to help yourself.

 

If you decide to host an orgy, please use the living room rather than the dining room. Not only is the living room larger, and thus can accommodate more bodies, but the dark patterned flooring hides stains well. Most importantly though, the rug in the living room is much plusher and therefore easier on the bottom of whomever ends up on the bottom.

 

For run-of-the-mill, just your boyfriend sex, our bed is best. The bedroom set in the guest room was my grandmother’s and may not stand up to vigorous activity. Remember- safety first!

 

The valuables are hidden in a ventilation duct above our TV in the basement. I suggest Kijiji over the city’s buy and sell Facebook pages, items fetch higher prices there. Be sure to really extend your arm into the vent so you don’t miss the antique silverware.

 

For the purposes of a meth lab, the rec room strikes the ideal balance between ventilation and secrecy. It’s location around the back of the house hides the room from the street and a bush partially obscures the window. In addition, the kitchen fan is only a couple feet away, rendering it the perfect place for you to re-enact “Breaking Bad”.

 

Great news! We just got home internet which should simplify the set-up of a prostitution ring, as I’ve heard that pimps have moved off the street and online. The password to our network is dirtsquirrel1.

 

That should prepare you for every possibility tonight except if you decide to start a cult, in which case, my apologies, I should have left more chips and dip.
Thanks so much, we’ll be back around ten.

If I Was A Tamagotchi

Welcome! Congratulations on your purchase of the Unwashed Tamagotchi, this act will allow you to live out your dirt-squirreliest, hippie dreams. Before we get started, you need to know how to care for your Unwashed Tamagotchi.Unwashed tamagotchi

Feeding

Unwashed prefers to eat cookies. Feeding your Unwashed Tamagotchi cookies will result in 3 happiness points and an abundance of hugs. As wonderful as endless hugs and happiness points may sound, cookies should be used sparingly because otherwise your Unwashed Tamagotchi’s health will suffer and she’ll begin to lay about moaning that her super fit mother is going to send a trainer to her door. Life with your Unwashed Tamagotchi is no fun when she is moaning about feeling spherical rather than person shaped.

 

Sleep

Your Unwashed Tamagotchi is sensitive to the sun. At the smallest hint of light, your Unwashed Tamagotchi will bound out of bed demanding to go on a hike or bike ride, use extra thick black out curtains to ensure a good sleep. This Tamagotchi also doesn’t like sound; keep her away from noisy neighbours or risk losing happiness points. A good night’s sleep will earn 8 happiness points. Beware of late night reading, although it earns 10 happiness points, waking up the next morning costs 12 happiness points.

 

Activity

Your Unwashed Tamagotchi LOVES to be active, however going to the gym will kill your Unwashed Tamagotchi. This threat is so acute that even driving past a gym will result in loss of health points-use an alternate route. Stick to quiet green spaces and transportation as forms of activity and watch those happiness points accumulate. Exercise caution with exercise, because too much will cause your Unwashed Tamagotchi to whinge and a couple happiness points will be lost.

 

Health

Walks in green spaces will increase your Unwashed Tamagotchi’s health meter. Walks in cities will decrease it. Cookies will cause a slight decrease. Beets make your Unwashed Tamagotchi’s health meter jump. As do social interactions.

 

Social

Your Unwashed Tamagotchi wants to hang out with other Tamagotchis. Arrange for her to see and cook dinner for her friends and those happiness points will pile up.

 

Happiness

Cookies, sleep, hikes and seeing other Tamagotchis regularly makes for a happy Tamagotchi. Gyms, cities, and travel will cause a steep loss in happiness points. After a long time alone or a lack of cookies, your Unwashed Tamagotchi will be at zero happiness points and cranky. While spending time in a noisy, crowded metropolis your Unwashed Tamagotchi will be at -10 happiness points. At that level she will be prone to laying on the ground and complaining. Flying, long car trips or travel of any type will leave your Unwashed Tamagotchi at -30 happiness points and prone to biting. While social interactions help the most, the other Tamagotchis won’t want to play with your Unwashed Tamagotchi in that state. Use cookies and reading to build happiness points.

Good luck! Enjoy your Unwashed Tamagotchi. Another note- obviously it is a terrible idea to bathe an Unwashed Tamagotchi, not only will it fry the circuits, but it will cost happiness points. Wait until stink lines begin to form around your Unwashed Tamagotchi and then light a scented candle.

 

Dear Toronto

And New York, and Los Angeles and every other enormous metropolis in the world,

We hate you. I know you don’t care because you’re too busy loving yourself and proclaiming how important you are but I just wanted to give you a heads up that the rest of the world totally and completely DESPISES you.

For the record Toronto, before you get all high and mighty about how you invented the cronut or whatever, I should remind you that it costs an eighth of the price of one of your teeny weeny condos to buy a house here. Paying more doesn’t make you better, it just makes the banks your BFF.

Also, while we’re on the topic of cronuts, no, Toronto, before you ask, that delectable snack is not available out here. Hold off on getting up on your high city horse about the varieties of food and drink available in your perfect city; I need to state that lining up for forty minutes for what is essentially a donut doesn’t make you “hip” it merely confirms my conclusion that you, Toronto, are in fact a crazy pants.

Speaking of crazy, let’s talk about your “reasonable” forty minute commute to work. It takes forty minutes to drive around my town. Twice. By contrast my “commute” is a 15 minute walk down a quiet, treed street. I’ll let you chew on that, along with your cronut while you sit in traffic yet again, cursing the other people around you for existing.

And about that whole “cursing other people” thing. We don’t do that here either. Not because other people aren’t annoying sometimes, but because you will see them Every. Single. Day. Forever. So you show everyone kindness and respect, and open the door for them and offer them the last cookie in the break room because you bowl with their Aunt Mabel on Tuesdays.

Stop your sniggering Toronto, yes, we bowl. The alley is celebrating it’s fortieth year in business as a matter of fact. Out here, we don’t feel the need to follow the latest trend or seek out the newest hotspot, instead we bowl, we garden, we hike and we laugh at your ridiculous urban habit of inventing new activities to distract yourself from the misery of living in your overcrowded, loud, obnoxious city.

Were you able to hear that comment Toronto? I wouldn’t blame you if you couldn’t. Do you realize your subways, which along with being totally filthy by the way, are actually loud enough to damage your hearing? As if you weren’t grouchy enough already with your giant mortgage and your endless commute, now you’ll be deaf to boot.

I won’t pretend that you listened to any of that Toronto, in fact you probably left halfway through to go throw axes or paint cans or whatever the beardy, plaid youth are doing nowadays. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go help fix my neighbour’s tractor.

Never, ever yours,

Unwashed

 

Tradesperson Wanted Regarding Cement Boot Removal

Wait until the guy responds to my Kijiji ad and realizes the boots are attached to my psyche. Now that’s going to be a bewildered look.

I’m stuck. Stuck like a frat boy after an unfortunate super glue prank. Stuck like a Smart car in an eight foot snow drift. Stuck like my twelve year old self in the maroon swimming level.

Much like my twelve year old self, clinging to the pool wall, refusing to do a front roll into the water, I don’t foresee this situation changing anytime soon. Only unlike my twelve year old self, who was scared to death of hitting her head on the way in and dying, (Two group lessons, three private instructors and no maroon badge later, Mom, are you regretting not asking me why I wouldn’t forward roll into water?) I’m worried about not being funny.

I’d love to melodramatically claim that it’s “Writer’s Block” but someone on WordPress debunked that last week saying that writer’s block is merely a writer’s will. So apparently I’m willing myself not to write. Likely due to the aforementioned fact that I’m not funny anymore. For starters, I no longer do weird and bloggable acts like kicking banks, partially because there are no banks here there’s only THE bank and Fred would get offended if I started wailing on his establishment and would consequently pull my husband aside in the grocery store “Hey Tex, like your choice in onions by the way- Spanish, always a winner. While I’ve got you here, is your wife all right?” but also because I’m a Mom and am therefore not out and about hoofing any businesses let alone Fred’s bank. Instead I spend a lot of my time convincing Mini-Tex that apples taste as good as breastmilk and singing “Down by the bay”. While wombats in top hats are amusing, the story of my days pretty much ends there.

Furthermore, on top of not being funny anymore, I’m seriously bummed. Everyone, we have got to stop egging Stephen Hawking’s house. For starters, computer voices are not nearly as entertaining as irate voices of neighbour’s while they shake their fists at teens while the vandals speed away from the scene- pick a different home. Secondly because giving this scientific legend’s home an omelet shower is clearly pissing Stephen Hawking off. In case you missed it, this renowned physicist and researcher damned the whole world. According to Dr. Hawking, humans have about 100 years until we face extinction.

Mind you, if the CBC is to be believed, people may have damned themselves first. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported that young people now prefer to talk to twenty people at once on Facebook and Instagram in lieu of telephone calls with a lone person. If that isn’t a recipe for slow, isolating extinction, I don’t know what is. So I’m bummed, because whether by Stephen Hawking, or our own ridiculous love of handheld technology, we as a species are done for.

Now everyone start a slow clap for me, because I’ve just written something that is almost as depressing since the news that the villain from the last bachelor show has a girlfriend. If society had been paying attention, the concept that such a man could be in a position to approach procreation is terrifying and obviously foreshadows more horrible news. This has been Debbie “Unwashed” Downer in your weekly “Reasons to Read a Book Rather Than Use Your Device” list.

For the record, I’m still searching for foot and psyche friendly jack hammer wielding tradespeople.

Deadbeat Manatee Parent

A consequence of meeting someone and then marrying them while being five months pregnant with their child, all in under a year, is that for a long while after all that excitement, you’re still getting to know your life partner. There are times when I’ll say “My friend Algernon* got married” and Tex will say “Algernon? You’ve never mentioned an Algernon” even though Algernon was my best friend in fifth through eighth grade. Then, I’ll tell him all about who I was when the world wore necklaces made of Bonnebelland braces.

So when a dresser full of papers from my childhood bedroom arrived, Tex stopped me before I could recycle the lot. “Wait” he said “we need to go through this together. This is a gold mine.” Waving a page around gleefully he said “Look there’s even your school project on manatees!”

I did do a project on manatees, but the paper he was waving around wasn’t it. I’m a heartless purger of memorabilia of any kind so that particular project had hit the blue bin two decades ago. In fact before Tex declared an amnesty for my childhood papers, I had already peeled the photographs from the pages because I know the city doesn’t take them with newspapers.

Fast forward to Tex and I sitting together, going through all of my junk. Once again, Tex grabbed for the papers about the manatees. “Who is Deep Dent?” Tex asked as he read over the paper congratulating me on my contribution to a manatee sanctuary. “He’s my manatee.” I answered, “For my birthdays I would ask for people to adopt manatees for me because I’ve always been an environment loving, dirty hippie”.

“Cool” Tex responded with his signature buoyant enthusiasm. “What do you know about these manatees?”

“I don’t know,” I replied offhandedly, “Here are their biographies, I didn’t read them.”

Tex reached for the pages of information about Deep Dent and the two other manatees I had adopted. “Neat. Are there pictures?”

“I took them out already, I was going to put them in the trash.”

Tex stopped rifling through the pages to look at me. “Do you mean to say that you don’t know anything about these manatees that you’ve adopted and you don’t have pictures of them? You’re a deadbeat manatee parent.” He glanced down at Amanda the manatee’s biography. “Did you at least visit them?”

“No, but my grandparents did” I said sheepishly.

“Your grandparents?!” Tex exploded at me “You really are a deadbeat manatee parent.”

So there you have it world. My mother is an excellent grandmother and a good step-parent even if she doesn’t want to be acknowledged in either of those roles, whereas I mindlessly adopt manatees and forget about them. Give me forty lashes or chain me to the stocks, or whatever it is that’s done to deadbeats.

 

 

*I didn’t actually have a friend named Algernon. Mostly because when I was younger I didn’t have friends. Not because I was unpopular, I was just unpleasant. But these types of omissions of information happen with Tex and I all the time. Probably because during the first year we were together, a little under half of it was consumed with prenatal activities and discussions. And by prenatal activities I mean vomiting. And by discussions I mean this conversation:

“Are you going to puke?”

“That looks like your puke face.”

“I’m pulling over to the side of the road now.”

Kids, the lesson here is to bang hot cowboys and get to know them later. It’s a tried and true recipe for life success, as evidenced by me, the deadbeat manatee parent. Now if you’ll excuse me, I just realized I forgot about the possum that I brought home last week and put in the porch.