Sunday, August 9, 2009

Little House in the Big Chaos

So I bought a number of new skirts on Friday (shopping downtown was a part of our Friday Date Afternoon), and this morning I had to hand wash them in the tub before I can wear them.

I admit, I do not always wash my clothing before wearing it (and in fact there may have been a time in my life where doing laundry was such a pain in the ass that I bought new underwear rather than wash the ones I had...yes, I know, I could have washed them in the sink, but if you haven't figured out by now how lazy I am when it comes to cleaning stuff, you're a lost cause), but this particular store has a very lovely smell that I can handle smelling for about twelve minutes before it makes my head feel like it has been violated by an ice auger.

(please do not make any wild assumptions about my writing ability based on that sentence, thx.)

Anyway. So I'm hunched over the tub, my hands ice cold and raw, my back straining under the weight of all that heavy, stinky fabric, and I'm reminded of the book the boys and I are reading--that lovely classic Little House on the Prairie, by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I started thinking about how Ma washed all their clothes in a couple of washtubs with water hauled up from the creek bottom all the way up to the prairie. How Pa had suggested that she go down and wash the clothes in the river like the Indians did, spreading them on the rocks to dry. How she had been offended and insisted she would do the wash like civilized people do. How much more work that seemed to Jabber and Monkey and me when we read about it.

(Incidentally, I'm very interested in any great non-fiction book suggestions on Native Americans, since this book is generating a lot of discussion among Curiouser and Curiouser...)

Yesterday afternoon Jabber and Monkey and I made cornbread, just like Ma. "Hey, Mama, let's play Little House," said Jabber.

"Little House onna Pare-Ee!" shouted Monkey, jumping all crazy on the top of the step-stool.

"Okay," I said. "I will be Ma." (I lack imagination.)

"Can I be Laura?" asked the Jabberwock, jumping too, though from a sensible floor-level.

"Sure," I said.

"Okay! I'll be Laura, and Monkey can be...." Jabber looked over at Monkey, who was sitting on the kitchen floor shaking his head from the fall off the step-stool--a little rattled but trying not to let it show. "Well, I guess I'm Mary, 'cause I'm the biggest. And Monkey can be...."

It all started to fall apart. He looked up at me. "Can Monkey be Mary but still I'm the biggest?"

"Laura's the most interesting, isn't she?" I said.

He nodded. "Mary isn't very much fun," he said.

"Yeah. Maybe Monkey could be Baby Carrie."

"Yeah. And then I can still boss him."




Mary's List said...

I love the Little House books. I think they were the first books that made mad for reading. I see they are making your little guys a little mad too :)

althrasher said...

This entry made me laugh a lot. And realize that I should probably read little house on the prairie.