Monday, August 5, 2013

Weetbix, No Shame and the Teenaged Boy

Today was my first day back at uni. Naturally, just as I stepped out of the car it had poured down with rain. Naturally, as a mother and a mature-aged student I was the only person with an umbrella.

Everyone else was too cool for umbrellas.
As this story will show, I am not too cool for anything.
Before long the tutor asked us to get into groups to discuss the readings. Very few of us had actually done the readings, and even fewer understood them. I had good intentions and certainly eyeballed them, but when faced with this:

Few Platonic moments are better known in literary studies today, but copious
deconstructive attention to its metaphysical thematics registers little of the ethical
force of Plato’s argument, nor does it unearth the questions of signature which implicitly
 guide the equation of discursive responsibility with the presence of the subject.

I must admit I felt my eyes begin to wander, just a little…


But because I had technically done the readings, I was moved to sit with a group of young guys, possibly in their early twenties but more likely in their late teens.

The angle I was sitting at meant I needed to use my peripheral vision, but there was something obstructing my view. So I took off my glasses to rub my eyes. Nope, the blur was still there.
So I looked inside my glasses.

And plastered in a chunk the size of a five cent piece, was solidified Weetbix, obscuring the lens and caked like concrete around the rim.

What else should I do –I began to chip it out with my fingernail.

Then I realised that one of the guys was watching me with a look that nicely blended disgust and incredulity.
‘Weetbix,’ I whispered. ‘My baby put it there.’

He nodded weakly and nudged his chair away from me.
I remember exactly when Baldy did it. She had been eating with her hands as usual, and as I crouched down near her high chair to clean the larger chunks of the floor she had reached over and grabbed a bunch of my hair, then pulled off my glasses. I ran shrieking to the Bombshell, handing her a brush and asking her to brush it out of my hair.

‘I’ll do my best,’ she said gamely.

I later went to get dressed, and changed my glasses - rather vainly - to match the dress I was planning on wearing. No one would have even noticed the switch in glasses, but it did give the Weetbix ample time to solidify nicely before I changed glasses again a few days later.

Later that night, after I had been to the art gallery and dinner with friends (and school drop off and pick up and playgroup and the shops), I came home, had a quick shower and got ready for bed. When my brush got stuck in my hair I attempted to look at the top of my head in the mirror.

The Bombshell hadn’t brushed it all out and I had been walking around all day with a chunk of chewed up cereal in my hair.
Three days later, and the Weetbix was still haunting me.

So this was how I began my first day back at uni: encrusted, unashamed and with wet feet.

I wonder what will happen next week?

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