Ninjapoo is not a term of endearment

tessaoutsiderartI am devoted doggy mommy.

On an inauspicious March day in 2005, I wandered in to my local Petcetera. I walked out a new woman, reformed by the soulful gaze of a skinny, mangy puppy sitting with eyes full of heart.

You know those smart people who pick up long lost paintings by masters from dumpsters, seeing past the banged up frames and layers of soot? I have the dog version of that.

My dog is one of a kind. She’s basically outsider art.


Do I care when all the other yoga pant wearing Starbucks drinking doggy mommies strut by the by my front yard with their designer doggies looking askance at my scruffy baby? Nope.

Do I complain when I come home and have to pick up a little garbage because my dog has once again rooted through the trash looking for butter wrappers? Nope.

Do I care that Tessa hasn’t exactly made the doggy varsity team? Or can fetch or catch or do any of the traditional doggy tricks? No.


I love her unconditionally. But this dog, the dog I love and dote on, the dog that spends hour upon hour with me out in the yard, the dog who has her own spot on the couch, the dog who has unchallenged first right of occupancy to prime real estate in front of every window, this dog has a secret problem.

Like a ninja in the night we don’t see her come and go, we only know where she has been by the little clues she leaves behind.

Behold, the ninjapoo of shame.

tessa's shame


Safety first

AgoodMotherI pride myself on being a good mother. I take risks and put my own personal well being on the line for my children on a routine basis. Motherhood is just one step removed from martyrdom after all. It causes women about as much grief as any other existing ideology and many of us do it for all the wrong reasons. Still, most of us have the best intentions, and a willingness to accept the risks.

So when my son began dating his first girlfriend I decided I would be progressive and proactive. I took it upon myself to nurture their blossoming relationship right from the start. After all, I am sex positive. I am positive they are going to have sex.

So I made a trip to my local pharmacy, which happens to be in my local grocery store.  I headed for the condom section, which turned out to be a condom aisle. A whole aisle. I had no idea.

condomsI stood there stunned, and a little too afraid to actually pick up any of the boxes and read the fine print. I  don’t know how long I stood there surveying the shelves. Maybe five minutes, maybe three hours.

I was woken from my stupor by a voice over my left shoulder. As soon as I realized that voice belonged to an actual human being and wasn’t coming from inside my head, I turned in that direction. I stood face to face with a handsome twenty something man smiling at me with genuine concern.

“Do you need help?” He asked.

I instantly had a hot flash and blurted out “Not for me, for my son…”

He nodded empathetically, fully aware that women of my age obviously didn’t have sex, let alone safe sex. He took a cautious step forward, hands visible at all times, and reached out and pointed to a box on one of the shelves “These are my favourites.”

durex-surprise-me-12-preservatifsAt this exact moment his girlfriend showed up, and he turned to her to explain himself “This woman is buying condoms for her son, isn’t that great?”

She clapped her hands “You are a wonderful mother! Did he tell you these,” she also pointed, “are our favourite?”

I think I nodded.

She waited.

I stood there.

She picked up the box from the shelf and offered them to me.

I grabbed them, turned around, and ran for the cash. The cashier didn’t mention it. I didn’t get a bag, I popped them right in my purse and prepared for a hasty retreat back to the safety of the parking lot. It was all going well until I got to the door.

There at the door was that lovely young couple, and as I passed them they waved and said in unison “Wish your son good luck!”

Now I have to find a new grocery store because I cannot risk going back there and having them asked me how he did.



My woMAN Cave

At this very moment I am sitting in purgatory while my husband strings cable up through a vent in an attempt to save me.

Purgatory is the boys gaming/movie/computer room. To my left are 4 empty coke cans and the remains of a bag of doritos. To my right is a mouse pad with an anime girl’s face and boobs as the wrist rest.


This is my life. I live with four men ranging in age from 16 to 54. At any given point during the day I will look up and see a man walking around in naught but underwear, hear farting and/or belching, find abandoned socks or cutlery in between the sofa cushions, or discover (the hard way) that the bathroom is temporarily uninhabitable.

I am the lone female in a house of maleness. I need a fortress of heavenly solitude to which I can escape after enduring the daily grind at work and the gauntlet of duties being a wife and mother thrust upon me.

So, at this very moment my husband is stringing cable up through a vent because the spotty and unreliable wireless in my refuge is not conducive to my redemption. I can’t be sure if he is doing this because he has grown weary of my complaints about the inferior quality of the wireless in the south addition, or if the boys are tired of my presence in their refuge, or he is just really that gallant.

Which ever is the true motive, I’m getting a reliable internet connection so I can retreat back into my artroom/woman cave.

 woMAN cave