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I like to think that we provide the children with a fairly wholesome array of influences. That said, regardless of whether they are the socially just, the ethically virtuous, or the inkily inclined, if taken in isolation, these influences are going to give the children as narrow a world view, as they would have from a childhood in a Cooperite community.

If that sounds like the wild justifications of a guilty parent, that's because it is.

And this guilty parent has had plenty of time to think over this very justification since the weekend, when we accidentally took our children to see their first burlesque show.

When I say accidentally, of course I knew it wasn't going to be a recital of bible passages, what with it being a tattoo convention, and a show called The Pretty Things Peep Show but for some reason, my frazzled mama brain didn't follow that to its logical conclusion.

Y'know, the conclusion where a lady takes her clothes off and sets her breasts on fire?

It started innocently enough, more circus than burlesque, but when butt covering balloons started getting popped by whips and nails started getting hammered into nostrils, well, it got a whole lot less Ringling Brothers and whole lot more How's Ye Father.


I looked at Keith, he looked at me and we both looked at Alfie. Our “boooooored” son, for the first time all day was looking, well, not bored, that's for sure as hell.

What followed was a wordless parent conversation conducted entirely with facial gymnastics and shoulder gestures. We agreed; it was too late to escape, and probably wasn't going to do much harm past having to answer a few interesting questions about how women choose to celebrate their bodies

I'm still waiting for the questions, actually, but I'm pretty sure they're in the post. 

If there's one thing I have learned about the children is that they wait, oooooh they wait, until your guard is down and your brain is occupied on other things before they fix you with their most innocent stare and ask you a question that will make you wish you had just stuck with getting a puppy.

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