May 1st. It's the day that my mother used to mark the beginning of barefoot season. It didn't matter if the temperature rose to eighty degrees on April 30. Shoes had to be worn until May 1st.
Among the other momisms:
*Always wash your feet before bed. (I'm perpetuating the hillbilly stereotype for all of rural Missouri, it seems.)
*When you take a bath, it is NOT acceptable to start at the feet and work your way up for a change. Well, you don't want to know who came up with this brilliant idea, but you can see how bragging about the new bathtime routine backfired.
*The word fart will never be mentioned in this house (unspoken rule). If one smelt it and wished to inquire as to who dealt it, the proper way to address the situation was: "Does somebody have to go to the bathroom." Thank goodness she had two girls and no boys, because I can imagine my imaginary brother piping up, 'No, I only had to FART!'
*Don't slam the mustard bottle down on the table. Enacted after my sister, who doesn't even eat mustard, shot a bright yellow geyser onto the ceiling of the kitchen.
*Eat everything on your plate before you get up from the table. Guess what? If you don't like the canned peas when they're served to you at 5:00 p.m., you really won't like cold canned peas in the dark at 9:00 p.m.
I realize I've left out the clean underwear in case of an accident, and what if your face froze like that, and if all of your friends jumped off a bridge would you jump off, too. I have time constraints, you know.