Back by popular demand (two people asked for more) ((yes, one of them is my mother)), today we have our second chapter in our Poopsie and Beanie series. Enjoy!

Many, many years ago it was the late 1980s and Poopsie was a sixth grade student at a little school in rural Michigan. She decided to play an instrument in the band because all her friends were going to try it. Poopsie got a flute and it was pure mediocre bliss for three days.

Then the flute seemed like a lot of pressure, what with Poopsie’s parents having to rent it and Poopsie actually having to practice it.

Also, the band director at Poopsie’s school was a tall, rotund, and crabby man whom she did not like one bit. One day the band director yelled at Poopsie and that was the end of that. No more band for Poopsie. She was a 1988 band dropout and proud of it and her parents didn’t try too hard to stop her. Poopsie is guessing they probably didn’t feel like paying for an instrument and also probably knew the band director was a putz.

He totally was a putz.

Anyway, fast forward twenty-six years and now Poopsie’s Beanie is a sixth grader in the band.

No, wait. We’ve gotten ahead of ourselves. Beanie’s father is a fine man and a good example of a Band-Not-Dropout, and he has many fond memories of playing the clarinet at his own school. Sensing an opportunity to foist the parenting duties off on the father, Poopsie pointed out that Pop is a band graduate and she is merely a band dropout, so it would be best if he attended the meetings and learned the things.

Poopsie doesn’t have the emotional bandwidth for this new educational opportunity, it turns out.

So Poopsie was quite surprised when Pop and Beanie returned from the first meeting and informed her that Beanie was officially a trombone player, because her lips can form the right shape and also she has the wingspan of an American Bald Eagle. (Beanie approved the writing of that last sentence.)

Audrey and Tooterhorn

While Poopsie thinks it’s awesome to be the mother of a trombonist, there are some difficulties. First of all, she can’t ever remember what the dang thing is called. She sorts through all the instruments before she lands upon the right word, which is why she now simply refers to it as the “Tooterhorn.”

Beanie rolls her eyes and silently wishes for a normal mother.

But there are other problems. The Tooterhorn case is huge and the bus is very crowded and Beanie hates dragging the thing home after school, so Poopsie picks her up pretty often.

But then, taking after her mother, Beanie isn’t actually a fan of practicing. So the Tooterhorn takes up residence under the little side table and collects dust most days.

And then (and this subject must be approached with the utmost delicacy), when Beanie is nagged into practicing and finally drags the Tooterhorn out of its case, the volume it produces is deafening. A deafening instrument in the hands of an inexperienced sixth grader is a fearsome weapon, dear reader.

This is why you must speak loudly and clearly into Pop and Poopsie’s ears. They have suffered permanent hearing damage and their skulls shall eternally vibrate with the noise of that weapon. Pheanie, Beanie’s little brother, has not experienced auditory damage because he always has a pair of earbuds jammed into his ears.

The moral of this story is this: if you are lucky enough to have your children’s father handy, send him to the band meeting.

And always have earplugs handy if the Tooterhorn is near.

P.S. Here’s the link to the first Poopsie and Beanie episode, iffen you’ve got nothing better to do than read blog posts all night: Poopsie and Beanie: A Short Story About a Mom and Her Girl


8 Comments on Poopsie and Beanie Get a Tooterhorn

    March 6, 2015 at 10:22 am (3 years ago)

    What about if you are the father – not all women here. Not feeling so welcomed at the moment.
    Despite that, I will add a comment. I like the nickname thing.
    I never played an instrument as a kid. I would be fine if my kids did. However, all after school programs mean more hassle for us parents. Let’s be honest.
    Sorry for the trauma you faced due to your band days and the stigma of being a drop out. I’m glad you have managed to become a productive member of society.

  2. Jessie Clemence
    March 6, 2015 at 10:49 am (3 years ago)

    It’s been tough, but I managed to turn myself around!

  3. David
    March 6, 2015 at 3:52 pm (3 years ago)

    Neither of us are musical. The kids have dabbled. I remember one having a violin for a while – rented from the school. Beth asked for a guitar for her sixteenth birthday. It is currently taking up space in a spare room but she is home for the weekend and has asked me to drive her back on Tuesday so that she can take the guitar with her and start learning again. I am relieved that is not a tooterhorn.

    Looking forward to the next episode of Poopsie and Beanie. A beanie is a woolly hat over here.

  4. Jessie Clemence
    March 7, 2015 at 9:02 pm (3 years ago)

    I’m just thankful that if this tooter horn business doesn’t work out, the music shop will take it back. I don’t need to store it in a closet for 20 years. 🙂

  5. Debi
    March 9, 2015 at 7:32 am (3 years ago)

    And chapter 3 is just around the corner? Proverbially speaking of course! Lol

  6. joshmosey
    March 9, 2015 at 9:12 am (3 years ago)

    I am a proud band nerd. I played the tooterhorn as well. My parents had me practice in the garage, disconnected from the house. Maybe a good encouragement for practice would be working some Glenn Miller and other classic big band music into her life. Also, ska bands are incomplete without a good tooterhorn, though I doubt that will win any points with Pop or Poopsie. Anyway, band nerds are awesome.

  7. Jessie Clemence
    March 9, 2015 at 4:01 pm (3 years ago)

    As I type, tooterhorn practice has commenced. It required a very long lecture and a lot of waving the hands.

  8. Jessie Clemence
    March 9, 2015 at 4:02 pm (3 years ago)

    I actually have an excellent Chapter 3 written in my head, but it’s been firmly rejected by both Beanie and Pop. As in “NO WAY.” But it would be so, so excellent.