I’m guessing that most humans have seen the movie “Bridesmaids” by now, and if so, I’m sure you remember the hilarious airplane scene where Kristen Wiig becomes paranoid and screams to the passengers on the intercom that there is a colonial woman churning butter on the wing of the airplane before she gets tackled by my cousin Melissa McCarthy (the funniest bridesmaid, of course). This has become one of my all-time favorite movie quotes, and I consistently annoy my friends with my reenactment. I also delight flight attendants whenever I fly with my own reenactment of this line. Sometimes it doesn’t go over so well, especially if they haven’t seen the movie. So, naturally, when I was asked to be the “field trip mom” at the Naperville Settlement Museum for my son Evan’s fourth grade class, I felt like I won the Lotto. I knew this was my once-in-a-lifetime chance to actually meet a colonial woman who churns butter.
That morning, I don’t know who was more excited, me or Evan. I thought about how fortunate I was that he’s at that age where he is still proud to be around his mom. Well, after this field trip, probably not anymore. I explained to him that we were going to a museum that teaches kids how people used to live back in the old old days.
He responded, “Like in 1980?”
I’m sad to say that he was actually serious and not joking. “No Evan, like in 1830.”
We pulled up to the Naperville Settlement Museum and I did my mom duty and helped all the kids get safely inside. I’ve chronicled my adventure below with pictures so you, too, can enjoy learning about life in 1830, and my adventures in searching for a colonial woman who churns butter!
What do ya know? A pioneer woman from 1830 cheerfully welcomed us!
Fourth graders obviously pumped to see some old people from 1980!
I forget that people were so short back in the old days. I’m only 5-foot-6, and felt like Kareem Abdul Jabbar in these log-cabin doorframes.
Not sure if field trip moms are supposed to ask questions, but I just had to ask if she was the colonial woman who will churn butter and if not, where is she?
Wow, newspapers were huge back in the day. The print was so small because they had to cram all the news on only one sheet of paper. It would take three days to make. Yikes, and I thought my blogs took forever to create.
Ooooh found me a sexy blacksmith! Too bad he was from 1830 and made 4 cents an hour.
I had heard that the outdoor bathroom in the museum was heated, so I took the liberty of hiding in there for a bit. Stalling in bathrooms was something I excelled at in high school. Thank God there were no nuns at the Naperville Settlement Museum to drag me out.
Woo hoo! I feel like Dora the Explorer! Could this be a clue that we will be finding my colonial woman who churns butter soon?
My other field trip mommy said I was sleeping, but I would prefer to say it was more of a mediation.
Ok, could this FINALLY be the colonial woman who is churning butter? I can’t take it anymore! I want her now!
Wait a minute. What is she holding up? Is that cream? Yes, it IS cream! And I know what cream is used for! It’s used to make BUTTER!!!!
“OMG! What is that on the table? Could it be? Could it be a churn for churning butter?!!!! OMGG!!!!”
It’s her! It’s really her! I found the colonial woman who churns butter. Now if I can only get her to a wing of an airplane my life will be complete!
Once everyone left the room, I couldn’t help myself.
Evan learned a lot from today. Not only how hard chores were back in the 1980s but also….
… he earned a deeper appreciation for a man named Steve Jobs.
When I got home that night, I saw a tweet from the Naperville Settlement. I told them how much fun Evan and I had, and that my favorite part was meeting the colonial woman churning butter. What she said next made my heart shatter into little bitsy pieces. ‘’Jenny, sorry to burst your bubble but it’s 1830. That’s not colonial. She was 19thcentury.”
Noooooooooooo!!!!!!!! It felt like she told me Santa wasn’t real. I had no idea there was a difference between the two. Well, I guess the kids weren’t the only ones that learned something that day.
Life moves on. I will spend my future travel days looking out my airplane window in search of my colonial woman who churns butter on the wing of an airplane. I know you are out there somewhere.