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Hollow Tree Ventures parenting humor
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Sleeping Beauty

Is there anything on earth more beautiful than a sleeping child?  Their sweet little faces become so peaceful, positively angelic; one can only imagine the blissful images that pass before them in their innocent dreams, as we coo and fawn over every soft sigh and eyelash flutter.

So what happens to us?  At what stage of development to we devolve from looking so idyllic during sleep into looking like the unfortunate corpse in the opening scene of a CSI episode?  It's like one night we're cuddly and soft and smell like Johnson's baby powder, and the next night we metamorphosize into snoring, sprawling, slack-jawed gargoyles drowning in a river of our own saliva.  I suspect it happens during adolescence, but then again I blame almost everything on adolescence.

The reason I ask is that I awoke today to the sight of our camera, which was propped up in the corner of the room on its tripod.  This can mean only one thing: my husband has been taking pictures of me while I'm sleeping.  Again.  This started back when we were dating, but his nocturnal photography sessions have really hit a fever pitch since our daughter was born.  He must just love the artistic juxtaposition between the captivating beauty of a dozing infant and the sloppy mess of a woman in her mid-thirties who has fallen into a catatonic state due to exhaustion.  Here's the enchanting scene he captured last night:


I look like I may have choked to death on my own tongue.  Maddie, of course, looks adorable, if not perhaps a little concerned, her brow furrowed slightly as if trying to puzzle out where her next meal will come from if someone doesn't happen by to give me the Heimlich.

I've told Gerry multiple times that taking pictures of people while they're sleeping is punishable by un-anesthetized toenail removal in some countries, but he is not deterred.  Even though he was probably grounded from the camera at the time, here I am several months ago, ruddy-faced from tidal waves of pregnancy hormones, decked out in a paint-splattered sweatshirt, oblivious to the fact that I'm about to smother the cat with pillows:


And here I am, catching him in the act - does this face leave any doubt about my feelings on the subject?


Ah, that ethereal state between sleeping and waking, your hair a tornado of wiry strands that stick out all over like used twist-ties, your eyes crusted over and (in my case) still coated in a bleary film from accidentally falling asleep in your contacts, chins multiplying by the second and threatening to join forces to transform into full-blown jowls...

That's the reason no one likes having their picture taken while they're sleeping.  It's the only time our photos look even worse than the ones taken at the amusement park as we zip by the camera on a roller coaster, eyes squeezed shut with our screaming mouths stretched into unrecognizable facial caverns by the g-force.  Worse than pictures taken while we're in the middle of saying the word "pendulous," worse than our drivers' license photos, worse than one taken at the precise instant you opened a gift that you THOUGHT was going to be an engagement ring but turned out to be a toaster.  I don't know how you'd get the sizes of those packages confused, but you see what I'm getting at.

Yet I'd never really ask him to stop.  Why?  Well, he does it because he loves us, and because what he sees in the photos are tender moments between mother and child, and because he thinks we're beautiful.  At least that's what he tells me.  And I guess I'll have to believe him, because I don't want to ruin my good pliers on his toenails.

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5 comments:

  1. I tell myself that the cute baby in the picture will distract everyone from the me in the picture. So far, no one has argued with me on that one. ;)

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  2. @Melissa, that's a good way to look at it. I'm going on 10 years of motherhood during which I'm hoping I'm not the focal point of a single photo!

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  3. This so made me laugh! One time I decided it would be a good idea to read a book about colon health. I know. Gross. Someone recommended it. Well, I fell asleep reading it. So, there I am looking hideous while asleep with a "Colon Health" book on my chest. It was horrible! My husband snapped a picture of me like that! Thanks for making me remember that. :) Glad you linked this up with us over at #findingthefunny last week!

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  4. @Kelley, you absolutely win the prize for Most Compromising Photo Taken Of A Sleeping Person! Although no one can blame you for falling asleep - I can't imagine Colon Health was a very riveting read. ;)

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  5. OH, wow you are brave woman! I love the first one, your daughters cheeks!! I just wanna kiss and squish them!
    How DO chins multiply in our sleep???
    <3 Devan

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