Hollow Tree Ventures parenting humor
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Bad Cantaloupe and the Exponential Insanity Factor

Maybe it's the sleep deprivation, caused by a baby who's suddenly convinced she's been missing out on something Unimaginably Fun between the hours of 3:00 and 5:00 AM, but as soon as I woke up this morning, my brain started thinking things about stuff.

I didn't say they were eloquent things or important stuff, just that the gears have been working overtime today (or insert some other metaphor here that isn't dumb and makes sense).

If this isn't  caused by exhaustion, then you might actually be witnessing my slow, bona fide spiral into madness, or at least my spiral into stupidity, and it will all be conveniently documented for you here in the pages of this blog - in chronological order, even!  There could be a government grant in it for you, if you're into studying that kind of garbage.  After all, what mother hasn't found herself at one point or another trying to discern the difference between bleary-eyed sleeplessness and a certified trip to Crazy Town?  I give you permission to use HTV in your research, as long as any financial proceeds go to my cat, Chester (though first I'll need to get a cat named Chester).  I can see it now, the Craziness Research Scientists sitting around in their crisp, white lab coats, eating Twizzlers* and shaking their heads sadly over a copy of your article in Geeky Brain Studies Monthly (no, you're not the only one with a subscription), all agreeing that this post  was the turning point in my transformation from Regular Crazyish Person to Absolute Raging Lunatic.

*I  don't know why they'd be eating Twizzlers in the lab.  Why don't you ask them?

Anyway, back to my brain thinking things about stuff.  Bravo,  you're thinking, with more than just a hint of sarcasm in your voice.  That's pretty much what it's supposed to do.  So, um, all systems "go," right?

You be the judge, I say.  The oddity started when the first thing that popped into my head was, "I should do laundry."  If you know me in real life or have read more than two of my posts, you probably know that this is an abnormal thought for me to have at any time, but especially as soon as I wake up.

Online Graphing
That eye socket one is directed at Maddie - that's how she tells me it's time to get up.
Aren't babies adorable?

I wondered if maybe I'd been snorting caffeine through a straw, but I don't think that was the case because I had been sleeping at the time, and also because I'm not sure that's even possible.  As I tried to figure out what form pure caffeine comes in (What does  it look like after they squeeze it out of decaf coffee - powder?  liquid?  vegetable?  mineral?), I realized I was already putting a load of laundry in the washer.   Freaky.

Then it was time to be a Responsible Adult and go supervise the kids outside the school.  They lock the kids out until 8:30, so they need a grown-up, or at least someone taller than a 5th grader, to loiter out there with them and make sure they don't wander off or dismantle the school brick by brick before class starts.  (Right now the Lab Coats are alarmed.  They let her near the children?   they ask, worriedly nibbling their Twizzlers.)

My debilitated brain noted that the first few children to arrive stumbled up the walkway toward me in a decidedly zombie-like fashion.  They stood around, staring at the ground and shifting their weight from foot to foot, until enough kids arrived that some kind of Child Density Chaos Threshold was crossed.  Once enough kids were there, all the zombies transformed instantaneously into hyenas that had clearly eaten large quantities of iron-fortified sugar-coated crack for breakfast.  Weren't you too tired to do anything besides grunt and shuffle your feet ten seconds ago?   I wanted to ask the Zombie Kids.  But they couldn't hear me, they were too busy screaming and pushing and lurching around like life-sized, frenetic Rock-em-Sock-em Robots.  So I made a mental note that this might be another good topic for some more of your Government Grant-funded research.  I'll get you started.

Online Graphing
You can see that "5 Childs" is the Child Density Factor above which all hell breaks loose.
Scientifically speaking, of course.

Eventually someone unlocked the doors and I left, having performed my duties insofar as most of the kids were still around there somewhere.  I always marvel at how quickly the kids transform from a bunch of crack-addled adrenaline junkies into neat, even boy/girl rows of slightly quieter crack-addled adrenaline junkies as soon as their teacher appears.  On my walk home, I discussed with Madeline the possibility of making a costume that looks like my kids' teachers, which I could wear when I want them to actually pay attention to me instead of ignoring me until the fifteenth time I tell them that We're Really Leaving And Why Don't You Have Your Shoes On Yet.  Maddie seemed to think the costume idea would come off as creepy, but I'm not so sure.

When we got home, I started cutting up a cantaloupe in hopes Maddie would eat something other than Yogurt Melts (for once).  When I sliced it in half, I found that the insides were all watery and too mushy to even hold the shape dictated by my melon baller.  Never mind that I don't own a melon baller and, in fact, I was using an ice cream scoop instead - the point is that the cantaloupe was way overripe.

This reminded me of the conversation Gerry told me he had with some dude at the grocery store.  Gerry was trying to pick out a cantaloupe, and out of the blue some guy walked up and informed him, "You can tell it's a good one if the spot where the stem was smells like melon."  Okay, Weirdly Helpful Weirdo, nobody asked you, but thanks.  Somehow Gerry, who's usually quite good at fending off strangers, ended up listening to this guy talk about how he works in the field of Security, and how not enough bad guys in the world are getting The Business and that goes especially for child molesters.

This is where Gerry would have advised me to throw a melon at the guy's face and run, but instead he must've nodded or "Mmmhmmm"-ed or something, because the guy apparently decided Gerry was his new BFF.  He handed Gerry his business card and suggested they get together for coffee and maybe "go out and find us some."  Um, find us some what?  Bad guys to whom they could give The Business?  Child molesters?  Really?  Huh?   Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how curious you are), Gerry didn't ask him to clarify.

So as I scooped cantaloupe (because the kids will still eat it - my style of parenting ensures that they have very low Quality Standards), I thought the following things:
  1. I no longer feel comfortable going to the grocery store by myself.
  2. People, even the well-meaning ones, are certifiably crazy.  Probably even crazier than me.
  3. I don't know if I should find that to be comforting or horrifying.
  4. That crazy dude didn't know anything  about picking a good cantaloupe.
So, is there a moral to this story?  you ask, scrolling down furtively to see how much longer I'm going to ramble.  And the answer is no, not really.  Sorry about that.  I guess I determined that I might be feeling a little crazy today, but true insanity is all relative.  Thanks for teaching me that lesson, Weird Anti-Molestation Melon Guy.  Thanks a lot.  Also, you owe us a cantaloupe.

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in bed with married women said...

the other night my 12 year old who was plagued by insomnia came kept waking me up to tell me that she still was not asleep. after the 57th time i was all half-asleep and insane and said, like, "just try" or something unhelpful. later she came back and stood softly sobbing next to my bed and this is what i am ashamed to say that i said: "if you're going to cry, do it in another room."

i am indeed a total jerk.

EMily said...

isn't it amazing what goes through your head when either awaken at an absurd hour or sleep deprived. I'm to the point where I generally do not know what day it is, I use to try to remember the things that would roll through my mind at the early hours of the morning, but I'm so far gone at this point I don't remember anything.

Nicole Leigh Shaw said...

The snoring! I'm not the only one who sometimes wakes herself up snoring and thinks, "Moi?"

Fun post, lady.

RobynHTV said...

in bed, if you're a jerk, than so am I. There are few things I can be sure I WON'T say when I'm low on sleep and any of my offspring are not conforming to my will. I have most certainly told my kids to go cry someplace else, sometimes even when they're claiming to be pretty badly injured. :/

RobynHTV said...

Em S, I'm with you. I have to check my calendar to figure out where I'm supposed to be on any given morning. Sometimes when I get up I have to check my kids' rooms because I can't remember if they're at my house and I need to take them to school, or if they went to their dad's. Yipes!

RobynHTV said...

Thanks, Nicole! (Nope, you're not the only one.) ;)

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