Well, I’m in the middle of writing to you about our "big night out without the kids" (this happened on Saturday night) – it was phenomenal and kinda hilarious because the usual weird things happened to me (remind me to tell you what David said when he saw my legs in a short dress for the first time in two long years) – I’m being slowed by a nasty ear infection, of which the doctor looking into my ear actually said, “Wow, that looks disgusting in there.”
This was both humorous and horrifying.
Anyway, the right side of my head feels like someone lodged a pitch fork in there, I actually fell on the floor writhing in pain once (Not that I’m dramatic or anything) and David has taken to saying, “Poor baby...Poor baby” every time he looks at me and it looks like this round of antibiotics isn’t doing much and I have another appointment later today with the doctor that thinks the inside of my ear is repulsive and as you can imagine I’m writing two sentences every hour, so for now, here’s a little diddy that happened yesterday that tickled me…despite the pick ax protruding from my skull. I'll keep working on the minutes from date night.
As the title of this post suggests, the story is about a baby watermelon, or Lucy really, and her baby watermelon. Now, mind you, I’m not a big baby watermelon fan or anything but when I saw them at the market, I asked Lucy if she wanted rock melon (Australian for cantaloupe) or a baby watermelon. She chose both, of course, because that’s the kind of girl she is – uncompromising and she knows exactly what she wants all the time – which is both a good thing...and the kind of thing that can drive Mommy up a tree.
She was very enamored with the baby watermelon. She carried the little guy through the store. She hugged him and when she couldn’t carry it anymore, she hopped in the shopping trolley and looked after him in there. She personally handed him to the cashier to ring up, all along careful not to drop him.
This is not completely unique thing for Lucy – she often fixates on one thing - an apple, a pumpkin, a bag of fresh fish (no, really) and shepards it through the store, on the street during our walk home and into the fridge. But usually her fascination stops at the fridge door. But this time, the idea that this watermelon was a “baby” stuck with her.
For a day or so, I didn’t catch on (clueless me). She refused to eat any of it and gave me wary looks whenever the carving knife got too close. She was being a big sister, a protector. Lofty, heady ambitions. I was just trying to use the watermelon before it started to mold over. Not so lofty.
When I tried to cut a slice for Edie, Lucy nearly flew across the room to stop me and she asked breathlessly,
“Is Baby Watermelon okay?"
Okay, that's when I got a clue. Baby watermelon went back in the fridge.
Still, I wasn’t sure what to do with Baby Watermelon. It was sitting there wasting away in the fridge. There was a whole buck ninety eight turning to melon mush and I frankly, was feeling a little wasteful.
Scenarios ran through my head- I didn’t want Lucy to to catch me taking it to the trash, since that might scar her for life, but at the same time, it wasn’t like she was carrying it around in a blanket and giving it kisses and sleeping with it. It was a watermelon after all.
I turned it all over. I decided to give it a day and see if she might forget him. I also had the genius idea to slice it up while she was playing in the toy room instead of doing it in front of her. I thought this would make it all okay for some reason! Like she wouldn't know I had cut her friend into little pieces! Had the pus from my ear infection drained into my skull and left me without capacity for reason?
Great. Lucy's mother is Sweeney Todd.
Lucy's face dropped when she looked into the bowl and saw her friend sliced into neat wedges. She got up from her clay project and handed the Dora bowl back to me and took Edie’s bowl out of her hands (much to Edie’s bewilderment) and handed that back to me, too.
“Fix Baby Watermelon” she said, calmly, earnestly.
She made direct eye contact with me. It was the first time I had been disciplined by a toddler.
And to ensure that I did it, she escorted me back to the kitchen (the way they escort people out of the building after they’ve been fired) and glared at me while I slid the slices neatly back in the melon. I worked quickly, so as to avoid any more outbursts. I handled it seriously, like I was performing a delicate brain surgery, like life and death hung in the balance.
I looked over my shoulder nervously to see if she was watching. She was.
When I was done, all the slices were in and Baby Watermelon looked nearly perfect. I was relieved.
“See, Baby Watermelon is all better,” I said cheerily.
She couldn’t even muster a smile.
She turned on her heel and then, looked back at me to make sure I wasn't going to do anything funny with the knife.
"Leave baby Watermelon alone," she said.
If anyone is asking, Baby Watermelon is currently housed in the crisper and will be sent to live out the remainder of his days on a...farm...with puppies and bunnies and lots of dirt to roll around in.
PS For all the folks I’ve promised to get back to, promised to blogroll and for those new friends who e-mailed me and hoped to hear back from me before they grew old, know that I’m grateful and excited to hear from you and will get back to every one by the end of the week…as soon as they remove the steel blade from my cerebellum. Thanks for understanding…