Sometimes too much information, to the wrong person, at the wrong time – can be a bit, well, comical – depending on how much ibuprofen you have on hand.
My youngest will be turning 4 soon. Of course in her mind she’s 14, and on an intellectual level with my oldest. So when Daughter #2, the 12 year old, asked how gemstones were measured (apparently she was momentarily bored with her new iPod), the little one’s interest was piqued and she scooted off the burgundy velvet sofa and sat down crossed-leg on her new pink bean bag chair next to us.
I went over how to measure different sized stones and what points are. My older daughter decided she was interested enough to go through some stones I had been working on and try to figure out their dimensions. My curly haired “Denise the Menace” trailed behind her closely, and when I wasn’t watching, pulled out a ruler from my roll-top workbench.
From that moment on, every subject of every sentence had to be measured. In millimeters. In centimeters. Counted tiny line by tiny line on the piece of plastic.
“Darling, please set the table,” I handed her some plates.
“How big do you think this stack is?” she asked before whipping out the ruler and carefully standing it up on end and counting the lines, squinting the whole time.
“That’s a great question, here’s some forks.”
She placed the pile of silverware on the table and carefully selected one fork and held it up, “How long is each fork, Mommy?”
“Another great question,” I tried to take away her ruler, but she held on to it for dear life. “Please go upstairs and get your sisters for dinner.”
“I wonder how big the stairs are?” she mused to herself and pranced through the house corralling her older sisters and trying to measure THEM.
And so the evening continued, with Miss Merry Measure measuring everything in sight.
During dinner – yep – the conversation was monopolized with more talk about measurements. Not that I’m really complaining – the five were really getting into it – betting each other who would come closest to guessing the dimensions of the dinner items.
“How much beach does Myrtle Beach lose every year because of erosion? In millimeters,” asked Daughter #3 the nine year old asked, slowly chewing on her piece of pork chop. (She has a way of asking “crap, I have no idea…” kinds of questions.) “I don’t want to move all the way down there only to get swept out to sea in like, three years.”
Our night continued this way, and I am now fully prepared to redecorate my entire house (as the little one measured, the older ones felt compelled to critique my lack of animal print anywhere), and I know every single dimension. In millimeters.
And so the evening ended with Daughter #5 chasing me, ruler in hand, screeching, “Mommy! Mommy? Wanna know how big you are? Mommy? Mommy? Wanna?” as I ran like a mad woman through the house looking for relief from calculating everything in sight.
I was almost safe. I was almost in my bathroom. I almost had the door closed. I could almost feel the five minutes of peace wrapping me in it’s arms.
And I could clearly see her curly little head directly behind me preventing me from my moment of solitude.
“Mommy? Mommy?” Her head burst through, just as I was about to sit down, “You’re 60 pounds and 8 minutes, Mommy!”