A short post before I dash off (inlessthan36hoursandIhaventpackedasinglething) on our annual road trip. It will take nine hours to reach our destination--I'm sure I'll think of quite a few blog posts that are more interesting than this one in between Veggie Tales cds and bathroom breaks. Of course I'll forget 90% of what I want to write when I get back.
While I'm gone there are a few pregnant friends (both IRL and on the blogosphere) who may deliver their second babies this week. In their honor I thought I'd post some unsolicited advice: When in doubt, never bring a cantaloupe to a postpartum woman. Yes, you read that correctly--a whole cantaloupe is not a thoughtful offering to a woman who is caring for a newborn while completely sleep-deprived and sore in places that only 3rd year med students can name correctly.
Why not a cantaloupe, you ask?
Because a whole cantaloupe is one of the most time-consuming, messy, slippery foods to prepare for consumption. Sure it's healthy--full of vitamins that a nursing mother and her baby need. The thing is, mom does not need to spend her precious infant's one and only 20 minute nap slicing, seeding and storing this dessert fruit. (Okay, I know, I know, cantaloupe is a cousin to squash and when unripe it can be classified as a vegetable, but just how long of a post do you want to read tonight?)
When I was nursing my weeks old second child, someone placed a cantaloupe proudly on my kitchen counter. "Enjoy!" And then they were gone. I was left with this giant melon after having recently had my child's giant melon vacuumed out of my body. I had to feed said child every 2 hours and care for and occupy his toddler brother for twelve hours a day, seven days a week. I could barely remember to put water in the dog's dish or eat a sandwich every other day. Still, this person thought I had time (not to mention a third and fourth hand) to carve a cantaloupe and put those sweet little cubes in airtight containers for a healthy snack on the go.
That cantaloupe sat on the counter until it rotted. I burst into tears at least once each day when I glanced its way. A colony of tiny fruit flies took up residence in my kitchen, making me feel even less like a suitable homemaker for my children. A full week went by before I accepted what I could not conquer and disposed of that giant sphere. Yes, I threw away all those carotenoids and potassium. Then I sat on the couch with some Oreos and had a good cry.
To this day, I shudder at the sight of a whole cantaloupe. One was recently gifted to me again. It sat on my counter for days. Junk mail piled around it. I used it to prop up a casserole recipe. I had to move it out of the way when the counter top installers came to measure the kitchen. But I didn't throw away the Cucumis melo this time. No, I'm stronger now. That, and my children have a swing set that they can play on while I watch from the kitchen window. The "baby" is four years old--I can finally do THIS without crying.
So if your friend has a baby this summer, stop by, wish her well, hold the child while she sleeps/showers/does laundry. But, please, please, do not place a cantaloupe on her counter. (Oreos, however, can and should be placed on any handy surface.)