If I'd have known how much trouble this watermelon was going to cause me, I would've left it far far behind.
When she asked to get one, I thought, that's great! She's asking for fruit! We'll have it as an afternoon snack! I even let her take forEVER picking just the right one because I was so excited that she wasn't asking for candy.
I didn't think much of her wanting to carry it around the store cradled in her arms, giving it kisses and telling it that everything was going to be okay, because, well, I figured it was keeping her distracted from asking for candy.
But when we got home and she ran right up to her daddy and asked him to draw a face on her baby, I started to realize that maybe she wasn't interested so much in EATING the watermelon as in mothering it, and maybe candy would've been a better option.
Because watermelons aren't the greatest pretend babies. One wrong move and it will smash to the ground in a million wet and sticky pieces. A corncob, on the other hand, would make a great doll. Or even a baguette. But not a watermelon.
Gabi carried her watermelon baby around in a blanket for hours and mothered the heck out of it. I can tell she's going to be a good big sister some day, but the thought of splattered watermelon guts was constantly on my mind, and I waited for a time to sweep in and remove the watermelon without her noticing.
Finally, Gabi put the her new baby to bed, and after a few minutes I snuck over and whisked the watermelon away. And the timing couldn't have been more perfect, because that watermelon had gotten considerably softer since we brought it home. Just one more toss into the cradle, and I would've been down on my hands and knees cleaning it all up.
I was hoping Gabi would forget about her baby, but like a good mother she went to check on her sleeping watermelon baby and found it missing. Oh my goodness, you'd think I'd taken away a live puppy by the way she's behaving.
For the past hour I've been trying to explain to her that watermelons are NOT for playing with, but it wasn't sinking in. So I finally yelled, "Watermelons are FOOD! We bought it to EAT! No more asking to hold it! We are going to EAT IT!"
And that brings us to Gabi, still standing at the table, begging me not to cut up her baby. Or at least let her have the cantaloupe?
I think I'm going to give the watermelon the neighbor after she goes to bed, and if she asks about it in the morning, pretend that the watermelon fairy came in the middle of the night to take it to a watermelon family that didn't have a baby.
I mean, she believed the whole binky fairy thing.
And no more large round fruits for a while.