Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Thaumoctopus mimicus

I can't ever seem to sit down and eat these days. One kid needs a spoon, another needs to pee. Then one needs a napkin and the other needs to pee. Then they both want to know how many more bites before desert. Then they want to tell me the same story at the same time, realizing they are not being heard both start to shout at the other one, simultaneously thus increasing the volume fivefold. I feel my mind becoming blank as I realize my options are shouting or evaporating and I pick the part about pretending it isn't happening and hoping they will learn coping skills soon. That lasts about 1 minute until I yell at them. Sigh. I seem to remember the part inbetween silence and over-reaction being what parenting was all about but my P-A-R-E-N-T brain suffered a lobotomy recently.

This little fantasy of evaporation probably popped up after I learned today about the thaumoctopus mimicus which is a species of octopus which has a particularly advanced ability to mimic other creatures. According to wikipedia:

"it was not discovered officially until 1998, off the coast of Sulawesi. The octopus mimics the physical likeness and movements of more than fifteen different species, including sea snakes, lionfish, flatfish, brittle stars, giant crabs, sea shells, stingrays,flounders, jellyfish, sea anemones, and mantis shrimp.[1][2] It accomplishes this by contorting its body and arms, and changing colour.
It is so amazingly good at disguise that it was not noticed until fairly recently - being thought to be the various animals it was mimicking.

There are times I really relate to this beast and envy its adaptability. Imagine if all mothers could transform like that. Kids arguing in public? Just disguise yourself as a man with a cellphone and you're not responsible any more. Want to have a quiet moment with your latte? Just pretend to be a chair, a barista, a teenager. Even better, perhaps I could just mimic a good parent. I'd spot a calm and blissed out mother who lived to play with her kids and iron their onsies and I'd just TRANSFORM - just look like her. I'd waft along being mistaken for a good mother for a while and see how that felt. Ah, to be thaumhomo mimicus. Other than having 8 arms and legs, really, all I want to do sometimes is not have to micromanage the volume and needs of siblings.

Anyway, they were pretty sweet on this trip to the gingerbread castles and my writing is being influenced by the post-game show (which happened after nap when Wren wanted to share Frost's playdate with Alex. Indiana Jones Lego on Xbox is just not aimed at 3 year olds and he just YELLS when he doesnt' get his way).

Wren, eating a star cookie at Pacific Place.

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