TheProtest, Submitted for Peer Review

In our ongoing study of the unique animal Gilbertaceous LucyIsCuteness (common name “Lucy”), we’ve documented a fascinating behavior that we’ve tentatively called “TheProtest”.  This behavior has begun to manifest only in recent weeks, and the following are our preliminary findings.

TheProtest appears to be primarily triggered by one of several possible key phrases (we are still compiling a complete list, but it changes week to week).  One that commonly causes the behavior to manifest is “Lucy, can we get you into pajamas?”.

TheProtest can usually be broken into three major stages (although certain mitigating factors can disrupt this breakdown).

Stage 1 is a look of dejection, and is quickly followed by Stage 2, where her head slumps to one or the other side.  There are a few variations for Stage 3:

1) If she happened to be close to a piece of furniture, her head usually comes to rest on it.  That is, until the next phase sets in, a phase that can only be described “I’m melting!  I’m melting”, minus the vocals and green makeup.

2) If she doesn’t happen to be near a piece of furniture, her next destination is still the floor, but she can’t quite do it with the same fluidity as when she’s sliding down the front of the couch, for example.

3) If we happen to be holding her at the time, well, this is really the most painful option.  You see, she doesn’t usually throw her arms up in the air and try to fall through our arms.  No, her usual response at Stage 3 is bend at the knees and throw herself backwards.  As long as we can control her inverted swan dive and avoid her hitting things like walls, door frames, and the occasional visiting neighbor, this option is usually only painful for whomever is holding Lucy.  You see, having the center of gravity for 20+ pounds suddenly shift to a point 6-8 inches in front of your chest has a tendency to cause back muscles to clinch.

Mind you, in all of this, if Lucy started in Stage 1 happy (or at least not in a full-on meltdown) the progression from Stage 1 to Stage 3 is – incredibly – silent.  Figure 1 shows this progression.

TheProtest Figure 1

If she was crying at the entry point to Stage 1, then all bets are off.  The lines between Stages 1 & 2, and 2 & 3 become almost indiscernible.  In fact, we’ve found strong correlation between the intensity of TheProtest to the time remaining before bed time – please refer to Figure 2.

Chart

Figure 2

Please note that “intensity” here is measured using the Fujita scale, more commonly applied to tornados.

These are only our preliminary findings.  We will continue to collect data on TheProtest and we hope to publish later this year.

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