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Monday, October 13, 2008

Oh, cripes!

My son came home late last night from a birthday party. One minute he was jumping up and down with glee (a nerf gun in his goody-bag), the next weeping like I haven't heard in years: I left the cage door open; the toads got out! 

Oh, cripes is right. 

Sooo, what do you do at 9:15 on a Sunday night in a room that's filled with all order of crappola said toads could be hiding under? I was so concerned I'd squish one while in the process of searching that I bailed out. I wasn't very comforting either, which struck me as a little strange. Suddenly I was reprimanding myself (almost aloud, but I restrained myself) for thinking an 8-year-old could take care of a pet that lives to hop.  My husband started telling him things like They'll be our wild toads; we'll put out food for them now and then . . . and We had a hamster that got away when I was a kid--we used to catch glimpses of him now and then . . . Hampy the hamster. Meanwhile, I was trying to make sense of my crossness. I mean, he's only 8. They're just a couple of toads. But I couldn't help feeling responsible, sorry, lame, like a bad person for killing those animals that traveled so far to that cage. And now what? Would you spend hours searching for what might well be a couple of dried up toads? But my guilt is growing. 

7 comments:

rams said...

Well, the guilt's usually what makes me crabby/defensive. But hey, imagine the adventures they're having! Talk about a stimulating environment... Put a jar-lid of water under the edge of his bed and they shouldn't dry out too fast (though a friend babysitting for Nick the Newt says his emergence from under her dustbunny couch was appalling beyond belief.)

And remember those crickets that were driving you crazy? Nae problemo! They'll either be eaten or shut up in self defense. Clever, clever Riley.

~ said...

Oh you sweet dear, you and every mother-- you've entered into the Guilty Mother of Kids Who Raise Pets Club.

I have a new appreciation for L though with this response--

"They'll be our wild toads; we'll put out food for them now and then . . . and We had a hamster that got away when I was a kid--we used to catch glimpses of him now and then . . . Hampy the hamster."

That cracked me up! Both reassuring and funny.

Thanks for sharing this. We have all had those wild frog days.

Maggie May said...

yeah us too. once i spent an entire night (until 3 am, i'm embarrassed to admit) blowing bubbles into my son's eel tank trying to keep the dang thing alive. nope. died.

i'm sorry! poor kiddo. i think that is part of the reason of having pets- learning about sickness, loss, letting go. i hope they turn up ok.

Finspot said...

No sign of the Escaped Toads yet... Those air ducts down to the furnace could be a problem. Something tells me there's a poem rattling around in this unfortunate series of events.

Martha Silano said...

Poem-schmome! I'd much rather have those toadies back than get a dang poem outta this! But, yeah, okay, maybe a poem would be nice too.

Joannie said...

Okay, so--you're human. You get to be cross. And of course you'll put the best face on it you can (and quite probably you'll feel it isn't good enough), but you also get to cut yourself some slack. You are human. And being a parent lasts a long time. (I did love the part about the wild toads, but I absolutely promise that would not have been my response.)

Good luck with it all, and I hope you find the little hoppers well.

Martha Silano said...

Hey Joanie--

I just wished I'd found more empathy and compassion in my heart, less "I told ya so" and "what was I thinking let an 8-year old commandeer his little "pet city"?

PS Crickets are still on the grocery list, unfortunately (Long live Mr. Gecko!).