We’ve had this revolting little plastic container on our kitchen counter since Christmas. I’ve written before what suckers our kids are for pets. They beg and beg. They write poems. They have dreams. They think pets are the most glorious things a kid could possess.
So we bought a hamster. And although she was tragically taken from us after 24 short hours of bliss (click here for details), she was replaced by her “sister” and boy oh boy that thing has been a great pet. But the ultimate pet as far as kids are concerned, as we parents all know, is a dog. And someday we may have one (after Lucy is ten. Ok, maybe nine). But until then, little pets like hamsters will have to do. At Christmas time Grace hit the jackpot at the cousin white elephant gift exchange. She was the proud recipient of a brand spanking new “Sea Monkeys” kit. She was incredibly delighted, and that joy hasn’t faded a bit. In fact it’s been intensified as she has watched these little algae creatures grow and grow. They’re like microscopic millipedes. Seriously. Gross. But she LOVED them. There were even “twins” in the mix…two of them were mysteriously stuck together.
So you can imagine her grief when, amidst the normal afternoon ruckus (Max stomping around because he has to practice before he can play with his friends waiting at the front door, Grace’s new shy friend tearing up because another friend had come over before her who she didn’t know which made her nervous, me trying to tactfully send the neighbor friend home without hurting her feelings, etc. etc.), Claire and her friend got dropped off at our house, went promptly to the kitchen to examine the sea monkeys, and accidentally pulled them off the counter. Water and sea monkeys sloshed all over the floor (yes, the barely mopped floor). Anyone who knows Grace probably knows her wail…the one that can fill up the house in one breath…the one that if you didn’t’ know better you would think her arm may have just been severed from her body. Yep, that’s the one that pierced our ears. All we could do was pinch up as many of the little guys as we could and put them back (to the tune of Gracie’s friend sniffling and Max’s pounding on the piano). The next day, sadly enough, the remaining sea monkeys had perished. No eulogies this time though. I guess the giant wail was enough mourning for Grace. Surprisingly she was ok to blow them a kiss as their remains were flushed down the toilet. I blew them a kiss too, because hey, no more crazy algae swimming around in a fogged up container on my kitchen counter!