Meet Our New Family Pets!

Last summer, Princess Roundhead and Chubs made us that deal that if we got them hermit crabs then we didn’t have to get them American Girl Dolls. We fell for it, got them their crabs and then we ended up at the stupid American Girl Doll Store anyway to spend part of their college fund on dolls no one plays with anymore.

Chubs’s crab died a few months later. Thanks in part to my heating pad contraption, Roundhead’s held strong through the winter and spring. I hoped that Woody (yes, that’s her name) would survive until summer and she did. (We don’t know that it’s a girl, that’s what Roundhead wants to believe.)

We went to Rehoboth last week and I told them to bring Woody. We were going to talk to the crab people to find out why Woody was pretty inactive as of late, and why she hadn’t ever changed shells like they are all supposed to do. At the store that’s most well known for selling healthy crabs and where we got Woody from, they said, “Oh, she needs a friend.”

For Fuck’s Sake. Of course she does.

Chubs picked a blue sponge bob shell crab, and named her Violet. Here she is! Everyone say hi to Violet!

Hello everyone! I’m Violet!

Hello everyone! I’m Violet!

If you didn’t say hi to her you missed your chance because she’s dead now.

You see, Violet was not in the cage the next morning. We weren’t sure where she could have gone because as you see the cage has plastic sides. It isn’t exactly one you can climb out from. We were staying on the 4th floor and left the cage on the balcony so the hermies could enjoy the heat. We all looked over the balcony and thought, “No, she didn’t…”

We went downstairs to scour the boardwalk and Princess Roundhead said, “MOM! LOOK!” She handed me a tiny piece of a blue shell. We called in forensics and while the tests were processing, a nice man walked up to us and asked if we were looking for a hermit crab. I actually looked at him suspiciously and said, “What makes you ask?”

He said they found it earlier that day. I asked if Violet was in the E.R. but he said she was in the morgue, a.k.a. the patch of dunes by the building. He brought us over to her final resting place. I was convinced she was alive but Real Estate Dad was like, “Melissa. She’s dead. Give up.”

“Aren’t You People Supposed to be Animal Rescuers???”

“Aren’t You People Supposed to be Animal Rescuers???”

Anyway, poor Chubs. We told her we would get her another crab, so back to the store we went with our saga of how Violet committed suicide. Somehow we ended up buying not one but two crabs. It seemed a better way to hedge our bets in case one of these two decided to tell the world to fuck off.

And that’s how we came home with 4 hermit crabs.

Right. The math doesn’t add up.

We brought Woody to the beach = 1 crab

Bought Violet = 2 crabs

Violet committed Suicide = 1 crab

Went to replace Violet, came home with Sandy and Violet2, plus Woody = 3 crabs.

This story is already long enough. I’ll finish the rest later.

She's Not Dead, She Just Fell Over and Looks Dead

It is rare that I look back on a day and say, “Good parenting today, Melissa.” Mostly I feel like I’m just getting by on fumes and promising myself I’ll do better tomorrow. I’ll get back to this in a moment.

There’s a postscript to the story of the paralyzed squirrel. We ended up finding him. When Chubs and I were squirrel-hunting the other morning, a few neighbors saw us. You know that part of your brain that tells you, “hey, we really shouldn’t share this with other people because it makes us look crazy?” That part of my brain is busted.

I told everyone I saw about the paralyzed squirrel and it didn’t backfire! Later that day one of them found him!

I ran to grab a crate while New-Summer-Nanny called Washington Humane. Then, New-Summer-Nanny, the girls, our neighbor and her kids and I ran and scooped him up in a towel. We put him in a plastic container inside the crate and waited for help to arrive.

We all hovered around him trying to help. Princess Roundhead ran inside to get nuts, carrots, apples and water. We were outside with him just waiting. He got stuck in the towel we attempted to help him get free. It didn’t go so well.

Go the hell away! P.S. I’m a girl!!!

Go the hell away! P.S. I’m a girl!!!

The animal rescue people were madly efficient. They came within 15 minutes and whisked her away, saying they refer these cases to the wildlife division.

I know. They probably euthanized her. I don’t want to think about that. I’d like to think that she’s scooting around their offices with little crutches or a tiny squirrel wheelchair. (It can happen! Google it!)

After the girls went to sleep that night, I thought about my feelings for animals. I didn’t grow up with pets or any sort of love for animals. My parents viewed animals as another mouth to feed and something to take care of.

But, as we all do, I always look back on how I was raised and what I want to do differently with my own kids. One of those things is making sure the girls learn for compassion for animals. Seeing the concerned looks on their little faces worrying about the squirrel, it registered that I accomplished that. I gave myself, our friend and New-Summer-Nanny a virtual high-five. We taught the kids something important the other day - something that matters.

School's Out FOR SUMMER

Today is the last day of school. Oh how I look so forward to summer with the kids. This is an exceptionally busy summer for us with work, weddings and all the planned visits we have to fit in, but I’m thrilled it’s summer. Even if I’m consistently sweating like a pig and showering 3 times a day. Super sexy, I know.

Yesterday was Chubs’s Pre-K graduation. I have to got to rename her before she learns to read. Anyway, I was so happy to see her in her cute little cap and gown the teachers had for them. But then she walked into the gym and she looked sad. And then I got sad.

Her teacher went through the “awards” they gave each of the kids in class, and one of Chubs’s awards was that she was like a ray of sunshine. Let’s pause for a look at our little ray of sunshine.

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She was like this the entire time. She looked sad. Then she cried and ran over to us. When she stopped crying I asked her what was wrong and she said she didn’t want to leave her class.

Then this wave of emotion came crushing down on me and I just wanted to get out of there. The girls wanted to stay after school to play on the playground and Real Estate Dad stayed while I walked back home. I kept thinking why am I sad, why am I sad. Then it just hit me that the girls are growing up so fast. It’s true what they say - the days are long and the years are fast. I can’t believe they are about to turn 5 and 7. What I would give to have a day with them again when they were 1 and 3. Or 2 and 4.

Perhaps it was the jolt I needed to remind myself to work less. And pay attention more. I spend a lot of time away from the kids for work - and lots of that work is often times unproductive in ways I can’t even begin to explain. Chasing agents for showing instructions for their listings. Sitting in traffic. Showing a listing that has a ratified contract and the agent, “oops” forgot to cancel the appointment we made. I can’t even quantify the hours of time I’ve wasted in the past month alone from this nonsense because people just don’t respect other people’s time. I’ve suddenly become a huge advocate of respecting other people’s time because I realize how much this is costing me personally.

Today is the last day of school and I can’t wait to get those girls and start our summer.

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