Friday, January 21, 2011

where's Waldo?

Some of you may have seen Justin post Bracken's Christmas list on Facebook, it included a line item for "a pet with no fir"...(fur)...because grandpa is allergic. When I saw the list I realized he and I would need to have a little talk. I felt quite confident that Santa would NOT be bringing another living creature into this home---for now our home is maxed out at 7---and I knew he would be disappointed because he has wanted a pet for quite some time. However, when I was at the toy store with the kids and they were all choosing special gifts for each other something caught my eye. African pigmy frogs. They are tiny little creatures that require almost no maintenance. Bingo. I bought them for Bracken from Ruby and, just as I knew they would be, they were his favorite gift on Christmas morning.

Bracken promptly named them Speedy and Waldo, and was sure to check on them a few times each day. We agreed to keep them in the kitchen so that they would be safe from the younger children and also so we would remember to feed them twice a week (out of sight out of mind). Well, on the way home from school on wednesday, Bracken asked me when Speedy and Waldo's birthday's were. I told him that I wasn't sure when they were born and that he could pick a day. He decided that the next day would be best. So, as soon as we were home the kids dropped their backpacks and immediately started pulling out all of our craft boxes. Both Bracken and Abbie made several creative cards and gifts for the two little frogs.

Nearly an hour--and quite a lot of wrapping supplies--later they had a little stash of froggy birthday gifts. All afternoon they were a twitter about how excited the frogs would be for their party the next day. However, when I came out into the kitchen on Thursday morning I found a very tragic sight. The gifts had been piled on top of the frog's container, covering the air hole.

poor waldo...too gruesome?

When the kids woke up they wanted to have the party before they even got dressed. I hid the frogs and kept making excuses for why the party had to take place after school. I wasn't sure whether to be honest with the kids and have some sort of life cycle discussion or whether to run to the toy store, replace the frogs, and hope no one was the wiser. In the end I decided to deal with what had happened and allow them to grieve the loss.

yes Jell-O, this was a "sensible solution". it was either this or the cupcake liner/wrapper container. cardboard seemed more eco-friendly.

until we added the plastic bag


Luckily, we weren't 0 for 2. Speedy survived the incident, which provided the kids with some solace, but Waldo was 100% belly-up. Being the practical and apparently insensitive mother that I am, I asked Bracken if he wanted to have a funeral or just flush him. However, I used the term "watery grave", which Bracken interpreted to mean we should all head down to Lake Austin and send Waldo off on a leaf floating down the river (Lake Austin is actually a damned-off portion of the Colorado River). He seemed quite interested in that idea until he really thought it through and came to the conclusion that when it came time for the Second Coming Waldo would have a very hard time hopping all the way up Quinlan Park Drive and to our house for their reunion. Thus, he settled on a backyard burial. I insisted that we move things a little further out, like into the greenbelt (sorry HOA), because the last thing I need is one of the kids unearthing little Waldo sometime while playing in the backyard. Below are some photos documenting the tasteful and fitting memorial of dear Waldo.

while we were eating and discussing the funeral we would hold after dinner i noticed bracken's fork, i guess i was a little insensitive

Bracken's bowl and the remnants of his dinner

all ready for the funeral mother, like son. fitting or insensitive shoe choice?

grave site

Bracken saying a few words

she should be on broadway, i've never seen such drama

this is what a broken heart looks like

note: the weeping and wailing lasted for over an hour. Justin and I have decided that if this is how our children react to the loss of a frog we owned for less than three weeks, we will never be getting a dog. ever.


Allie said...

I love everything about this post. Perhaps that is me being insensitive, but it was fabulous. I especially loved the sensible solution casket and the wailing.

Well, I'd love to write more, but Madison is hiding in my bedroom closet and I fear my kids will be tearing through here to find her soon. Why must such things always happen?

Kat said...

Sad! When my brother Jesse was really little, he had a hamster that he loved so much he accidentally squeezed it to death. Maybe kids and small pets should never mix ever.

abbie said...

OH MY GOSH.. is it bad that i laughed my way through this? the "my best friend" note on the casket and abbie's tears took the drama to a whole new level. i am dreading this phase of child-rearing...poor waldo. your kids are a riot!

Jessie and Taylor Miller said...

this honestly made me tear up bc i felt so sad for your crying kids. i also want to note that they cried more at this funeral than grandpas, so maybe it was a good lesson for them to learn.

Annika said...

Hahaha the frog fork and boots are too good. Poor waldo. My sister had a green tree frog once, but he dried up into a pickle when she neglected to spray him. Poor guy... I loved him.

Jessie and Taylor Miller said...

p.s. don't even get me started on Lightning. RIP best friend- murdered by Brooke.

Cannon and Kassie said...

phew Brooke, that was hilarious. Not to be insensitive, but your wording was great and the kids reactions were priceless!

megan&steve said...

The tears, ohhh the tears.
Poor Bracken dealing with the loss of froggie waldo.
Love the Tate boots- Jake has some too.
Great work with the burial, I'm not a huge fan of pets either. Some day, but not anytime soon.

Cannon and Kassie said...

Brooke, Hyrum is actually our brother, he just turned 12. My mom had 2 kids while we were in high school, Lillian just turned 15. Alicia also has a blog

her kids are 5 and 1. I'm glad you're updating more, you are super mom!!

The Wright's said...

I am pretty insensitive myself, because I also laughed through the whole thing! Hahaha I love reading all these updates! Keep posting! I miss you!

The Weeds said...

Seriously the funniest and cutest story I have heard in a long time. Bracken with that poor tear rolling down his cheek!! I'm with you on the dog--no dog here!

Jane Durham said...

how sad! and kind of funny... I was so traumatized when my pet bunny died, I hadn't had him for over 2 months either. I am not a pet person! Andrea was in our ward here in Daybreak, and strangely, her husband was on the mission with Ben's cousin on the other side. Anyway, what a cute mom you are to indulge your kids with a funeral.