Hermit crab people

On a scale of one to ten with one being the absolute best and ten being the absolute worst as far as Worst News Ever, this ranks as possibly a negative two.

Sandy Claus has died. “She”–Who the hell really knows, right?–was Colman’s hermit crab. We got two hermit crabs two years ago, and the only reason I agreed is because the Eguia kids (friends of ours) had gotten hermit crabs and theirs died within two weeks. But, apparently, hermit crabs thrive under our haphazard style of care. Who knew we were hermit crab people? Liam named his Sam, and Colman named his Sandy Claus. On Friday, when we were getting loaded up to leave for Dallas, Colman said, “Mom, I think Sandy is dead.”

“No, she’s not.”

“Yes,” he said. “She’s out of her shell and upside down. She’s dead. Great. I can’t believe it.”

I went over to look in her cage and, sure enough, she was dead.

Halle-freaking-lujah! One down, one to go.

Colman got big tears in his eyes, and I said, “You know, we could just put Sam in your cage and tell Liam Sam died when he gets back from camp. I doubt he’d ever know the difference.”

Colman laughed. “I don’t think so. I think it would be gross to touch a hermit crab.”

So I went into the kitchen and found a plastic spoon, scooped Sandy out of the cage and threw her out the front door into the ivy with as much ceremony as I could muster.

(That would be none.)

(I really need a sarcasm font.)

That’s when I realized Rowan was standing right next to me and he asked, “You throw Sandy in the ivy?” and I hoped he wasn’t traumatized. A couple of weeks ago, I threw a pillbug he kept bringing in the house out into the ivy and he ran crying to Kevin, “Mama throwed my roly-poly in the ivy.”

Kevin said, “Oh, no, Rowan. You must be mistaken. Mommy wouldn’t do something like that.”

(It’s like Kevin doesn’t even know me sometimes.)

“She did. She did,” he said between hiccupping sobs.

Then Kevin asked, “Did you throw his roly-poly in the ivy?”

“I saved that roly-poly’s life,” I said, knowing that in saving the life of the roly-poly, I’d committed a huge parenting fail.

I was just thankful that I only had to deal with a dead hermit crab. I was thinking it could’ve been so much worse if, say, Buster had died and Kevin was out of town. I’m not sure what I’d do with an 80-pound Golden Retriever. I’m guessing I’d probably call our friend, Tony, although I’d feel really bad about it. However, he had a bout of bad dog karma last year, so if he helped me with Buster, I feel that would probably bring his dog karma full circle, so I could count that as a win-win.

The Dallas trip was a success and the boys had a blast visiting with their cousins. We got home late Monday afternoon and I was greeted by a terrible smell by the front door–right where I’d thrown Sandy.

Could a dried out hermit crab really smell that bad?

What if some animal tried to eat Sandy and choked on her?

I looked around to see if I could see anything because it smelled so much bigger than a hermit crab, but it was kind of dark and I couldn’t find anything. Plus, I didn’t want to step on any sort of animal cadaver because of my inability to see.


When I got home yesterday one of the guys that’s been working on the wood floors in our house said to me, “Hey, I thought your yard man might take care of that dead squirrel when they were mowing the yard, but they didn’t.”


Sure enough, in the light of day, there was the dead squirrel not far from where I’d tossed Sandy.

“What do I do with a dead squirrel; throw it in the neighbor’s yard?” I asked.

He laughed. “That’s probably what a lot of people would do.”

In explanation, the next-door neighbor is a complicated story. They were trying to run a business out of there, then somebody moved in and the whole situation is very unclear about what is going on. And they never, ever keep their yard that’s well over an acre nice or mowed. There’s tons of brush by our fence line. I would never throw a dead squirrel into a neighbor’s yard who, say, brought me a pie or I felt like I could borrow an egg or a cup of sugar from.

Anyway, I’ve never had to tackle something like that before. And I momentarily thought of just leaving it for Kevin to deal with after he got home from his 30 hours of travel from Brazil, but I felt guilty thinking I was somehow responsible for the squirrel’s death since I’m pretty sure it choked on Sandy. So I went and got the long-handled poop scoop, my gloves and some bags so I could dispose of the squirrel and the guy doing our wood floors took pity on me and sent his helper to do it for me.

I must have “damsel” written across my forehead.

So now Sandy is stuck in a dead squirrel’s gullet that is inside an HEB plastic bag wrapped in two other garbage bags that are scented with Gain inside our large garbage can outside. I feel very accomplished.


3 thoughts on “Hermit crab people

  1. You have the best (albeit grossest) adventures! Also, I think Rowan needs a “roly poly playground.” You can buy them at Whole Earth Provision Co. 😉

  2. Dear Heather, you crazy heart mama you!

    Regarding the squirrel disposal issue: Just remember to either remove the offending carcass from the bag and toss it over the fence sans bag, or, if you can’t stomach removing it from the bag, then at least make sure that you’ve removed any receipts that might contain some identifying information from the purchase that resulted in your having said bag, before you make it a projectile over the shared fence! And make sure you’ve either handled it only with surgical gloves, and wiped down the bag sufficiently, both inside and out, to obliterate any stray fingerprints from it!!

    But my main purpose in writing this back to you, is to ask: Have you considered submitting your “articles” for greater publication? You really do have a gift for it, and I think if you had a good agent, and if you targeted, at least initially, other mothers with any type of serious illness besetting their child, you’d have an instant market, and as word spread, since you have such a talent for capturing what it is to be a parent of any child, as this installment shows, you’d have a really good shot at a best-seller! Perhaps you could get some pointers and/or connections, referrals, to a good agent from Jay Brandon?

    You know, this idea really seems like a good idea, the more I think about it!

    By the way, regarding the “sarcasm font” (I’m so totally with you! It could avoid so many misunderstandings that arise from failures of communication); Perhaps you should create it, and copyright it, and only then sell it to Microsoft! No worries, just give me 10% for suggesting it and supporting you in doing it!

    Still loving your blog!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s