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.