A Whole New Can of Worms
This is attempt number three at finding Frankly the frog something to eat that the rest of us can live with.
The crickets, if you'll recall, were psychopathic cannibals that literally ate until they burst. It just wasn't working out having them as houseguests--not even as frog food.
So we went digging for worms in the backyard.
This had the boys and I in Dr. Phil mode by midmorning. We were a family in crisis. With me out there digging in the mud with one of our good spoons and finally asking, "What the hell am I doing? The boys dig for worms everyday and the one time I ask them to do it, they won't."
And as the boys played dino-pirate war, me snapping, "Get over here and dig for worms!"
And them claiming that there weren't any and me accusing them of not giving their "best effort" which is teacher language for digging for worms in a really half-ass way, if you ask me.
And me finally realizing I was being a drill sergeant over the worms and saying, "You're right. There aren't any worms. Let's go to the pet store and see what we can find."
We went to the local pet store. Not the big national one that sold us the psychocrickets.
"What do you have in the way of frog food?" I asked.
"Crickets," they said.
"Our crickets ate each other," I said.
"You could feed him baby mice."
No. We weren't feeding our frog a baby anything. See, I happen to like babies. Even babies that gnaw holes through your cereal boxes, make a racket running through your cabinets and nibble on your bars of soap--making them somehow seem unclean.
We had mice once. They did a real number on our peace of mind. But I am not prepared to retalliate on their children.
I didn't say this. As the pet store worker ate a big sandwich next to the tarantulas and mealy worms and amid the smell of pond water, I had the feeling he would think I was on a high horse.
A new guy walked by.
"What could she feed her frog?" the sandwich guy asked. "Her crickets ate each other."
"Goldfish," the guy said.
He caught us two feeder fish and sold them to us for 25 cents. We put them in a nice bowl and fed them. Still, they were freaking out. It's like the other fish told them, "When people buy you, that's not good. They're not adopting you or anything. You're frog food."
We were a little too far up the foodchain here, as far as I was concerned. As kids, my brothers and I had goldfish as pets. My brother Luke's fish lived for years. Luke would take him on "walks," letting him swim in puddles when it rained. That fish was like our brother. Our little tiny, orange, mute brother.
But I understand how the animal kingdom works. It's a frog eat fish world. So we fed goldfish number one to Frankly. He ate the fish in the night. The next morning it was gone. And Frankly was stuffed.
Three days later, we put the other fish in the waterbowl. But Frankly didn't eat her. Two days went by, and he didn't eat her.
"I guess we'll have to keep her as a pet," Johnny said.
He was right. We couldn't just leave her in there waiting to get eaten. So we put her back in her fishbowl.
Hence the worms. We bought them at the Short Stop in Overland Park. Two boxes of creepy crawlers, which naturally had to be kept in the refrigerator. Gag.
Of course, the boys wanted to keep them as pets, too. I let them keep two in a bowl of mud. I've been feeding them coffee grounds and vegetable rinds. They're on the supermodel diet.
But here's the thing. Frankly likes the worms, but not to eat. They just hang out together under his sharkhead hiding place. And we don't fish, so the worms are just sitting there in our refrigerator...I don't know, maybe we should go fishing for fish to feed Frankly.
You want to hear something sad, though? Fish Eye died. That's what Johnny named the goldfish that Frankly didn't eat. She died just swimming around in her bowl. Alanis Morrisette would call that ironic. I just think it's sad. It's like Fish Eye was so prepared to be eaten that she just imagined herself into the jaws of death.
She had a bad life. I hope she's in fish heaven.
And we're back to the drawing board. It's either cute frightened goldfish or gross homicidal crickets. Okay. I've made my decision. I like goldfish. But not as frog food. I don't like crickets. So we might as well feed them to Frankly. Gag. More crickets in our house.
I bought a frog and wound up the chair of our household philosophy department. Go figure. And some journalist in England says motherhood is boring. When? When will it be boring? I'm ready for a slow day.