Who's got that glow?
To the telemarketer who called tonight at 8:36

See what happens when I try to be A Good Mom?

A while ago, someone gave my sons a hermit crab habitat. Okay, I confess - it was more than a little while ago. It was more like three years ago. Or more. It was so long ago that I don't remember exactly who gave it to them, although I strongly suspect either Aunt Ellyn or Aunt Kathleen.

When the boys showed me the cool new habitat, I took it gently out of their excited little hands and said, "OH, LOVELY. Let me just tuck that away for a little bit, until we can order the hermit crab..." and I tucked it away, far far away, in the backest back recesses of my closet. 

I'm not ANTI HERMIT CRAB, or anything. Save your letters of protest. I was getting ready to get married and move and upend my life in all manner of ways, and didn't feel I could take on the responsibility for another living being.

Then we married and moved, of course. And I didn't finish packing my stuff left over at my parents' house for...um...a few years, including those items stashed in the very backest back recesses of the closet. All this is to say that I just finally got around to sending off for the hermit crab...um...this spring.

And then, of course, it got too hot to mail a living thing, and the upshot is that we just got Mr. Crab today. When I opened the mailbox this afternoon, there was a small styrofoam cube sitting inside. Curious, I peeled off the tape and opened it. In the very middle was a plastic wrapped hermit crab. It reacted to the motion and light by reaching out with its scritchy little legs, scrabbling against the plastic and styrofoam.

I clapped that box shut, set it down, and walked away. It's not that the tiny thing is scary, not at all. It's just...scritchy. I'd had some vague notion of this thing being a pet of sorts. Hey, I've loved a rat. But when I saw that thing, all hard-shelled and prehistoric looking, I knew I'd made an error in judgement. One simply doesn't naturally wish to cuddle something that can survive being wrapped in plastic. And if you do, keep it to yourself.

It turns out that hermit crabs are supposed to be bathed weekly. And exercised daily. None of us are clear about exactly what that means. But the boys are enjoying having a creature to poke at. Max thinks we should name him Hermy.

I suppose it's a better name than Error In Judgement.


kerri d

One of my sons won a "Tadpole Habitat" from the drawing at the end of the library Summer Reading Program. Now I'm actually fond of lizards and "prehistoric" uncuddly things - they are so cool to look at! - but a tadpole? First of all, does the habitat still work once it's an actual frog? How long does that take? Do I have to catch live bugs for it to eat? It all seems too complicated and so I'm hoping that I can find space in the backest back corner of my closet. Wish me luck!


Maybe it's a girl and you should name her Hermione. And keep her away from wands. Although EIJ has a nice ring to it.

Linda Sherwood

We have had owl puke for years. No, that isn't a typo. It came with a book, and was a science thing the kids could do -- dissect owl puke and learn about owls. I had been promising the kids forever that we would do this. Maxine finally did it by herself this past weekend. The other kids were otherwise busy or grossed out. I imagined this as a family learning thing, but I am among the grossed out. Maxine had fun, and the owl puke is now history. It contained a little skull of something the owl had puked up. (For the record, owls eat animals whole and then puke up the bones in a giant hair ball thingy.) Some things are meant to remain in those farthest recesses....

gretchen from lifenut

I think it's hilarious you got a crab in the mail.

It's not one of those things you expect to be mixed in with the bills, political ads, and coupons.

Congratulations on your new pet!


"Hermy Crabby" might be good. Incidentally, also the working title for my future autobiography.

Karate Mom

I like EIJ! You could pronounce it "Eeej"! We ordered a red eared slider (turtle) via mail order. The turtle itself was only $1.99 but the shipping was something like $25! (Had to be overnighted) It didn't do well and ended up...perishing about a week later.
I hope my kids don't ever get a Hermie habitat. I don't like non-cuddly "pets" that are more like decoration.

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