Anthony returned home from school yesterday with a little pill bug he'd found and carried carefully in his hands for the half-hour bus ride. He thought it was extremely cute and wanted to keep it as a pet, so we put some wet dirt and grass into a Tupperware dish for the bug's new home.
I am not a bug person, and perhaps even less a “terrestrial crustacean” person, which is what these things apparently are. But a pill bug is better at this stage than the puppy he's been asking for, and we want to encourage the responsibility of taking care of another living creature, so we now have a new pet bug.
But tragedy struck this evening when he dropped the little guy into the sink, and he disappeared down the drain. Anthony didn't cry straight out, but you could tell he was afraid for his new friend, and was really trying hard to hold back the tears. It was sweet and touching.
I explained that the bug would just wash out to the river and be fine, but we'd not see him again unless I went looking in the sink trap. He wanted me to look, so I got a wrench and emptied out everything under the sink and removed the trap, to find.... nothing.
There was a horrendous amount of gunk in the pipe from the sink, along with the stopper mechanism, so it's possible that the bug was in there. Running additional water, poking around with an old toothbrush, and peering in with a flashlight did not locate the bug, though it did help lead to a much cleaner drain. I figured that the bug had made its way to the aforementioned river.
Anthony was quite sad, but it was getting late, so he had to start his homework while I soldiered on trying to at least clean the drain, after about a dozen sprayings with high-pressure water (via the thumb-over-the-tap method), the bug plopped down into the bucket under the sink. After drying him off and confirming that it was alive, I called Anthony over and watched the relief wash over him.
Anthony took the bug back to its home while I put the sink back together.
The things parents do for their kids....
(Why can't things be like when I was young, when all kids were angels and nothing ever went wrong?)