New Pet, New Ordeals
NOTE: Images with an icon next to them have been artificially shrunk to better fit your screen; click the icon to restore them, in place, to their regular size.

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?)

All 7 comments so far, oldest first...

How much space is allowed here for parents to rebut that last line? Hmmmph!

You just used it 😉 —Jeffy

— comment by Grandma Friedl in Ohio, USA on April 19th, 2011 at 11:52pm JST (13 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink

Jeffrey, things have never been, nor ever will be like that…but it’s pure magic that you cherish the thought (actually, it comes over with every post you put up!)
And I’m amazed that you got the bug back – ALIVE! I think you had better post a pic of that super star bug pretty quick before it makes another break for freedom.
PS Kitten rather than puppy? Less space demanding and less onerous for the parents…

— comment by Annie in London on April 20th, 2011 at 1:59am JST (13 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink

What? no photo of the pet bug?

I’m a photographer, not a paparazzi. The bug needs its privacy. Have you no decency? 😛 —Jeffrey

— comment by Aaron on April 20th, 2011 at 3:20am JST (13 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink

Frankly, you haven’t even told us its name yet. Will it soon have the run of the house after it’s paper-trained? Can we expect to see it included in the family Christmas picture?
Can’t wait until Anthony comes to visit this summer….will I ever have a whole menagerie waiting for him.! Wonder if you’ll need passports to get them all back to Japan??

He hadn’t picked a name by that point, but last night after he went to bed, he came out and told me the name he decided on, but we had both forgotten it by this morning. Doh! —Jeffy

— comment by Grandma Friedl in Ohio, USA on April 20th, 2011 at 7:35am JST (13 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink

You are indeed a good father. I would have said “Now the bug is in the river. Take this as a lesson to be more careful next time. Now go brush your teeth/do your homework/clean up your room/mow the lawn.”

— comment by Zak on April 20th, 2011 at 7:55am JST (13 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink

When i was a kid the cat ate the goldfish. We got more goldfish and my parents covered the top of the tank with wire mesh and 3 bricks.
Just like the bug,this was a good lesson on life.
Caring for another whatever it is will help your son for the rest of his life.

— comment by Ed Pouso on April 20th, 2011 at 12:29pm JST (13 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink

What a great story. Others have sort of remarked on it already, but I’ll say that I can really see your dedication to Anthony in this post – there wasn’t even a single photo of the whole ordeal! Why, if it had been me, I probably would have taken a few breaks to photograph/document the whole ordeal 😉 Or so I say now, currently childless and planning to keep it that way for another 3-4 years…

— comment by David K on April 21st, 2011 at 8:36am JST (13 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink
Leave a comment...

All comments are invisible to others until Jeffrey approves them.

Please mention what part of the world you're writing from, if you don't mind. It's always interesting to see where people are visiting from.

IMPORTANT:I'm mostly retired, so I don't check comments often anymore, sorry.

You can use basic HTML; be sure to close tags properly.

Subscribe without commenting