10.16.2012

the one with the frogs.

When we were teenagers, my cousin started a rock band called When Frogs Rule The World. I don't remember much about that band. I'm pretty sure they only played a handful of shows at local skateparks -- if that -- and I'm also fairly certain the music was a nice blend of angsty teenage clanging -- the kind of music my parents referred to simply as "noise" -- but that's neither here nor there. The thing I remember most is the name and the fact that when I talked up my cousin being in a band, people gave me the side-eye and asked what on Earth the band name meant. My response was probably something along the lines of "it's just cool." Sometimes that's all the eloquence and rationalization you can expect from a teenager.

I thought of that band today. I thought of that band today because today, well, frogs ruled the heck out of my world.

You see, Ethan has a frog habitat on his bedroom dresser. Maybe you recall reading about the time I brought the frogs home. It's been less than a month since they've joined us and already those little guys became a huge part of our family. We're animal people around here. As in, pets are family, too people. I've always wondered if it's genetic or learned, something like a love and respect for animals, because Ethan is no different. Whereas other children tend to shy away from animals, Ethan loves to observe, pet and interact with them. His frogs have truly become his frogs and we begin each morning by greeting his frogs, wishing them a good morning and letting Ethan observe them through the walls of their tank. Before and after naptime, before bedtime -- these, too, are opportunities to blow a kiss to Ethan's frogs and wish them well. It's become part of our routine, so you can imagine my horror when I walked into Ethan's room to put him down for a nap and saw one of the frogs belly up, floating at the top of the tank. Stomach, meet throat.

I let Ethan quickly say goodnight to the frogs, trying to rationalize enough to know that at 15 months old, the only way he'd sense something was wrong was through my reaction. I carried the tank out of the room as soon as I switched off the lights and spent the next half an hour preparing Meyer the frog for burial and sobbing my eyes out while calling Learning Express to ask about their frog replacement policy. They told me to come in with my tank and select another frog. This led to me spending Ethan's entire naptime contemplating how in the world one talks to a child about death. At Ethan's age, there wasn't much he was going to question. He did wake up from his nap and start screaming when he noticed there was no frog tank on his dresser, but I put some books in front of him and he quickly forgot. Ethan realized we were carrying his frog tank into Learning Express as soon as we exited the car. He smiled upon seeing it again, after it had been previously missing. I tried to hold it more or less away from him, unsure if he'd make the connection that now there was only one frog as typically, he likes to point to each frog. The staff member dropped another frog into the tank. We (okay, I) named him Cohen. I lowered the tank down to Ethan's sight and he laughed as he pointed out each frog: one, two. "Meyer is on vacation, so now we have Cohen to keep Seymour company." I hated it as soon as I said it. Ethan didn't know the difference between the two frogs for me to even feel the need to explain it and, really, vacation? Is that the best I can do?

Yikes.

I think this moment was the first moment where I sat back and realized I have no idea what I'm doing, like I missed the registration deadline for a Parenting Basics class and now I'm stuck winging it. Winging it, of course, while cautiously transporting a frog tank back to the store for a second frog and making myself crazy trying to make this an understandable process for Ethan who is only concerned with the fact that Learning Express has bouncy balls on display and he wants one.

Ethan watched as I set the frog habitat back upon his dresser. He smiled. His frogs were home now, Seymour and now Cohen. I'm feeling as conflicted and confused as ever, but Ethan's happy. He had two frogs to blow kisses to tonight before bedtime.

9 comments:

  1. Newest follower here! I found you through the link up. Super cute blog!
    -meandmr.com

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  2. What a fun blog!! We're so glad we found it and can't wait to read more.... Your photos are so clear( not to mention cute)..... I think your comment, "Must have missed the parenting basics" pretty much sums up parenting feelings! Newest follower from the blog hop.... hope you'll stop by and say hey sometime. http://www.beatnikbubblegum.blogspot.com/

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  3. Aww! That would be a difficult topic to tackle for such a little one. I'm glad he got his new frog though. :) So sweet! Our animals are our family, as well, and I dread the day I have to tackle that topic with our little lady-- she's already so attached! I've always wondered whether it's genetic or learned as well. Husband's family is not so animal-friendly. :(

    ♥Nicole @ Me + the Moon

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    1. Right?! I'm glad it's not just me who wonders about the learned vs. genetic thing. It seems so silly to assume it could even be genetic, but it's crazy how much my son loves animals -- even spiders, snakes, etc. He's typically not a brave kid -- everything frightens him -- so it's interesting to watch him meet animals with excitement.

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  4. New follower, found you at GUG! I love your blog and the focus on foods, as you can imagine, I have a picky eater. I am excited to browse and try some of the recipes. I am trying to come up with cute, mini, healthy snacks for her birthday party since it will be with mostly toddlers instead of the candy table. Hopefully, I can get ideas by just looking on here. I love the playroom too, it looks similar to ours, good to know that people have as many toys as we do for one kid haha.

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    1. Hi! Welcome, I'm so glad you found me! I have a tab up top called "Ethan's Weekly Eats" which I update every Sunday with toddler lunch ideas from the previous week! I hope the recipes help a little. That sounds like a great idea, healthy snacks instead of candy!

      Thanks for stopping by!

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