Yes, it's true. Last week at church (now, I'm still not sure what sort of spiritual meaning this has, but anyway...) the kids in the 5-year-old class made worm houses. So each kid came home with 2 worms of their very own. I cringed when I saw this, not sure what life would be like with a 2-year-old and a big container of dirt, but I was a good sport and went along with it. My idea of donating the worms to the garden at Rachel's school was a non-starter, so it seems were stuck with these guys for a while.
But it's been fun. Our earthy friends seem to have found a spot in the middle of our dining room table, as the kids love to observe them during meals. The container is clear plastic so we can see them periodically, and once in a while they come to the surface. They say a child needs to hear a word 500 times before they can use it, but not in this case. Fiona took one look at Rachel's new pets and said "MERM!" She's a big fan, and keeps up with them the most. Rachel enjoys renaming them every few days, first "Earth" and "Worm" and then we've moved on to things like "Squirmy" and "Wormy" and other such appropriate monikers. In general I'd say the worms are working out better than our friends' hermit crabs. Santa brought our friend Kenzie a hermit crab for Christmas, which barely survived the new year.
Perhaps it was the hunk it took out of Rachel that poisoned it, or perhaps it was an overdose of love, but it died. And so did the poor guy that succeeded it. My heart goes out to Kenzie though, cuz she is sad about her hermit crabs. Anyway, I wasn't sorry to see the first one go, after the vicious attack it laid on on my daughter. We were at the Hales' for New Year's Eve, and the girls were holding the crab. Rachel had it in her hand and all of a sudden she started SCREAMING at the top of her lungs. We rushed to her, and thank god for Aileen's level head. While I was laughing my head off (OK, this is not my proudest moment, so it's amazing I am confessing it here for all to read, but for some reason when I saw that little crab clinging to my kid's hand with all its might, it just struck me funny. Really funny.), so while I was trying to paste on a straight and sympathetic face and tend to my daughter, Aileen was doing the right thing. She rushed Rachel to the bathroom and put her hand (with crab firmly attached) under running water. This caused the crab to let go, revealing a pretty small but deep dent in Rachel's little hand. We washed and bandaged it, and Rachel milked it for all the sympathy she could for a week.
Aileen has rescued me from these situations before, times when I was busy laughing my head off over some minor injury or transgression. Like, for instance, the time when Rachel was three and she peed and pooped in the shed and then blamed it on our dog. When we discovered the mess, and Rachel very earnestly pointed the finger at Tulo, I began laughing so hard I had to go inside the house while Aileen had Rachel help "clean up" and talked to her about why we don't poop in sheds and blame it on the family dog. Thank goodness for true friends!
OK, so it's time for me to sign off and get Rachel from school. We have a 4-day weekend ahead, since both MLK Day and Inauguration day are government holidays. My sister and her friend are coming to celebrate the inauguration with us. And celebrate we will! Oh, Happy, Happy Day!