Birth, death, and frogs

I worked from home with the kids in my care on Friday. Don’t even bother to ask me how much work I got done, because my monthly time is now corrected to show some PTO on Friday. Seriously, why I think working from home with my kids there is possible I will never know. Anyway, as I was trying to work on some fascinating spreadsheets, and was interrupted for the 100th time by The Girl trying to “help” me type, and The Boy whining for something I called it quits and we all headed outside. I decided that we could play in the backyard, and while the kids were playing I could attend to the much neglected 5 million planting beds we have. I wasn’t trying to do anything strenuous, just trying to clear away some of last year’s perennial growth. We don’t actually plant anything in the beds, just wait for the perennials to come up on their own, and hope for the best. On the side of the house I found egg shells (big eggs too…chicken egg sized), and feathers. Aha, now the fact that I had seen a pair of mallards in the driveway, and the female on the lawn made much more sense. We had ourselves a little nest. I rushed to show the kids. The Girl wasn’t all that interested, but The Boy immediately started asking questions. “Why are the eggs broken?” “Why are the ducks gone?” “Why did they build a nest?” “Why did they watch the eggs until they hatched?” “Why, why, why?” Eventually we made our way back to the sand box.
*I’ll come back and post a picture of the eggs if I can get my stuff together to actually take one*

I worked my way around the back yard, and in opening one of the gates on our deck came across a small gray tree frog (T tells me this is the same tree frog we saw last year, who presumably really likes the space between the posts on the deck gate, as that is where we found him on at least 2 other occasions). I jumped in horror, and gave a tiny shriek. I’m not a big fan of frogs. Still, I managed to hold it together, and gathered the kids around because I figured they would be interested in seeing the frog. The Boy was very excited. The Girl had her foot extremely close to the frog, so close that I said “don’t step on the frog honey.” Her next move was to step on the frog. I think I managed to pull her off in time, but that frog was awfully sluggish after her foot was removed. I did my best to shoo the frog off of the deck without actually touching him, and he reluctantly hopped away. I checked back there yesterday, and no frog could be found. Either he had massive internal injuries and is now dead, or he has smartened up and found a new hiding spot…perhaps with the colony of rabbits that live under our deck.

Of course the wonders of nature would not be complete without actually finding a dead animal. Saturday morning, the kids were outside playing in the sandbox, and we stumbled upon a dead bird. It had most likely flown into the side of our house. The kids weren’t very interested, until I got the shovel and removed the bird from the deck. The Boy kept asking me “why did the bird get dead Mommy?” I didn’t know what to tell him. The answer of, well the bird flew into the house and it made him sick, didn’t seem to compute. He came up with “sometimes birds just die.” I mistakenly said something to the effect of “well everything dies eventually,” and he took hold “but I don’t die Mommy.” Shoot that is not a conversation I want to have with him just now. I stumbled something like “no, you’re not dying honey.” I didn’t think I needed to explain the cycle of life to him, and frankly I know he isn’t ready to comprehend it just yet. This being the interpreter of the universe business is a very tricky aspect of parenting.
*Don’t worry, I promise I won’t post a picture of the dead bird*

1 comment:

Lawyer Mama said...

Gah. I am not looking forward to the hard questions. Sometimes I struggle with just an answer to "why do I have to go to bed, Mommy?"