July 18, 2008

I heart my grandshrimp.

Posted in Crazy Homeschoolers tagged , , , , at 3:36 am by junecleaverwouldbeshocked

Guess I haven’t mentioned yet that we’re a homeschooling family, have I? Yep, we’re crazy homeschoolers. My kiddos are wildly unsocialized – don’t make direct eye contact with them. They’re like little wolverines.

Okay, that’s entirely untrue. Sass is anything but antisocial – in fact, we often find ourselves wondering just where her super-social gene came from, as she certainly didn’t inherit it from her parents. Boogie is too young yet to be antisocial; she’ll go to most anyone except my mother-in-law, for reasons entirely unknown to anyone but her little self. Although we have our theories. *ahem*

Anyway, I was browsing the toy department at Wal-Mart last week, looking for an appropriate bribe surprise for Sass, who was being reasonably well-behaved while we shopped for groceries, when I came across Sea Monkeys! My reaction, of course, was that of any former-kid who had drooled over the wordy Sea Monkey ads in the back of her Archie comics – amazing, live sea monkeys! Watch them come to live before your very eyes! And do tricks! And clean your room and eat your broccoli! That is, my reaction was: “Hey, cool! Sea Monkeys!” And since I wanted them, I immediately justified buying them for Sass by turning them into a summertime science curriculum. I need to do more science-y things anyway, as we mostly focus on reading and math. But hey, she is only four.

So we came home with her nifty new little blue Sea Monkey tank, filled it up and added the water purifier, and waited the requisite 24 hours before adding the eggs to the tank. The next morning, while squinting into the water, I distinctly saw a little squiggle swimming about. Later that day, I saw a bunch more little squiggles – at least a dozen of them, and a few of them actually identifiable as the teensy brine shrimp they are. (But “monkeys” sounds like so much more fun, doesn’t it?!) I pointed them out to her, and we spent at least two happy minutes peering into the water at them. Sass immediately christened the largest squiggle Wall-E, and the next-largest squiggle Eve. Girlfriend is a little obsessed with Pixar films.

That evening, I was multitasking as usual – making dinner (chicken casserole, which is semi-June-ish), straightening the kitchen and talking on the phone to my mom. I was telling her all about our new little critters, how neat they were, how excited Rachael was, etc. All this while I was wiping the countertops around the tank. And then, just as I’d finished talking about them… *THUNK*  That was me knocking over the sea monkey tank, in case you didn’t recognize that particular breed of “thunk”. Water and sea monkeys flew all over the kitchen counter, into the floor…there was no saving the poor little things. I couldn’t even SEE them, much less rescue them. Sass, being in the next room, flew into the kitchen in a rage, placed her little hands squarely on her hips, stomped her foot and yelled, “ASHAME OF YOU!”

Ashame of me indeed. I felt terrible. Horrible. Miserable. Lower than low. I am pond scum. I am the amoeba that feed on pond scum. I murdered my baby’s pets. It was accidental shrimp-slaughter, but it was a massacre nonetheless.

I did what any mom would do, I suppose. I hugged her and told her how very (VERY) sorry I was, and that I would hie to Wal-Mart that very evening to buy her all new Sea Monkeys, and that she would have two tanks instead of just one. And I did.

Round two of our sea monkey experiment is now in residence on the kitchen counter – we just added the eggs to the water tonight. I’ll be looking tomorrow to see if there are new baby shrimp wiggling around in the water, but you can rest assured that I won’t be getting too close.