To be utterly honest, I was never really attached to Lucy Patterson and Bubba Johnson.
Our frogs. Our stupid frogs that became a part of our family when my goofball little brother decided they would make the coolest birthday gifts for our kids. (Puh-leeze.) Our stupid frogs who, vexatiously enough, seemed to have a mating problem. And by "mating problem" I mean they were regularly "locked" (FOR DAYS) in a position conducive to making babies. Or tadpoles, rather. Telling my kids, "Not to worry, they are hugging," hundreds of times a day got reeeeealllly, really old.
Then there was the maintenance. Since the little green things were "technically" my children's, they should have been the ones taking care of them. Right? Isn't that the way it works? An unspoken law between underage pet owners, their mothers, and their creepy creatures?
Au contraire! Cleaning their swampy, marsh-like container was MY job. Scrubbing the film of moldy slime off their decorative, aquarium pebbles was MY job. Feeding them was MY job.
Friends, after nine months I had had enough!
I grabbed my girls and I grabbed my stupid frogs; I herded all of us out the front door. "Lilly! Bridget! We are walking to the canal up the street," I exclaimed, "and we are setting Bubba and Lucy free!" Lilly held Bridget's hand and I held Lilly's as we climbed the hill by our house. I wanted to be as quick and as "stealth" as possible. Get up the hill, dump the frogs, get home. With any luck, no one would see a thing.
And that's when all hell broke loose.
The container dropped from the lid (which had an attached handle I was still holding) and crashed to the pavement, splashing my feet and legs with froggy poo water!
"AAAAHHH! Froggy poo water! Froggy poo water," I screamed. My girls began shrieking like banshees--a sound both blood curdling and razor sharp! Lilly bolted up the street with a frenzied, "Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh!" I watched as Bridget's chubby, baby legs took her down the street.
I glanced down at the stupid frogs. They were losing water fast! They were panicking! They were hopping and scrambling across those decorative pebbles I had cleaned so many times. A corner of their container had cracked wide open.
"Girls! Girls!," I yelled. "Get back here! Get back here right now!" I picked up the leaking container and ran for Bridget, snatching her arm and pulling her towards the canal. Water was pouring all over the road and the frogs were leaping like hot popcorn kernels in a skillet!
At that moment, a large white truck turned down the street. Crap! I knew that truck--it belonged to a dear, dear friend's husband. And "The Husband" is a freaking babe! (Occasionally, something odd happens to me when "The Husband" is around: I turn into my awkward and ungraceful thirteen-year-old self. Suddenly, I have braces again. I have "claw bangs" and acne. I'm wearing overalls. I have frizzy hair. I can't open my locker.)
I. Was. Mortified.
I averted my eyes as he drove past us and pretended the chaotic (and comical) scene playing out before him was completely natural and normal. Oh hello...Just taking a stroll with my daughters and my stupid frogs...who are dripping froggy poo water down my legs...No big deal. Lovely day...Nothing out of the ordinary...la dee da...
UGH! I felt a flush of embarrassment ignite across my cheeks.
I sprang into action and sprinted across the street. When I reached the brush and the weeds, I gasped! A frog was missing! I thought about those huge tires on my hunky neighbor's truck, and prayed to Jesus that the missing froggy wasn't mashed like putty in the tread. (Eew, eew, eew!)
With a whip of my arm and a whooosh of air, I flung the contents of the broken container into the muddy canal water. Turquoise pebbles sprinkled the water's surface like heavy raindrops. I heard a plop! and watched as a frantic frog met freedom. I peered over my shoulder and looked at my daughters. The poor dears were sweaty, dirty, and panting.
"Let's go home," I said. "Let's go home and eat a popsicle...and Mama needs a bath."
And that's exactly what we did. We walked home, cool as cucumbers. Like a calm and collected little family, like the most uninteresting people in the world.
You just can't make this stuff up.
Moral of the story? There isn't one.
Because frogs are stupid.