I came out of my home office and called out to my youngest daughter. “Did you get some lunch yet, or do you want me to fix something for you?”
She said, “You have to fix something for the frogs, too.”
Not paying close attention to her, I said absently as I pull some things from the pantry, “What frogs, babe?”
She held up both hands, where two frogs sat quietly. On the one hand, I am thrilled to have daughters who don’t mind frogs, toads, worms, or even spiders, but I don’t want them bringing them into the house either.
“Sweetie,” I told her, “remember that I said that you couldn’t bring wild animals into the house?”
“They’re fine,” she insisted. “They have water and food.”
“Yeah, but maybe their family misses them. Maybe they have a brother or sister who wants someone to play with.”
“I wouldn’t miss my sister,” she told me. Her face took on the stubborn look that I knew probably mirrored my own at that age.
“Well, either way, the frogs have to go outside. Put them back where you found them.”
“They were in the dog bowl.”
“How did they get into the dog bowl?”
While I stared at her, trying to fathom how or why frogs decided to move into a dog bowl, I noticed that one of her hands was steadily dripping. One of the frogs had just peed on her. My daughter’s nose wrinkled slightly, but she didn’t drop her charges.
In my best mom voice, I said, “Take. Them. Out. Side.”
“Okay, but it’s not my fault if the dogs eat them.”
“Fine,” I answered. “And where is your sister? I want to ask her if she’s had lunch.”
Her eyes scrunched up a little, and she said, “She’s in our room, but maybe you shouldn’t go in there.” Without waiting for my response, she headed out the door.
I looked over at the closed door of their room and then turned around to go right back into my office, where the world made sense.