When we were at football/cheer leading practice last evening Megan found a small toad. He couldn't have been bigger than a quarter. The poor thing, once found, was subjected to two hours of torment and handling by many fascinated children. When we got home the children went to sleep out in a tent we have up in the back yard. We put it up a few nights ago for an end of the summer fun activity for the children. In addition to sleeping bags, there is a TV with a gamecube attached. I know, I know, it's not the kind of 'camping' we did when we were little, but it is fun! Anyway, around midnight (about two hours after they went out) we heard thunder and Thomas went out to bring them in for the night. The next thing I knew, Megan was at my bedside, blankets and pillow in tow, crying. Here's our conversation. (Mom) "What's wrong Megan?' (Megan, in somewhat of a wail.) "I picked up a spider." (Mom, confused 'cause she knows that Megan is deathly afraid of spiders.) "What? Why did you pick up a spider?" (Megan, catching her breath between sobs.) "I thought it was a toad." (Mom, openly laughing after the puzzle begins to come together.) "Why would you think it was a toad?" (Megan who is becoming more upset and offended because her mother is laughing about her horrible experience lets out this wail.) "It was hopping!!!" (Mom, hugging Megan but still laughing, there is no controlling it now.) "I'm sorry Megan." (Megan, still wailing.) "It was hopping. So I picked it up and IT WAS FURRY! (Mom's hysterical laughing makes her pause for a moment.) so I threw it down!"
I know there are good mothers out there who would have felt her pain and when I really think about it, it does make my skin crawl. But I began relating to her my thoughts for that poor spider. Who was so unloved just because he wasn't a leaping green toad. Four extra legs, a little fur, and the amazing ability to spin webs were all the difference to make him frightening instead of fascinating. Enough to literally maker her harshly cast him away! That poor spider! These thoughts, of course, were not making points for me with Megan.
I think the thing that really topped it all off for me and had me laughing so uncontrollably is that when her brothers came in they informed us that this happened 2 HOURS before on their way OUT to the tent. The way Megan had been acting I thought it had just barely happened as she came in. When I brought this up to her she kinda wailed again saying. "Well, the boys have been teasing me about it." Leave it to her brothers to take a horrible moment and make her keep reliving it.
I am still laughing every time I think about her wailing. "It was FURRY!" or even "But it was HOPPING!"