This afternoon Laylee began a parental love affair with a roly poly pill bug she found under a log in the back yard. She “saved” him, brought him tenderly inside and showed me how CUTE he was. Ay, Lassie. He was the cutest roly poly that ever I did see.
She carried him around all afternoon, chattering away to him, singing and teaching him tricks. They played games, wherein she chased him across the carpet with a plastic cup trying to capture him. If he ended up under the cup, she won. If he made it out before the cup came down, he won. I think that if the cup came down and he was half-way in and halfway out, everyone would have lost but luckily that didn’t happen.
She told me she was training him. Apparently he would stop when she yelled “stop” and go when she yelled “go.” He was obedient because she loved him and she yelled because he had small ears. She told me that he was her best friend.
At some point in the afternoon her yelling became louder as she frantically searched the family room looking for her crawly friend. “Roly Poly! I love you! Where are you?”
He was nowhere to be found. As she cried, she told me that she had last seen him in the small plastic car she was giving him a ride in. She’d left the room for just a moment and when she came back he was gone. I hobbled around on my crutches and helped her search but apparently did not show adequate emotion and she cried in despair and said, “MOM! I’m as sad from losing him as you’d be if you lost me.”
I told her that I didn’t think that was the case but I knew she really loved him and then I had a brilliant idea, “I bet I know where he is. I bet he wanted to get back to his home. You should go out and look in that rotting log where you originally found him and I bet he’s right back there, hanging out with his friends.”
Apparently she’d disturbed the log to the point that he and all his friends had gone into hiding but I feel confident that they’ll be back and she can reclaim her baby… or another one just like him, a deaf little ball of slime that’s very obedient to 5-year-olds and loves riding around in plastic cars. In the meantime, I’ll be looking very carefully inside my shoes before I step inside them.