Another Family Adventure

If you have a child, and especially if that child is a boy, (or an insect/reptile loving girl) then you are bound to have a few adventures.

I remember one time when I was maybe 6 or 7, my sister and I filled a plastic cup with those rolly-poly potato bugs and tried to feed them ants so they would be our pets. Of course they all died. I also remember being a bit younger and letting a Daddy Long-Legs walk up and down my arm because it tickled.

It was probably a good thing that my mom couldn't see.

But I've grown up and now and am of the opinion that the only place for the bugs is outside. Reptiles are still up for debate....I actually love snakes, but am not so excited about lizards, scorpions and things that bite you.

God gave me a son. Which I know equals mud, grass stains, bleeding knees and elbows, and the occasional creature that makes its way inside. He also blessed me with a daughter that loves every created thing, and will try to rescue the unfortunate spider that freaks me out in the sink.

It had been a while since we had a visit from outdoor critters, and I should have been on my guard, but that's when they get you.

So last week the kids were playing in the front yard and all came running in to tell me that there was a snakey lizard, 2 feet long, that had slithered across the street and hid himself in our front bushes. Smart lizard. He knows kids, and my kids are notorious for killing things they capture.

They poked around the bushes a little but he was going nowhere, so we forgot all about him and went on with our day and evening.

Next day. We are out running errands and come back, leaving the garage door open so I can empty the trunk. About 30 minutes later I hear an incredible commotion in the garage and yup, Mr. Lizard had decided to make our garage his vacation home.

I am not squeamish or anything so I go out and look, and the 2 foot report from the day before was a bit exaggerated; but he was still a pretty good specimen of a lizard.

Here he is amongst the roller blades.

My first reaction is to chase it out of the garage, but what kind of fun is that? My kids know this, so they begin Operation Lizard Catch. It only took 5 minutes before they got him.

And then they put him in this container.

Now this is where my head went out the window. Do you see where we are in this picture?

We're in the house. Not the garage, the house. That's the piano bench in my living room.

No, I don't know what I was thinking.

Looking back, I think it was a pretty hot day, so we all went inside with him. Fellow Moms, tell me that this is a good excuse for bringing a 15 inch lizard into the house.

And you can imagine what happened next.

Yes, he escaped, and headed right for the sofa.

And I will tell you that since he was a little bigger he did slither back and forth, like those big lizards in Indonesia.

Of course you can't just grab him by his tail, because he will miraculously loose his tail, and you are left holding a squirming tail, which sounds pretty gross and painful to me. 

So Mr. Lego lifted the sofa and the others tried to trap him.

He was a fast little guy and even tried to go behind the piano. We would have never gotten him out if he went back there because the piano weighs a ton.

Finally they got him under something. At this point I was standing on the coffee table.

This was the tricky part....sliding something under the container to pick him up with. Mr. Lizard was having none of it.

But my children were trickier and he was back into a bin....this time a deep bin.

My brain was still out to lunch because this bin is in the school room. But there was reason he was soon as the crisis was over, the kiddos started going through our nature books, trying to figure out what type of lizard he was and what to feed it.

Feed it?!? That means it is staying in our possession for longer than fifteen minutes and that part was up for debate. But the kids came back with the reason that they wanted to show Daddy, and I can't resist that one.

Meet Mr. Alligator Lizard.

See, he was a pretty big guy.

So Mr. Alligator Lizard went out into the garage in his bin, where the kids gleefully put branches, dirt and leaves for him to hide under. Then they all went outside to find slugs from my garden and other insects to give him.

The slugs were doing what they do best... hiding from me ( I am having an all-out war with them right now over the tomatoes), and the only creeping thing that Dasher could find was a fly that was missing a wing.

The end of the story comes sooner than you think; in their over-zealousness to give him a proper habitat, they put larger branches that hung over the side of the bin and Mr. Lizard decided that this vacation spot wasn't working for him so he skedaddled.

The kids were disappointed that Daddy couldn't see him in person, which made me happy that I had taken some photos.

So, when your lovely children bring a guest in from the outdoors for inspection, don't scream, freak out or yell; but examine it, try to learn about it and keep it in the garage.


  1. Haha! Very funny post, Charlotte. :) I have to say though, that I don't think I would do well on the "don't scream, freak out or yell" part of your advice, but I appreciate it nonetheless! :p I'm sitting here posting this Emma just came in with news that they caught 2 large frogs! NO JOKE!! LOL

  2. Dawn, that is so funny! I can't wait to hear what happens..... :-)

  3. This is excellent, Charlotte! Seriously. What a good learning lesson for me (so I don't have to learn it on my own, hopefully!), and a great reminder to turn things like this into teachable moments. Love it.

  4. Thanks Melissa! Some days I still struggle with being willing to take the time for that teachable moment. :-)

    I am keeping you and Nine in my prayers! :-)

  5. The update. :) My brother in law and Jeff caught them and put them in a large pitcher with water and rocks. One was a bullfrog and the other were teeny guys. They were CUTE! I didn't hold them (not that brave) but I did pet one! :)

    I think it would have been a different story had these been in my house...loose... hehe

  6. Fun, Dawn! Did you keep them very long? Bullfrogs are really cool.

    And it seems because of the wetlands across the street we have frogs getting into our garage all the time. A couple hops and they are in the is a good thing that our kitchen/garage door automatically closes. :-)

  7. We didn't keep them in the pitcher for more than an hour or so - my sister the animal lover was too distressed to see them "in captivity". LOL

    Not long ago saw a bullfrog hanging out on our front walkway when we got home late from somewhere. Frogs are so cool - we need to get some. hehe Two of my favorite sounds at night are frogs and distant train whistles and it is fun we have both here. :)


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