I bought three things at the Farmers Market this weekend; a loaf of cranberry walnut bread, a felt strawberry and a frog.
I bought two things on purpose, one I did not.
Usually I don't go to the Farmers Market by myself with the two children. Usually I don't go anywhere by myself with the two children. I didn't go anywhere by myself with the one child. Come to think of it, I rarely left the house by myself when I had zero children. That is me--a cozy homebody.
On Saturday morning Chup and I didn't wake up. We didn't wake up because we didn't ever really get to sleep. By the time the children were screeching in their respective rooms we made a tally of the night's sleeping hours. I came up with three hours slept, Chup was an hour and a half. So I won (or lost?) and got up with the two clamoring, hungry, somewhat helpless humans while Chup went back to bed.
And I wasn't in the mood to watch Calliou all morning (I could write a whole blog called "Ruminations on Calliou" but I won't) so I packed up the children and headed to the Farmers Market. By myself.
The Chief found the felt crafts booth tantalizing. On his eye level was a display of produce all made out of felt. Bananas, eggs, berries. If this was the Farmers Market (and it was) then the crafty lady selling her craft was something of a Felt Farmer. The Chief sifted through the soft vegetables and fruit and found himself an ice cream cone--stitched with skill--double scooped. Of course, to The Chief it wasn't an ice cream cone, it was a rocket ship--a chocolate rocket ship-- that soared around our stroller, through the air of the market place and under the table.
"Well, it looks like we found our Farmers Market prize!" I said, half for The Chief to hear and half for the Felt Farmer. I handed over a couple bucks and bought the ice cream rocket right then and there.
Then, the reason why I don't take the children out by myself:
As soon as I bought the prize The Chief was no longer interested. He threw it back on the table and insisted on the banana (a banana rocket!). Heat flashed through my being as I fought with him to "put the banana back..." because I wasn't going to buy the banana. A four dollar and fifty cent banana? Real ones aren't even that expensive.
When I wrestled the banana away from him and offered back the double scoop rocket he threw himself on the ground. The Felt Farmer looked at me like, "wanna refund?" and I looked at her like, "you mean for the ice cream or for the kid?" and then she said,
"He's sucking on that strawberry."
I turned around to see almost the entire felt strawberry was in his mouth. Then he spit it out on the ground when he discovered the next table over had real rockets that went up high in the air via a tube and an empty bottle of Sprite.
So I bought the strawberry.
(Felt Farmer was kind enough to let me return the ice cream.)
Then we saw the frogs. Mini frogs from Africa.
He didn't really want a frog, I wanted him to have a frog. Because I thought it would be cute. Because I thought it would "teach him responsibility." Because I didn't think the felt strawberry was an enduring enough Farmers Market prize.
"Look how cute." I pushed the stroller up to the fish tank where a hundred tiny frogs were swimming underwater.
"Fully aquatic, these frogs. Easy to keep. They eat one pellet a day. All they need is water. And one or two pellets a day. And they never get any bigger than this."
We bought one frog and a three months supply of food. Teeny, little pellet food.
"They get sick in the sun, so keep 'em cool," she said as she handed over the frog to The Chief in a plastic baggie.
The Chief held it gingerly while riding in the stroller back to the car. A couple of times he forgot he was holding it and I had to remind him;
"Be careful with the frog."
I put The Chief into the car making sure the frog stayed out of the sun. I buckled him in his car seat and turned on a movie for him to watch. I took the frog from him and put it carefully on the cup holder by my seat. I put Ever in her car seat and tried to keep her out of the sun too (she also melts easily). I folded up the stroller, packed it into the trunk, turned on the car and made sure the cool air was running on The Chief, on Ever and on my dripping face. The frog was secure and we were off.
About four blocks into the ride home I panicked.
What did I just do?
Did I just buy a frog?
How am I going to keep the frog alive?
What happens if it dies?
How will I reconcile a dying frog?
How will I explain death to The Chief?
Where will I bury it?
What if I forget to feed it?
Did she say two pellets or one pellet a day?
What are we going to do with it when we go on vacation?
What was I thinking?
Now I am going to be directly responsible for three lives. THREE LIVES!
Repeat heat flashing through my body.
Pete's SAKE. This is why we bought a ROBOTIC cat for a pet.
Today in Sunday School we were talking about parenthood responsibilities. The teacher asked us about when we were old enough to learn from our parents. I raised my hand,
"At twenty-seven I came to the realization that my parents didn't always know what they were doing. And it disappointed me until I became a parent and realized, that's parenthood."
The Chief has named his frog "Frogs" When Chup goes around with his flashlight at night to check on the children, he looks in on the little guy too. Welcome to the family, Frogs.
I am c jane and so far Frogs is alive and well in a gigantic glass pickle jar.