Friday, February 12, 2010

The Newest Member of Our Family (No, Not a Haitian Orphan)

The other evening, I went into the girls' bathroom. As a general rule, now that I have my own bathroom, I try not to do this. But since theirs is the bathroom used by guests, and because my girls seem genetically incapable of hanging up their bathmat or closing the shower curtain, I occasionally pop in and tidy things up. On this occasion, I noticed that the caps were off of both of the tubes of toothpaste (Of course my children disagree about toothpaste flavor. Bear enjoys a sharper, more pepperminty flavor, which Bug claims burns the tastebuds off of her tongue. And, naturally, Bug's milder bubblemint flavor makes Bear "gag so hard I almost throw up, I swear, Mom").

As I reached to pick up one of the caps to put it on the tube of toothpaste, I noticed that both caps were neatly lined up along the edge of the sink and FILLED WITH WATER. What the hell?

"Bug!" I hollered, knowing she was sitting in the living room, "Why are the toothpaste caps full of water?"

"That's for Paco to drink out of," she called back.

Several possible scenarios flitted through my mind. Two involved rodents. None were very good. I stuck my head out into the hall and reached deep down for my Zen Mommy voice, "Paco?" I inquired serenely.

She carefully stuck a bookmark in to mark her place, came into the bathroom with me, and pointed,

"Paco. Right there."
"You have a ladybug named Paco?" I clarified.

"Yup. Bear found him, and we decided to keep him in here since it's too cold for him to survive outside."

I thought about this and decided that I really didn't care whether a ladybug lived in my guest bathroom. I put the kibosh on the toothpaste caps as drinking trough idea, though, and suggested they just occasionally splash a little water in the sink for him.

All went swimmingly for several days until one night before bed, when Bug appeared at my side
with tear-filled eyes, demanding a new toothbrush.

"Paco was on my toothbrush," she told me in a voice that trembled with disgust, "And God knows where he's been.

I supposed I wouldn't really like to find a bug, even a cute little ladybug, hanging out on my toothbrush bristles, so I handed her a new one.

"I don't want him anymore. Let's put him outside," Bug announced with the cold resolve of the recently betrayed.
Bear protested passionately that Paco would die, die!, in the cold and refused to consider putting him out. In an act of compromise, I suggested that Paco be enrolled in a sort of Ladybug Witness Relocation Program. Bear would take him to an anonymous, far-away-from-Bug part of the house. Perhaps he could change his name to Guillermo.

"I just hope... I hope I don't find him all dry and crunchy on a windowsill some day because he couldn't find access to water," Bear told me mournfully.

We hardly knew ye, Paco.


Jen on the Edge said...

Oh my. I sure hope that Paco/Guillermo likes his new digs.

smalltownmom said...

Pobrecito Paco.

Nana said...

I will not be thrilled to see Paco on my toothbrush in April, so please find a new home for him before then. Not the guest room either.