Friday, July 29, 2011

My daughter has crabs and I gave them to her.

What happens when you take your daughter to the beach last November and then again in June?  She becomes obsessed with crabs, that's what.  Lizzy's been begging me since last year to buy some crabs.  Last year, people, last year.

I may have stretched the truth an told her they were not the kind of animals that can be bought at the store.  I may, or may not, have further stretched the truth and stated, "They are sea creatures and we just can't get them here in Kansas."

So when we were talking about crabs again at lunch I had my old lines ready to go and was all set for the assault.  I was all ready with the standard, "You know baby, we'll see them the next time we go to Sanibel.  Crabs just don't do well here in the Midwest."  Or in my kitchen.   Eww Gawd, please not in the kitchen.  

This time however my mom was at the table.

But before I could get any of that out my mom answers Lizzy, "Oh, you're interested in Hermit Crabs?  Do you want to go and see some?  I didn't know that!  We can run down to PetSmart real quick.  Wanna come with Grandma?"

This is the time where we take a magical little interlude because all the neurons in my brain simultaneously stopped firing.  Call it shock, numb silence, whatever you will.  I stood there slack jaw just watching life move on around me.  And now we're back.....

Acckkk!  Wait.  Stop.  Shut up.


I almost dive-bombed my mom from across the kitchen.

I had visions of tackling her football style.  Knocking her down and pounding her head into the ceramic floor for good measure.  Watching the fork pop out of her hand from the impact and making a perfect arc as it went sailing and then bouncing across the floor.  Anything just to get her to shut up about Hermit Crabs.

But it was too late.  

The damage was done.

I looked over at Lizzie.  I have never seen a smile so big.

"Hermit Crabs???  We can get some Hermit Crabs???"  Her smile lit up my night for three whole days.

The crabitat.  

So that is why I am now the proud owner of three Hermit Crabs.  One of which I know is going to die in the next forty-eight to seventy two hours and has a shell like a cow's head.  I know.  A cow head.  First off, how on earth am I going to replace that?!?  And second, who does that to a shell?  Turns it into a cow's head.  I feel sorry for the crab having to schlep that thing around.

I'm gonna bite ya.

And I'll let you in on a little secret about me.  Crabs scare me.  They freak me out.  Give me the hee-bee-jee-bies, the willies, whatever you call them.  They're like hard shelled spiders.  Tarantulas with shells.  Look at that thing up there.  It has claws, long spider-like legs and little beady eyes.  They scratch the sides of the aquarium going, "I'm a gonna get outta here and when I do I'm gonna bite ya.  Your food sucks and I'm gonna pinch you for it.  And tell that baby to quit banging on our house."

The first two nights we had these things I didn't sleep.  I'm still having a hard time sleeping.

Lizbeth, you're mine.

Someone please tell me how to kill these things and make it look like an accident.  I don't care if it's humane or not.  I love my daughter but these things are seriously crimping my style.

They have to go.

Update: So we've had these things for six days now and its official.  They're staying.  None have died (dam-it) and she's named all three of them.  

Oh yeah, and they're in the kitchen, in the dining area.  


  1. Nice way to write a sensational headline. You could work for Murdoch...

  2. Oh goodness this was good. You hung/hanged in there for a whole year! Think of the things you will be able accomplish if only you could keep grandma locked in the closet.

    The nice thing about keeping the crabs in the kitchen is if they act up, it only takes ten minutes to boil water. That usually keeps them in line.

  3. Daily Mail would love you! :)

    New pets take some getting used to at first but they quickly grow on you and then you're stuck with them and mighty pleased about it too. Kind of like with kids.

  4. Ok. I am so with you. I frickin' hate those things. They smell like death, and I am afraid of them. My brother and sister are much younger than I am - those bastards got a few each. Bleh. Yet another reason I moved out at 17.

    ...But that's another story!

  5. My mom does stuff like that to me, too. I feel your pain.

  6. My boys had some in their bedroom. They ended up dying in there. They smelled awful! But with all of the other "boy" smells in that room, it took me awhile to notice it!

  7. Haha. Oh dear. son "babysat" a hermit crab for his teacher one summer. We kept it IN THE GARAGE. I honestly don't have any advice for you. Sorry. :(

  8. Piece of hermit crab advice #1: Do not EVER give them a bath in warm water. The little fuckers crawl out of their shells to get their awful little backsides cleaned. You think their front sides are hideous? Check them out once they've left the shell. There is a reason for those shells, sister!

    Hermit crab advice #2: The freezer. It works quickly. It's humane -- they just go to sleep. Then you plop the little buggers back into their crabitat and say... "oh gosh! I don't know what happened!" (to avoid being really obvious, you might want to off them one at a time)

  9. @K A B L O O E Y--yeah, the rest of the stuff is just crap but I write good headlines! :)

    @Kara--I've actually thought of that!! Both locking grandma in the closet and boiling the litter effers...

    @Amanda--I hope so cause one of these crabbies is getting awfully close to going in the stock pot...

    @Kelly--then smell like death--that is soooo true. And I can't imaging the stink when they DO die. And they will die....

    @Broot--then you'd be OK if I mailed them out to you?!? :)


    @DeeAnn--Did that thing live out there? I totally want to know if she go the crab back in the fall!

    @Mom2LittleMiss--OH GAWD!!!! And we were going to give them baths in, like, 20 minutes!!! Thank God I scaped off to check e-mail!!! And I'm all for the freezer. It totally sounds like you have some experience with this matter.

  10. this made me laugh so much. I feel your pain! There is no way I would entertain them in my house....yuck! Your mum is so funny too, bet she is secretly laughing and chuckling away bout your new house mates :)

  11. When I went to the Def Leppard concert, my mother, who was babysitting for me, suggested to Ryan that it would be really fun if he had bunk beds! I have ONE child, what the hell do we need bunk beds for? So he can crack his head open diving off the top bunk? Because you know that's exactly what would happen. Yeah. I had to have a talk with Mom after that.

    At least bunk beds don't smell bad.

  12. Oh Crab.. I mean Crap!! When I saw that headline I just shook my head thinking what's she gone and done now!! I don't mind crabs really but I wouldn't like them in my house so I'm with you on that. What's the life span of a hermit crab anyway?? Hope it's not too long!

    xx Jazzy

  13. My son is all excited about hermit crabs, too. He hasn't asked for a real one, but he did ask for a stuffed and fluffy one when we were at the aquarium. I know that I got lucky!

  14. Oh this took me back a few years to when I was ten and me and my brothers caught them when we were on holiday. We nurtured them in a bucket on the balcony of a flat we were holidaying in but the next morning they had vanished; we were so upset. We were told they had climbed out of the bucket, across the flats balcony, down the stairs across the road and back into the sea which I believed for years. Now Im wondering if someone had them for tea. Seriously, though all the best with the crab adventure.

  15. I always had crabs growing up. You know, the pet kind, not the itchy kind. The key to keeping them alive for me was to always graduate them up to a big fish aquarium complete with vita-lites, wood for climbing and hiding, and lots of shells for housing variety. Yeah, I was weirdly SERIOUS about my crabs. I think we might buy a couple on the next beach trip.

  16. @Lyndylou--I have no doubt in my mind my mom is laughing her ass off right now....

    @Grace--what goes on in their mind? I don't get it.

    @jazzygal--10 years!! they can live up 10 years!!! Or 15 seconds in the freezer.

    @Not Just Another Mother Blogger!--Lady, you got off easy!

    @Deb--they were totally tea material!!!

    @J/A Fields--I'm looking to KILL them, not KEEP them! HAHA!!! I bought all of that stuff so it seems they're living the high life and I'm stuck with them.

  17. Your mom is like a tornado of sanity-sucking psychological torture! I say momma needs a morning wakey-wakey by an undercover crab visitor.

    I must be getting old and curmudgeonly, because I am so over pets of any kind...the dogs can go, the fish can more hair, no more stinky water, no more responsibility.

    Crabs, it's what's for dinner.

  18. I'm so with you on the crabs... (shudder shudder) if we lived closer I'd lend you my boy cat who likes to hunt any creepycrawlie thing. Maybe the crabs could live at grandma's house? And yes your mum is laughing inside lol!

  19. If hermit crabs are properly cared for they don't smell until they're dead. Also hermit crabs will not pinch people unless they feel threatened there is no reason to fear them they will even walk around on Lizzy's hand if she picks it up from behind by the shell and keeps her other hand flat and gently places he crab on it. The crabs should be kept in a glass fish tank with play sand as substrate use an under tank heater or heat lights to keep the tank at 80 f with 80% humidity. Feed them vegetables and non acidic fruits keep an egg shell in the tank for calcium. they need dechlorinated fresh water and dechlorinated salt water also put something in the tank for them to climb on and hide under. Other then that they take very little work keep the tank in your daughters bedroom and let her watch them they can be very entertaining and will teach her responsibility just like a dog or cat. After the tank has been set up all she has to do is change the food and water every day. This is a good thing for your daughter and she will have them the rest of her life hermit crabs can live for 30 years just lay down the law that you wont take care of them. I hope its not to late for Lizzy's crabs, but if they really bother you that much put them up for adoption on any of the many websites available (crabbytalk, HCA, Crabstreet journal,ect). Send them away one at a time and act horrified that they must have escaped but do not kill them. It's equally as awful as the idea of someone freezing or boiling a cat or dog which I'm pretty sure everyone will agree is not accepted in our society.


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