Last weekend we had amazing weather for January. It was sunny and warm-ish, so naturally my girls were outside all day – riding scooters and playing with friends. Ryan or I would check on them every few minutes but they know not to go too far away from the house so we were letting them be kids. After about ten minutes of not checking on them, my mommy “Spidey sense” went up like crazy. This was probably in part because I couldn’t hear their laughter and loving voices, ie: yelling and arguing. As I peeked my head out of the door to check on them, I had that feeling that it had been five minutes too long. It was.
I will never forget the scene that played out next. No parenting book could ever prepare you for this. I was involuntarily screaming and freaking out. I know I should have kept my motherly calm so as to not scare my child but it was honestly a knee-jerk reaction and I had absolutely no control. It’s not everyday that your six year-old daughter comes running up the street cradling a very large, very DEAD squirrel in her arms. She was crying and carrying on about how this poor dead squirrel must have gotten hit by a car. All that was going through my mommy brain were stories of kids getting the Bubonic Plague after touching dead squirrels. I lost it. I am sure our entire neighborhood heard my frantic yelling for Ryan to come get this squirrel so I could get Cammie in the bath. I guess after seeing her crazy mother flipping out and loosing her mind, Cammie realized it probably had been a bad idea to cuddle with the flattened squirrel so, she plopped it down…on our front step. At this point I could tell that it had been dead quite awhile because it was stiff as a board, like rigor mortis stiff…which, for my health obsessed self meant that if it had diseases, they were even more contagious. Yay!
Of course, we had a friend on her way to drop off her daughter to play with the girls. I could just picture her stepping over our lovely road kill on the doorstep. “Sure, we will watch your daughter! We will let her play with dead rodents and ride her bike in traffic without a helmet. We also let our kids run with scissors and swim during lightning storms! How long can she play?!”
Thankfully, Ryan double bagged the squirrel and disposed of it in our trash bin before they got there. This was after a couple of minutes of us trying to decide what we should do with it. I mean, what do you do with a dead squirrel?? We were afraid of burying it because Cammie might go dig it up and try to resuscitate it and we couldn’t exactly toss it in the neighbor’s yard. I don’t think we have ever encountered such a dilemma in our almost 10 years of marriage. And, yes, it is still sitting in our trash bin in the garage this very minute. Needless to say, I’m thankful for freezing temperatures and I’m super excited about trash day this week. Come on Friday!!!
Obviously, Cammie is for real about wanting to be a vet when she grows up. She loves animals. I mean looovvees them. She has asked if there is such a thing as a vet that takes care of pets but also helps wild animals in Africa. She wants to take care of zebras. Uh…I think I’m just going to tell her no. I have a fear that she will be like those weirdos that keep wild animals for pets and then are surprised when they get mauled by their “pet” tiger. Loving on a dead squirrel proves her deep love for animals on a whole different level. I probably freaked her out a little, but maybe that was a good thing. I think she needed to see a “mommy freak-out” otherwise we may have had this incident again in the future…and I really don’t want to have to dispose of dead cats or dogs.
Fortunately/unfortunately, I didn’t get any pictures of this event. I’d like to think it’s because I was more concerned with my child’s safety. The thought of getting my camera did not once cross my mind. I am not like these parents…Warning: this may make you want to vomit–> Girl With Dead Squirrel
I am not one to judge anyone’s parenting but seriously?! I just can’t see how a parent can video and laugh while watching their child roll a dead squirrel around on her bare chest and face and not tell her to stop. The original clip of this video is much longer, the child rubs the dead squirrel on herself even more. It is incredibly disturbing to my OCD self. Maybe I’m over protective or maybe it’s because I have a disease that can be transferred from ticks on rodents but I was more than a little preoccupied with disinfecting my child. After dropping the squirrel, she smoothed her hair out of her face with the same hands that had just been lovingly wrapped around stiff Sandy the Squirrel. Yummy. All that to say there is no visual record of this hilarious memory for Cammie to look back on when she is a vet. I have no doubt in my mind that this girl will, in some way, work with animals in her future. I just hope it’s not with squirrels.