Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The House Worm

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Here's Herman. He is Pryce’s new house worm. She adores him. On Saturday she was helping her dad prepare the garden and she “rescued” him from the tiller. We have a girl that cries at the thought of worms being destroyed yet doesn’t flinch or bawl when her brothers tackle her.

It certainly puzzles me that somehow Chad and I have produced a worm-loving child. Chad will handle them but he’s not a fan. I avoid touching like them; they give me the creeps and they to closely resemble snakes. Pass. In fact, I purposely make sure that I have someone to bait my hook when I go fishing. The boys aren’t especially fond of worms either. Parker announced to his Uncle Carl on a fishing trip one day that he couldn’t touch any worms because he was “allergic” (which totally makes sense to me!) Pake screamed “snake” when he was three. Alas it was just a giant night crawler but that set him back from any love for the little things. Pryce is a different story. She is totally devoted for her worm friend.

Saturday: She came in with what used to be a box that held microwave popcorn. She’d filled the box with dirt and asked if I’d like to meet Herman. I responded with a kind no. She was undeterred and continued to pester. I agreed to have a look. I also announced that Herman would sleep outside on the chair.

Sunday: It was announced that Herman’s new name would be Hazel, but he was still a boy. She asked for a sucker stick so that she could dig up her worm friend. That is when I took this picture. There was worry that Herman had crawled out or that he dried up. We added water to the soil and a lettuce leaf. Worms don’t eat much, I’m told. Happy to find Herman, I mean Hazel she watched him for the better part of an hour. This child clearly does not have ADD, she focused better than some adults I know. Since Hazel had remained in his home. He got to stay in the house, on the metal organizer. I was told not to “broom” him if he crawled out. “Call for me Mom, I’ll come get him and put him back.”

Monday: Hazel’s name was changed back to Herman. His official name is Herman Hazel Johnston, every person should have at least three names, this includes worms. Pryce wanted Herman to join her for pre-school for show and tell. I told her she’d better ask her teachers. At noon she comes in with her daily arrival announcement, “Home, home home!” and “Good news Mama, Miss Colleen said Herman can come to school. We’re going to have an educated worm on our hands. Joy.

Pryce goes to visit and “cuddle” Herman and flips out because she can’t find him. I notice the soil is exceedingly damp. Maybe he drowned. Sad. After some poking and prodding, her tiny hands held up the worm triumphantly, “He’s alive! I think he looks much healther.” Do worms ever look sick? Apparently she picked up that if worms loose their slime they will die. She’s on guard to make sure that doesn’t happen.

I suppose this is one of the cheaper pets around. It is quiet, doesn’t require a lot of maintenance and keeps her well entertained. It makes me wonder what is coming down the road. As a friend pointed out, “her ‘pets’ are sure to get bigger, you may want to be cleaning a shot gone when they come to visit!” When that day comes, I’ll bet I’ll prefer having the worm won’t I?

So while I won’t be inviting Herman into my office to keep me company while I work, I’m loosening up a bit having him in the house. The delight and joy emanating from her is contagious! It’s fun to see her so interested and excited. I too get excited about a lot of things, but worms are not on that list. It will be fun to see if these interests in worms, lizards, snakes and bugs stick with her as she gets older.

What were you interested in as a child? Is that interest still present? Please share in the comment section below. I’m curious to know if the things that we love as children turn out to be career paths that we follow as adults. If this is the case, we may have a “worm herder” on our hands!

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