Saturday, January 27, 2024

Get yourself a man who...

Since Marshmallow died, Benjamin's terrarium (or vivarium, as he prefers to call it) has been sitting empty, reminding him of his bereavement. He's been begging for a frog, but frogs just seem so...high maintenance to me. Having to find live prey for them to eat? That basically means keeping pets...for a pet. 

So I suggested some Madagascar hissing cockroaches. Because anybody can keep a cockroach alive, right? They just eat kitchen scraps, basically, and are less...delicate...than their frog counterparts, a little more forgiving of their environment. 

But no one was particularly excited about that idea, including Benjamin. 

Last night, however, we were reading Shiloh (Phyllis Reynolds Naylor) and we got to the point where David Howard (the protagonist's best friend) shows him his new pet...hermit crab! And it didn't hit me right away, but it eventually dawned on me that a hermit crab might be the middle ground we're looking for!

I approached Andrew with the idea after the kids were in bed. 

" I thought we could get Benjamin a hermit crab."

"Oooh!" Andrew, clearly enthused (an 1827 backformation of enthusiastic). "That's a good idea! But where would we keep it?"

"Just, you know, in the terrarium he already has..."

Andrew cocked his head. 

"It'll fit in there?"


"So, uh, how big are hermit crabs?"

"Like..." I said, cupping my hand and petting an imaginary hermit crab with my index finger. "You know—they're pretty small. Just..."

"Oh!" he said, with great relief. "Oh, is that all?! I was thinking they were, like, horseshoe crab-sized!"

Benjamin has a couple horseshoe crab shells on his dresser. Those things are basically the size of bicycle helmets.

"What?! No!" I said. "Where would keep a crab that size? In the bathtub or something?!"

"And yet...I was supportive of the idea," Andrew said, batting his eyes. 

"In that case, I was thinking we could get Benjamin an alligator..."

"Oooh!" Andrew gushed, before dropping his face into a stern frown. "No."

As it turns out, Andrew somehow never had a friend with a pet hermit crab. I did, so I knew about them. Funny thing is that I can't quite remember who had a hermit crab. Chelsea Dill? Kaley Johnson? Michelle Ricard (who definitely had a tank of goldfish in her room)? I can't remember. But one of my friends had a hermit crab. Andrew evidently had no exposure.

But just know that I highly recommend you get yourself a man as supportive as Andrew!

Fortunately for him I'm so good at second guessing myself that most of my harebrained schemes die early and I only present to him ideas I've thought most of the way through (except that time I mentioned painting the dining room green (it's green now, by the way)). I'm not usually the type of person who needs to be talked out of ideas, but into them, a hermit crab...I'll just retreat into my shell at the first sign of complication. So he can mostly support my ideas the minute I voice them, trusting that I'm not presenting anything helmet-sized crustacean pets.


Benjamin has been running to earn medals from some online running motivation company, but we've been talking about stopping that method of motivation (after, you know, two whole medals) and having him earn something else with his miles (since we're spending the money anyway). 

So we're starting on the Hermit Crab Scurry...only 40 miles to go...


Also, did you know that hermit crabs are social creatures, so it's better to keep them in pairs (or more)? They get lonely. Don't we all?


  1. One weird thing about Nancy (in my humble opinion): "So I suggested some Madagascar hissing cockroaches."


    A friend in California used to have those. Yikes!

    Zach and Sophie came home with a hermit crab from Myrtle Beach one year, I think. Of maybe they wanted to, but it died. I can't remember. Glad Andrew is on board with your suggestion. I love that he thought it was a really big crab! :-P

  2. Good point, Susanne!! Hahahahaha!