Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Night Swimming

Yesterday was rainy and cold, but today I promised to take the kids swimming if they were good (which they were). Cleaning the kitchen and having Ollie down for a nap whittled away the hours and soon it was six. Not wanting to lie to the children, we started to gather up swim suits, but ran into the inevitable mode of getting sidetracked by emails and kids' needs.

Finally at 7:30, we made it to the pool. It was a little chilly, but still warm enough that once everyone got used to it there were no complaints and no shivers. Alice motored around with her special brand of doggie paddle that looks like she's drowning (I really need to get it on video before it's too late) and Ollie loved jumping off the side into my arms ("Jup! Jup!" he says). After a while I put one kid on each hip and we twirled and danced. We had the pool to ourselves so it was okay that I looked ridiculous.

Next, Alice decided she wanted to jump off the edge. "Little froggy!" she yelled as she jumped and I said, "You are a little froggy!"

"No, Mom, little froggy over there!"

A quick Google images search tells me it was likely a Cricket Frog (acris crepitans) like this

Sure enough there was a frog floating in the pool. Of course, my first throught was, "I hope it's not dead." Fortunately, it wasn't, but it would seem a likely state for the little guy in the near future if he stayed stuck in the chlorinated pool.

Normally I am not squeamish, but the idea of trying to grab the frog gave me visions of me as Lennie Small maiming the poor thing instead of helping it. However, a combination of too many episodes of Wonder Pets at our house and haunting memories of accidentally killing a bunch of frogs when I was 121 instilled in me a determination to get the frog out of the pool. I tried for a while to guide the frog with a pool noodle to no avail until I finally remembered that the pool has a net for fishing leaves out.

At first, the frog merely sat on the bottom of the pool and ignored my ever-so-gentle prodding and provoking, but I eventually was able to catch him up in the net and take him near the edge of the pool's patio area. We swam a little longer then left by way of the mailbox and I made a mental note to always check the pool for dead creatures so I can take care of them before the kids have a chance to freak out.

1I caught about 15 miniature frogs at girls' camp my first year. I put them in a jar full of water and only the one that was able to win a game of King of the Mountain and sit on the only above-water protrusion survived. I was mortified and dumped them all in the woods.