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Crab – It’s What’s for Dinner

“It’s our turn this week, Mommy!”

I knew what she was talking about. Our homeschool co-op offers classes, and Emme is taking Marine Biology. The class has a pet hermit crab that gets to accompany a different child home each week. Emme has been preparing for the crab’s arrival with great anticipation since week #1.

I’ve been dreading it.

Not because I have anything against crabs. On the contrary. I love sea food.

I just know how my Emme has the ability to obsess. And kill things. If you’ve followed this blog for long while, you know that I instilled a pet moratorium years ago. It is in effect for like, forever.

Or at least until I’m not afraid that Jensen will eat said pet, and the life expectancy of the pet in question goes beyond 10 minutes.

Emme has been known to campaign hard to have a pet. We’ve seen Barko the Invisible Dog, Sticky Legs the Frog (may he rest in peace), plus a plethora of other lizards and bugs. But, I think if I have one more living, breathing creature to clean up after, I’m gonna retreat to the corner, curl up in the fetal position, and hum showtunes to myself all the livelong day.

Do da. Do da.

But because I am not completely without heart, I allowed “Crabby” the Hermit Crab to accompany us in the van on the way home. In fact, he sat in the front passenger seat next to me. Emme desperately wanted him to keep her company in the back of the van. But somehow, I knew that he would be released, and end up in my socks.

And besides, it’s only a week. How much harm can we do….

Forget I said that.

I think “Crabby” is an appropriate moniker for this temporary pet. He seems downright depressed to me. We placed him up high in the kitchen on the bar, out of reach of the 3 year old. He didn’t move for 8 hours.

I was certain he was dead.

Or he had fainted when he saw that I was preparing Mahi Mahi and Shrimp for dinner. And the pot of boiling water may have been the last straw. Or stick of butter, as it were.

But, late last night, after all the children were asleep, (thus putting an end to the constant screaming and bickering), and the lights were dimmed, Crabby poked his head out of his prettily painted shell. And began doing laps in his tiny cage.

I think he was just trying to escape the pretty painted shell. A little too effeminate for a boy crab named “Crabby.” Like I said, I think he’s depressed.

But it could be worse.

He could be dead.

The week is early, my friends.

We have  5 more days with Crabby. We’ll just see if we can’t take his mind off his woes. Kind of like when someone steps on your foot, and you forget for a moment that your finger just fell off.

And I’ll try to lay off any recipe that includes melted butter and a squeeze of fresh lemon. Out of respect, of course.


16 Responses to Crab – It’s What’s for Dinner

  • We did the crab thing, too…even called one of them Crabby. Kids are just creative with names that way. Now about that acting dead in daytime routine, there is a scientific reason beyond the fear of your dinner plate. These critters are nocturnal, which means they sleep during the day and are active at night while you sleep…assuming of course that you are not nocturnal yourself.

    Anyway, we had two, managed to kill one and finally gave the other away. It just didn’t seem like the ideal pet for us…sleeping when we are awake, my son was afraid of getting pinched, and they just seemed rather boring.

  • That show tune you’re singing?

    Sounds a lot like “Les Poissons.”


    “Hee hee hee haw haw haw!”

  • I’ve almost bought one of those a dozen times….I just keep thinking, “how much fun can one of these things be?” and walk away. Can’t wait to read what you think about the whole experience. Here’s hoping he survives the week for you!!

  • Hermit crabs are boring. We had one as an office pet, and I think maybe he was dead for a week before anyone noticed!

  • Good luck with caring for “Crabby”! I hope he survives the week. 🙂

  • We had 3, Larry, Moe and Curly, but you could never be sure which was which as they keep switching shells.

    They really are great pets, very low maintenance, which is what we need.

    Sadly one day Moe, at least we think is was Moe, murdered Larry and Curly. Perhaps someone in our house had pushed the low maintenance a little too far.

    Moe has also left us now, gone to where ever dead crabs go. They were second hand hermit crabs after all, maybe he was old…I hope he was just old.

    At least we did not have to have a funeral like we did for Bob the Bunny.

  • Okay, a cat wasn’t such a bad choice for us after all. It’s still breathing and we know when she’s hungry – the bowl is empty.

    Hey, at least it’s better than a frog.

  • Just don’t do what my mother did to my hermit crab when I was a little girl — think he was dead and toss him out, only to discover later that he wasn’t.

    I still haven’t recovered from that one…

  • When I was looking through my Google Reader and I saw your title I initially thought it said “Crap- It’s What’s for Dinner.” I did a double take and quickly realized my mistake. That’s what I get for trying to multitask- read blogs and watch tv at the same time :).

  • When I was a classroom teacher a student of mine donated one to our classroom! I never was a fan – I just could never tell what on Earth it needed! It’s not like it barks or meows!
    Caroline from

  • Oh. Wow. I don’t think I could handle the pressure of potentially facing that group of kids and telling them why Crabby didn’t come back the next week.

    Good luck my friend, God speed you through this week!

  • Well Candace, I think that would be an excellent title for one of my posts! 🙂

  • We love our hermie crabs! Until they kick the bucket… Seriously though, they are nocturnal creatures. Just don’t put them in a metal dish – allergies. They get high on coconut! It’s awesome to watch them molt. And get in shell fights. But not with just one…

  • I’m sure you would never allow video games to darken your froggy door, but if you did, I would recommend the lovely Nintendo DS & the wonderful Nintendogs game that has provided my sons with multiple puppies to play with and no poop and no shedding, and the idea that it is a lot of work to have a pet. They also have pet horses, cats, bunnies (I’m pretty sure) and a few other animal loving games.

    I wish I could say that was the only thing the boys played, but I encourage the puppy game.

    And I thought hermit crabs actually sounded like a good pet, but the hubby nixed it & Roo says they creep him out. I’m the animal lover in the house.

  • No one can match the pet killing skills of my sister when she was a kid-she could kill anything. Or make it run away in hopes of escape.

    Because of my sister’s tendancy to squeeze, smother, and generally beat anything with four legs and fur until it either attacked her or ran away (or both), we had a lot of goldfish. But not just a few-we had DYNASTIES of goldfish that died so fast we didn’t even have time to name them individually. There was the Miranda Dynasty (up to Miranda the 16th) and the Goldie Dynasty (up to Goldie the 12th) before my parents stopped buying the doomed things. My sister then went on a small rodent killing spree, managing to help a couple of mice, a gerbil, and a hampster “pass to the other side” way before their short little time.

    So having seen what a kid with that kind of “magic touch” can do for pets, I certainly hope Crabby makes it back to the class in one piece!