In Which I Kill (among other things) My Chances for Mother of the Year

This weekend I inadvertently murdered a giant sea snail. But how was I supposed to know that they can retreat into their shell and seal the entrance with a "trap door"?

On the bright side, the kids received both a beautiful shell and a vivid marine biology lesson.

Caed found the sea snail at the beach and brought it up to show the grown-ups. We all oohed and ahhed. "Sure, we'll take it home! It's beautiful! Where did you find it?"

A few minutes later Caed came back with a huge clam. (Seriously, kid, how are you finding this stuff?) Unlike the poor snail, we quickly recognized the big guy to be alive (and as unhappy as a clam at low tide), and seeing as I had no plans for making clam chowder, Caed and his friends "saved him!" by placing him back into the ocean.

And then there were the hermit crabs. Caed found at least a dozen and put them into a bucket of water, bringing them food in the form of seaweed and a few shells, "to make them feel cozy." He worked up the courage to touch them, and by the end of our beach excursion, he reported, "I shook the hermit crab's claw and he said 'thanks for saving me!'" Later he added, "The hermit crabs love me, because they know I'm going to be nice to them."

So of course, when you're the sort of kid who shakes hands with hermit crabs, the news that you prematurely ended the life of a hard-shelled sea creature (no matter how slimy) is not going to sit well. "But he was a Daddy Snail! What about his kids?" Caed worried. "Why he dead, Mom? Why he losed his pamily?" Dani wondered.

Now where is my trap door when I need it? I could use a bit of sealing off right now, hiding from the world, or at least from the sea snail police.

So what did I do this weekend? Oh, nothing much. Just packed a dozen boxes, scrubbed the walls, boiled the last of the potatoes in my overheated kitchen, overdosed on ice cream (the hot kitchen drove me to it!), and orphaned a whole school of sea snails.

So anybody know if having a record (like, say a prior felony for crimes against humanity mollusks) disqualifies you from running for Mother of the Year?

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