Lost: Beloved Pet Roly-Poly

Lost: Gray Roly-Poly

Our four-year old's pet roly poly (a gray crawling insect with numerous legs that seem to move regardless of actual body movement, that will roll up into a ball when scared, also known as a pill bug) has escaped from captivity. Last seen at bedtime after it was tucked into its bed (a.k.a. a plastic box with a blanket on top) next to our daughter. If seen, please contact us immediately so that the whining can cease.

Seriously, in her attempt to have a pet, Madeline spent an hour yesterday trying to catch ants in the kids' bathroom. Apparently, they had come out of hibernation during those few 60 degree days we had and upon it snowing again, they all came running inside to hide from the cruel weather. At any rate, they found a crack in the bathroom upstairs and Madeline, thrilled to see "wild animals" in her own house, immediately went to work rounding them up and putting them in a plastic blue bowl. (I caught a glimpse of her future company: "Princess Pest Control: The humane way to get rid of your pets, er, pests.) Discouraged that they wouldn't stay inside the dish, she came running down the stairs to ask for help.

"Look Mom, pet ants!" she exclaimed, showing me the bowl. "There's one for Lily," she said, pointing to a rather lively little guy, "one for you," pointing to another rapid crawler, and then, pointing to a rather dead looking, half curled up, completely still fellow, "and that one is Aidan's." She gave Aidan's ant a little nudge to which it immediately sprung back to life and started crawling. "Oh wait," Madeline exclaimed, her face now wholly excited, "that one is actually mines! We'll have to find Aidan a different ant." She nodded her head up and down in reassurance that Aidan would not be left without his very own pet ant. 

After I stopped laughing, she continued, "But Mom, they won't stay in the bowl!"

And so it went: Foil, poked full of holes, for the lid and two little girls searching for more "pets" while Liam and I enjoyed a rather long moment of quiet downstairs. After a while, Madeline and Lily came skipping down, their bowl full of ants, and gathered up their coats to head outside.

"Where are you going?" I asked.

"Outside. They need some dirt to live in," Madeline answered cheerfully. And out they went, shovels in one hand and ants-in-a-bowl in the other. If there ever were a more delighted little girl, I know not. And it remained that way until they tried to bring the dirt-filled-ant-home back inside.

"Stop," I said at the doorway. "That bowl cannot come back in with all the dirt in it."

"But Mom! Where will the ants live?" Madeline asked in utter desperation.

"Outside, where they belong," I said cooly. 

Hours later, as we were getting the kids ready for bed, Madeline's eyes lit back up as we saw dozens of new ants crawling around the bathroom (apparently word gets around fast that we are an "ant friendly" home.) She collected some in her clear plastic box and set it next to her pillow in bed. (Because, you know, no one has ever gotten scared of creepy crawling things on them in the dark!) We headed down to get some water when what to our wondering eyes should appear but a beautiful pill bug, so little and dear. 

"Another PET!" Madeline exclaimed, reaching down to gently let it crawl onto her hand and up to her wrist.  (Oh, what luck....)

"That's a roly-poly," I told her, wondering what in the world I did as a child to deserve this.

"They like to crawl on kids, did you know that?" she asked, not really looking for an answer. She took the bug up to her box, ants now gone from both her mind and their bed, and set the little bugger inside. She carefully covered him with part of her blanket and got into her bed, only taking her eyes off the box for a brief second to find her favorite teddy bear. 

And that is where we last saw him. Although we're pretty certain no one snuck in during the night to steal him, we won't rule anything out until we have him back home, where he is well loved. And a bit hungry....


  1. Is the roly-poly about .8 of a cm long? I think I found him

  2. Hee hee....now we are searching for the pet caterpillars that escaped in the house....found one in Kurt's hair while in the car....hmmm....


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