That Time I Killed My Kid’s Classroom Pet #Oops

If you and I are connected on Facebook, then you might know Luke came home with 3 African Dwarf Frogs on Friday afternoon.(Forgive me for not being more excited.)

Long story short: two weeks ago, Luke brought home an informational letter regarding the adoption of classroom pets. This came on the heels of the persuasive letter he wrote requesting that Larry and I get him a hamster. You know, to make up for the emotional damage we’ve done by not providing a sibling who lives at home with him.

(You can read that back story here.)

His passion for a new hamster faded before we caved to his heartfelt pleas, which was fantastic because animals are not my thing.

But this recent Adopt a Classroom Pet letter appeared to dig up old wounds, and Larry and I finally conceded. Mostly because the alternative was to birth another real live human being, and African Dwarf Frogs just seem like the wisest choice for our family at this time.

So we signed the permission slip with hopes that Luke would not win the classroom animal lottery.

Of course, we couldn’t be so fortunate; which is how it came to be that Luke gleefully walked in from school on Friday with new pets. Because you can bet that any storyline suitable for a bad sitcom will come to life at the Dalke house.

The THREE FROGS (aka, Luke’s younger brothers) hadn’t been home 10 minutes when Luke had begun to construct a nursery or something. We hadn’t purchased an aquarium yet, because I had subconsciously forgotten this nightmare could ever come true; so Luke poked holes in at least 5 Tupperware lids before he asked what container he should use to house our new family members.

We settled on a glass pitcher until we could go to PetSmart on Saturday. Which wasn’t my best move ever, because I like that pitcher, and I’m not sure I can ever drink lemonade out of any container previously inhabited by African Dwarf Frogs.

Classroom Pet

Classroom Pet 2

And then Luke’s Friday got even better. Because his All-star team came from behind to win their tournament game in an extra inning later that night. (It’s unnecessary to belabor the fact that by the time the game began at 9:00pm, I had already run out of Sour Patch Kids.) (I’m basically over that because we won, and it was awesome.)

I may have been a little over-delighted with the win because I was sitting next to a handful of the other team’s fans. One of whom must have been a former sports commentator because he knew every rule and offered a colorful opinion about every play.

He and I would undoubtedly get along well if we were on the same team, but we aren’t. So when they lost and he said something like “…we had the plays, we just didn’t make them,” it took all the love of Jesus within me to not pop off a sarcastic reply such as, “…isn’t that how losing usually goes?”

But I refrained, because grace, and that’s really all. Because I am not kidding when I tell you I have an impulsive-competitive mouth. And it’s only by the grace of God that it stays shut.

(Sadly, it doesn’t always stay shut because I’m human and I blow it daily.)

And speaking of blowing it, THE FROGS WERE DEAD WHEN WE GOT HOME. (A statement for which all caps do not do justice.)

Luke’s game winning high came crashing to a halt right there on the kitchen floor. He sobbed hard and long and loud until he emotionally exhausted himself; and despite my lack of affection for such creatures, his tears broke my heart.

But it took no time at all for Luke to name me as the official suspect in the murder of his reptilian siblings.

How was I to know they couldn’t live in normal tap water? No, I didn’t read the instructions because those were still at the bottom of Luke’s backpack, along with 2 birthday party invitations dated for early May. After a little research, i.e. asking friends, I learned that I should have dechlorinated the water before I moved the African Dwarf Frogs to a new home. #ClassroomPetKiller

Once Luke settled down a little, he quizzed me on the theological implications of the life and death of animals. Seriously? Help me, Jesus. (For real.)

Because y’all. I spent an entire evening next to an obnoxious little league commentator, and had just come home to face accusations of first degree Frog Murder. Forgive me if I was hard pressed to access that part of my brain that can hold intelligent conversation about the souls of reptiles.


So I’m going to PetSmart today.

It just doesn’t get any better than this…


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Amy Dalke
Amy Dalke is a wife, mom, and stepmom who blog with a lot of grace-filled sarcasm (yes, she does, I swear!), humor, and love for Jesus at She would love for you to come hang out with her there as well as on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Google +. Oh, and also? She wants you to know that God made you on purpose, for a purpose. He isn’t waiting for you to get your life on track before you start following him; and he’s not keeping your score. He just loves you. And he thinks you’re awesome