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Monday, November 13, 2006

A Not So Warm Welcome for Happy Marco

This turtle looks a bit like our new pet, Happy Marco. Emma and Jax couldn't decide between Happy for a name, or Marco. We kept trying to get Justus to be the tie breaker, but his vote was unitelligible, so they decided for both names.

My kids have wanted a turtle for a long time, and so has Rusty, actually (my big kid), so when Rhonda Patterson called us about a turtle in need of a home, my husband was all too eager. Rhonda delivered the turlte to us, and we didn't yet have the aquarium, so Happy Marco settled into the kids' bathtub. Keep in mind, this is no box turtle! It's huge! So we put a little water in there, and we waited for Daddy to come home with a happy habitat for him.

Rusty came home and spent over an hour in all setting up this aquarium, with a light, and rocks, and a filter, etc. While Rusty did this, Justus helped out by dumping a whole bottle of turtle treats into the bathwater with him. This stunk up the bathroom with nasty turtle smell just as our dinner guests were arriving.

Happy Marco was adjusting to his new aqua home, and Justus was so happy to see him the next morning. He wanted to sit in the bathroom and watch him, so I let him while we did some school work. I mean, what could he do to a turtle, safely enclosed in an aquarium? I have so much to learn as Justus' Mom, obviously.

Justus alerted me that he had done something mischevious. I got that sinking feeling. I went into the bathroom and found that he had dumped a whole bottle of sunblock into the water with the turtle. I didn't see how this was possible! He had climbed up on the counter and opened the aquarium? But no, he didn't need to. He simply poured it directly into the vents on top and watched it run in with pure joy. The pure joy he gets from mischief. He was sent to his room while I dealt with my first turtle emergency. I called Rusty in a panic. What do I do? The kids would be DEVASTATED if their turtle died on it's first day here! All Emma was talking about was how this is all she's ever wanted in life...a turtle. A turtle is better than toys. Better than anything! How could I hold the life of this turtle in my hands! So Rusty says the obvious to me...grab the turtle and put it back into the bathtub. (I'm pretty sure he's having this conversation with me while he's with a patient because I called him directly on his cell phone. I felt it was warranted for a turtle emergency.) But I answered back with the obvious...I don't touch turtles. It has claws. It is huge. It actually makes hissing noises when you go to touch it when it's not in water. I DO NOT TOUCH TURTLES. But he told me it was that or I let it die, so I had to buck up. I did the touch and scream dance for awhile, freaking out my kids, made another call to Rusty and he had to tell me to basically suck it up. He can't leave work to grab a turtle. So he told me to cover it with a towel, grab and run. That's what I did. It took all the bravery I had. But I rescued Happy Marco, and my kids cheered.

Later in the day, I found that Justus had secretly put all his Play-Doh in the bathtub with Happy Marco and it had dissolved into his water. Again with the Play-Doh, I know!!! So again, I rescued him from Justus' third assault, and he lives on. Happy Marco is still a bit skittish. Wouldn't you be if you saw Justus looking at you through the glass? It's kind of like in Finding Nemo when they see Darla coming. He hides in his shell anytime we get near the glass. I really thought a pet with built-in body armor would be safe from Justus, but maybe not. We will see.

But please know that Happy Marco is dearly loved. No one loves a turtle like Emma loves him. They all check on him hourly, and get great joy from watching him. As long as Justus doesn't try to flush him down the toilet, we should be good.


Melodi said...

You know...I said no to Rhonda when she called, because the boys are always bringing home turtles from the creek right across the road. Look what I missed! I have a female Justus in my house. It could have been interesting. :)

Kathryn Berilla said...

I am laughing out loud!!!

I can see you do the touch, scream and dance!!!

I am proud of you.

Happy Marco should be able to survive anything!!

Arlene said...

oh justus...your life, Jenn & Rusty, will NEVER EVER be dull...little did we all knew that your munchkin would be such a jokster!!! he's gonna be the class prankster...calling it now! miss you guys like crazy :(

i'm so so glad that the appt. with the dermatologist went well. love you guys!

freemans4jc said...

That is funny.

Can't wait for the rest of the turtle stories.

There really not that bad Jenn, just grab them by the shell and they can't get you with anything.

I pick them up on the steet all the time but Ken promptly tells me to "let it go"! I'm glad someone gets to keep one. I'll live out my turtle dream thru the Bacaks.


the groves said...

I agree with Kathryn...I am laughing loudly by myself at my house. What a GREAT story.

I feel as though between all the families and their children at LH I should be prepared one day for motherhood...I'm sure though God will bless me with a little Justus of my own!

What a Joy! Long live Happy Marco.


Hendrick Family said...

I cannot wait to see this turtle.

And from the sounds of it...I better hurry if I want to see it alive, not floating.