Valentine’s Day: A Frog Story

Many years ago (in a galaxy far, fa- oops, nope, wrong story)… *ahem*. Back in the early 2000s, there was this jewelry ad that played all the time:

Scene: the front steps of a school, lots of kids around. A boy walks up to a girl with a jar.
Voiceover – a man’s voice saying, “Back then, I didn’t know much about giving gifts…”
Scene: Girl screams and drops jar. Big frog jumps out.
New scene: Living room of a nice home, man walks up to woman, they smile at each other. He hands her a small box.
Voiceover guy again: “I think I’ve learned a lot since then…”
Woman opens the small box, it has some diamond something or other in there. She beams at him and they kiss.
Some kind of jingle plays and a different voiceover person says, “This Valentine’s Day, come buy some diamonds!!”

Or something like that. Listen, I don’t remember all the details!

Well one day, my wife and I were sitting on the couch and that ad played. And she turned to me and said, “You’d rather have the frog, wouldn’t you?”
I laughed and said, “I really would!”
“I love you.”
“I love you too! And I love that you know me so well!”

Later we got some African Dwarf Frogs which were so very cute! We both enjoyed having them a lot. When we moved, we weren’t sure if they’d do well during transport so we made the decision to give them a good home with a friend of a friend.

Every so often when we’d talk about animals and pets, those frogs would come up and we’d talk about how cool they were and should we get some more frogs like that again? We kept it as a someday option but hadn’t taken the leap just yet. (So to speak. Ha!)

Fast forward to the present!

Over the past several weeks, we kept seeing our friend’s posts on Facebook about their tadpole, who is now a froglet! Their frog’s name is Tofu! And our friends are Eva and Mancil, and they have a bunch of pets and a bunch of awesome kids too.

We oohed and ahhed over all the Tofu updates. And then Eva sent us the link for where they got Tofu.
Jen asked our son if he’d like to have tadpoles/frogs and he seemed hesitant. He’s ten now and said, “that seems like a lot of responsibility that I’m not ready for.”

Ha! Even at ten years old, he sounds so grown up sometimes.

From across the room I said, “*I* want tadpoles!!”

“Do you want that to be your Valentine’s Day present?” she asked me.

“Yes I do!!” I shouted. And she ordered them right then.

They were supposed to arrive any time between Feb 12-18. So of course I checked the website a few times a day starting on the 7th, the day after we ordered them! I knew they wouldn’t have shipped yet, but I was just so excited. I wanted to see where they were coming from or see if an estimated delivery date would suddenly become more specific than the week long window I was looking at.

Then, on the 11th, I was like, ok I know it’s not until tomorrow, but I just have to check again. And I saw these two words:

Order Delivered

WHAT?! How?! Where?? I thought it’d be something dropped off at our front door like so many of our packages are. Jen looked at the actual tracking info while I raced to the door to get my shoes on.

“Yesterday,” Jen announced. “‘Delivered at or in mailbox.’ Great, so we’re going to have two dead tadpoles!” she sighed.

I threw my jacket on and ran down to the mailboxes! Snow fell lightly into my hair as I hurried to my baby frogs. I couldn’t believe they’d been in there a whole day!!

With the box in my arms, I hurried home as fast as I could (which was harder as the return trip is uphill), whispering, “please be alive, hang in there tadpoles!” over and over.

Once inside, we opened the box. Jen took out the bag wrapped in paper and handed it to me and said, “This should be them…”

I carefully pulled back the paper and gasped! “They’re alive!” I said.

Relief washed over me. I held the very cold bag close to me and the tadpoles gravitated toward my hand for warmth. I turned on the faucet and waited for the water to warm up. I filled a small Tupperware with room temp water and set them in it, still inside their bag. Then I read the instructions, set up the plastic tank with warm water and used the water conditioner too. And after about 20 minutes in the slightly warmer water, I set their bag inside the tank in the even warmer water to acclimate.

As per the instructions, after two hours, I let them out of their bag and into the tank. And they swam around!

And now their tank is sitting on our mantel and I am so enamored with my two baby frogs! Jen said we should name them Eva and Mancil after our friends. I said we should name them something to do with tofu, after their frog, Tofu! So now their names are Eva Edamame and Mancil Miso. (I’ve been calling them Evie and Manny.)

Jen has already tried to caution me against “making this a whole thing,” i.e., buying a whole big tank, special filter, etc, to which I say, “Getting a tank with adequate space is what you do for pets, so it will indeed be A Thing.” Then she tried to claim we’d let them go into the wild when they’re big enough. I like that my kid listens to me enough that even he said, “You can’t just release invasive species into the wild!” That’s my boy! Remembering the lessons his wildlife educator / zookeeper mama taught him! They will most certainly NOT be released into the wild. DON’T DO THAT, anyone reading this who may have ordered tadpoles.

Anyway, so far, my tadpoles are doing great and I’m thrilled. They get a bit more active at night and they splash their tails near the surface of the water, making a sound like a stone falling into a pond. It can be kind of startling! Ha! I’m sure we’ll get used to it.

Definitely a very cool Valentine’s Day gift. I’m really excited and happy, and I look forward to watching Evie and Manny grow!

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!!


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