Oh, we tracked in a leaf. How’d we do that?

It was bedtime. I had just put my work down in order to give the kid lovin’s and refresh his diffuser for the evening’s rest. I was on the way from my room to his – and, in fact, I saw him out of the corner of my eye run like flash from the living room to his bedroom to prep for the bedtime monster that sometimes still shows up to eat his toes for dessert.

That monster needs to get its act together. The kid is going to be 11 soon. He’s probably getting too old for things like that. But for now, he still squeals with delight. That’s probably why the monster keeps showing up.

Squeals of delight from this child. It’s my treasure.

With all of this on my mind, I saw the brown blotch on my carpet and thought it was a leaf. And then, it hopped.

And you want to talk about a squeal?! And not of delight. It was…total surprise. This little hopper completely took me by surprise and yanked me out of my musings back into my body as adrenaline flooded my system. Even the kid was surprised by my squeal.

“What was that for?” he called out.

“We have a frog in the house,” I called back.

I deviated from the plan and headed to the kitchen where I found a tupperware container with a lid. It works for spiders, right? And this little guy wasn’t too big. I was already bracing myself for the hops I would feel as I held the container…if I could get him into the container.

Oh, God. Please let him hop into the container.

For the record, I am not opposed to frogs. They’re cool. But I don’t want them hoppin’ around my apartment without my supervision. And, to be honest, I would prefer them outside, eating up the buffet of bugs.

“Okay, little frog. I need you to hop into this container, please.”

Yes, I talked to the frog. He was crouched next to the door frame, and he could have easily hunkered down out of reach…and that’s just too much drama right before bed. I just wanted this little guy to know what I expected. And glory be – he listened. Hopped right in. And I loosely placed the lid. And only after that was all done (it took like 90 seconds, if even), I told the kid, “Hey. Get out of bed and come see this frog.”

“Oh, that’s so cool.”

“Do you want to hold it,” I asked.

“Sure,” he answered positively.

I warned him as I handed it over, “You’ve got to be ready for when he jumps. He’s going to jump. And it’s going to feel weird. So weird that you may want to drop the container. Don’t drop the container. You have to be ready and stay calm. Can you do that?”

He nodded the affirmative as I placed his hands on the container and gestured that he had to hang onto it tightly. And then they looked at each other. The kid and the frog considered each other for several moments as I ran around getting a pair of shoes on.

“Where are you going?”

“I’m taking him outside where he belongs, where he can eat.”

And then the frog jumped. And the kid squealed, but he held on tightly. I was so proud of him for handling the anticipation – AND the reality of it – so well. They (kid and frog) said goodbye and I instructed the kid to hop back into bed (no pun intended) as I headed out the door. I carefully moved the container towards the soft earthy space past my patio and took off the lid. He took a moment before hopping out and moving on with his life. And I took a deep breath.

The bedtime monster didn’t show up that night. I think there had already been enough squeals in the house for one night.