Saturday, June 26, 2010

Eight Year Olds and Fire-Belly Toads

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“You have to kiss a lot of toads before you find a handsome prince.”

On at least one morning each weekend I try to go on a fast paced hike up and around a mountain and reservoir that’s about 20 minutes from where I live. The whole hiking loop I normally do is about 5 miles. I attempt to do it and get back before the family is 100% up and about. It’s a little bit of quiet alone time for dad and it helps me clear my head. Usually I make an insincere offer the night before or that morning asking if anyone would like to come with me. Normally no takers, but this past Saturday for some reason (I was suspicious already) my son decided he would love to join me. fire_belly_toad

So my pace dropped to the stride of an eight year old boy. A boy who was apparently in the mood to talk a lot (so much for quiet time), to talk a lot about Fire-Belly Toads. The hike went something like this:


“Dad, did you know they sell Fire-Belly Toads at Petco?”
“No, I don’t think I know what a Fire-Belly Toad is.”
“They are really cool toads, they eat crickets, could we get one?”
“Live crickets?”
“Ya, you can buy the at Petco, they come in a box.”
“You want to keep live crickets in a box in your bedroom, aren't they noisy?”
“You have to feed them every couple of days”

Time goes by, as we walk along…

“Dad, did you know my friend Mary won a national art Contest in school.”
“Oh, that’s great, she seems like a nice girl.”
“She’s interesting. She doesn’t eat meat. They eat worms too, you have to give them live food (the toads, not Mary) ”.
“What did she draw to win the contest?  She’s a vegetarian?”
“She draws pictures of airplanes.”  “She’s a Muslim, she’s from Portugal.”

Time goes by…

“My one friend, Nick, he is a model. I think it might be better to be an actor”
“You, want to be an actor?”
“No. You have to keep them between 72°F to 78°F degrees, can’t let them get to hot, but they can get colder sometimes”
“Anyway, there aren’t any actors my age.
“Sure there are; what about Cassady, she’s an actress, you know her.”


“She’s Nickie’s age (12).”  “Toads are amphibians, we need to have a pool of water in the cage.”

“What about Annasophia Robb (continuing to try to change the subject), she was about your age when she made “Winn-Dixie”

“Ya, I like dogs too.”

“Hey, Look Connor, there’s a Frog!”
”Why don’t you pick him up?”
"Dad, I don’t want to touch him.”
”Won't you have to touch the toad to pick him up to clean his cage?”
”That’s different. That is  a WILD frog!”

Time goes by…

“How long do these toads live?”
"About 10 to 12 years”
“So is it final we are getting a toad?”


  1. Robin lol that was really cute conversation, I love the fighting for change of subject tactic. Wow lives that long, lol, that is almost like a dog life. Anna :)

  2. Anna,
    Thanks for the feedback! I noticed on your blog you have a two year old, that is a great age! Enjoy him.

  3. I love this, I mis my kids when they were small, but teenage conversation can be a hoot too sometimes :)

  4. Heidi,
    Thanks! I'm looking forward to my kids being teens (my little girl is almost there -12).

    Thanks for reading my blog! Who knows maybe you might start hiking and backpacking!