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The Frog–one of those “memories” that takes time to laugh at.

Posted Jun 23 2012 5:11pm

The frog has a name but I’m still not ready to call it any thing other than “The Frog” because I refuse to bond with this thing yet. It all happened while Mitchell was visiting my Mom for two weeks. Do I really need to say more? Grandparent/Grandchild/Summer Break/Can send child home after 14 days.

So the story goes like this…..they went to Petsmart to look at the pets and Mitchell fell in love with a Pac Man frog. It was the first two days of being with his Grandmother and between her desire to please him and his desire to love all things amphibian, she BOUGHT it.


This wouldn’t be such a big deal if it was just an ordinary frog like in our backyards, right? But don’t mistake this for an every day backyard frog because this isn’t like the little green frogs we read about in children’s books and sing about in zippy little kid songs. This frog is just short of exotic and requiring a special degree in reptile-ology. But to my Mom’s credit, she didn’t know this up front….because the little booklet that comes with the frog was read after they got home and over a period of three days. After Mitchell had bonded with the frog. Yeah, that’s when we learn it doesn’t take pellet food like the two frogs he has at home. The normal frogs. The ones you just pop in a pellet of food once a week. My Mom did initially ask us if it would be okay to get the frog. We wanted to think about it and get back with her while she found out what it ate. And then there was some miscommunication in the process. I had to two days to get back with her and apparently Mitchell thought he’d die without a Pac Man frog in between those two days and so she got the frog before we called back to say, “No Way!”

So about every every other day I’m learning new things about this frog over the phone from my Mom.

Phone conversation #1 reveals it’s a frog that will require a different cage than the one it was purchased in. But no big deal. Mom buys a new round cage. Cool. We can handle this.

Phone conversation #2 is where we’re informed the frog eats crickets. But keep in mind they can’t be dead ones. And they can’t be backyard crickets either. Oh, and they need to be coated in calcium powder. And it eats two crickets a day if you get all that other stuff right. And we won’t talk about what it takes to keep the crickets alive: carrots, potato peels for moisture, etc.

Phone conversation #3 – we learn that the new cage that was purchased will not be big enough. Now we need a 10 gallon sized aquarium because the frog grows. As big as a dessert plate. We have a 10 gallon vacant aquarium at home but I was finding no comfort in this at the time.

Phone conversation #4 – just found out the frog needs a special light. But it’s not getting one. Instead it gets prayers. Prayers from the state of GA to live even though it has no special light and prayers from the state of NC to die before it’s supposed to be transported home.

This was turning into a slow motion disaster right before our eyes. We had conversations over the phone about returning the frog but had gotten so far into it decided not to. We talk about this being a fabulous opportunity for Mitchell to grow in responsibility. Yeah, this sure was a great multi-multi-stepped process that involved depleting weekly financial funds and hours of maintenance in a week not to mention the fact that the closest Petsmart for crickets is 30 minutes away. But responsibility is a great thing and what better than a frog that looks like a short fat Grandpa covered in warts to provide an opportunity for that, right? That’s exactly what we were thinking. 

So we’re slowly getting over the initial shock of acquiring this new creature. It’s becoming more intriguing every day. Dare I say entertaining? I’d rather not say that because next summer he might come home with a lizard or a ball python because he’s always wanted one of those too.

In this picture my family is watching “Gulpa” – okay, see, I’m softening as I write this post. I’ve often said that writing is my therapy and we can see in this post that my attitude is changing. I can now call the frog by his name. Progress. Gulpa is about to consume the calcium coated cricket. Mitchell was at camp and so my Mom had to care for Gulpa. She actually talked my sister-in-law into doing it for her. I don’t blame her. Anyways, it really is pretty cool to watch him snatch that thing and suck it down so very fast. He’s holding our attention pretty tightly.

photo (2)

We went from this round cage

Gulpa 004

to this larger aquarium

  Gulpa 003

Behold the well loved Gulpa

Gulpa 001

Gulpa 002

Mitchell – you know you lucked out this time! And I’m actually happy for you (it took two weeks but I got there) and I don’t really wish for your frog to die.

I’m ending this post with a video clip Mitchell and I made today. We were trying to make an Animal Planet type video of this Pac Man frog but it totally took a turn we weren’t expecting.

I love you Mom. I love you Mom. I love Mom!!!! You gave me life. You fed me and clothed me for years. You love my son enough to buy him something you’d never keep permanently in your own home. Ha!

Saying it out loud really helps after this little incident.

I’m wondering if anyone else has sent the kids away for a week at Grandma’s house only for them to come back with a shocker of sorts? Oh please tell. My Mom would love for me to have some company in this ordeal.

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