Monday, May 16, 2011

Squeeeeel for the Squirrel! Guest blogger, Laura Stone!

Today's guest blogger is actress, writer, and all around awesome gal: Laura Stone! You may find her online at Hey Don't Judge Me!

Big thanks to the Fictionista Ladies for the opportunity to guest blog!

This week a video of a little four year old girl has gone viral, maybe you've seen it? She's cute as a bug, hanging out in her britches on a warm day, playing in the front yard and being absolutely adorable. Oh, and she's holding a dead squirrel, or as she pronounces it, "A dead squee-al!" Their dog, a greyhound, caught the squirrel moments before and shook it to death, as dogs do. She immediately picked it up (it's not bloody or anything like that) and cradles it, crooning "Oh, pretty baby, pretty baby squee-al," while her dad happens to be catching this on film.

I made the huge mistake of reading the YouTube comments (protip: that way lies madness, avoid at all costs) and a small, but vocal, percentage are screaming for the parents' heads on platters. How dare they let their precious angel touch a rabid dead animal that is teeming with bacteria! Really, people? Have you ever sat on a park bench? Because I hate to break it to you, but when you're not occupying that bench, other things are. Like maybe wild animals. And your hands touch that bench at some point. And here you are, alive and among us, not rabid and deformed (I assume.) When did we get so weirded out by natural things as a culture?

I can remember when two of my kids were under the age of five and their father and I slept in on a Saturday, as you do. We were woken up by a phone call from our neighbor, laughing, who told us to go look outside our front window. On our front lawn were my daughter and son, still in their jammies, barefoot, and hurling dead rats at one another, like a morbid game of bean bag toss. We had a mouser of a cat at the time, and he happily cleaned our trees and surrounding areas of squirrels, mice, and rats, and sometimes, because he loved us, would lay them at our front door as a gift. Cats are so thoughtful.

The kids got tired of waiting for Mom and Dad to get breakfast going, so they entertained themselves. In a world of games that play for kids (can you even get Hot Wheels tracks that don't have a motor?) the important thing you just read was that my kids entertained themselves. And they were outdoors in the fresh air! ...flinging dead things. Ah, the carefree days of childhood! Please understand that we bathed the kids once they came inside. I didn't panic, I didn't smack the rats out of their hands and look horrified, that would have been a huge mistake. I told them that the rats were dead, we don't play with dead things, we bury them and let them "feed the garden."

In the YouTube video, the little girl understands that the squee-al isn't alive anymore, that her dog killed it, and that she understood she couldn't touch it later but for now it was a sweet, sweet baby. Her mother did look daggers at her husband, but they didn't needlessly panic and inoculate her from any and all diseases, they let it run its course, told her to tell it goodbye, and then it was bath time. Jeez, folks, let kids get messy. Let them poke stuff with sticks, let them eat pickles wrapped up in paper towels in nothing but their bathing suits, and don't sanitize their hands with alcohol, soap and water is a-ok. Kids should get dirty. They should scrape their knees, touch something dead and make the connection between alive and not, and you should write down every single hilariously disgusting thing they've done in a secret notebook somewhere.

After all, how else will you keep them from doing disgusting things when they're dating?

Laura Stone hopes to one day throw the greatest party ever: cocktails with John Waters while hitting on Johnny Depp with her charming Paul Lynde impression as Corey Feldman, snacking on canap├ęs, admits he’s been aping Michael Jackson all along. [@StoneyboBoney]


  1. When my brother and I were kids living in the wild mountains of Pennsylvania, we once strung fishing line across the road, then hung a dead snake in the middle of it to see if we could make cars stop. Great fun.

  2. Kitteh, I love you and your hanging snake. hahahah

    I was a big fan of 'frog-giggin' and 'crawdaddin' as a kid. I was probably the only girl in my circle of friends who would get out there and get with it. I also loved hunting for snakes. We lived on 6 acres with a pond and I had to learn real quickly the difference between a black snake and a cotton-mouth! I remember when my nieces would come over and their mom had them dressed in pretty little things with bows in their hair and the first thing I did was stick them in the boys' clothes, pull the bows out and say GO GET DIRTY.

    and they loved it. Still do, actually. hahaha

    Parents get too caught up on sterility and forget that we have natural immune systems that we need to help boost with germs. Even dead squirrel germs. hah

  3. I can't be the only one from our generation that saved Parkay "butter" tubs, poked holes in the lids, and filled it with leaves and a cicada, can I? Or smash cicada shells into people's hair? This was our "fun" when my sister and I were little.

    Also, my mom would lock the door on summer days, forcing us to get creative. How many of today's kids have caught lightning bugs at dusk? Scraped their knees to pick themselves right back up and keep chasing your friends? Play "hot lava" at the playground?

    Man, good times.

    And my kids hardly ever get sick, or they get over it very quickly. I don't have a single ounce of anything "anti-bacterial" in my house, either.

  4. I'm nodding as I read this, thinking about how much good humor and practicality you have in your approach to parenting, and how lucky your kids are that you don't turn them away from experiencing things.

    But I will confess, part of me is flailing and shrieking, "Dead raaaattsss!!!"

  5. Anonymous5:25 PM

    Ab-solutely about not wrapping your kids up in plastic wrap: that way lies weak immune systems, allergies and everything else that goes with it, like being bullied for being the inferior person that they are. This is why whenever I see a child in the street I immediately spit on them and rub a handful of dirt into their shiny little faces. It's out of love, and also because I'm out of medication.

    I think kids need to be coddled less and exposed to more, not including that creepy guy down the street.

  6. Okay, I admit it. I'm totally grossed out by the little girl playing 'pretty pretty baby' with the dead squirrel. Not because of any potential germs, but because little girls playing with dead things brings to mind horror flicks. :shudder:

    When we found dead things, we poked them with sticks. We didn't cuddle with them. And we were rough & tumble, out in the world kids - making mudpies, pulling worms into pieces for bait, touching frogs and toads and salamanders, catching crawdaddies. Ah, what a life. Kids need more of that today.

  7. Loling at Anonymous.