Ok, ok. We thought he was dead. He was dead by all appearances. The tears were sincere, the pain was felt, and a few hours later we went back to the room to begin some sort of burial process and Skitters... had skittered away. He was gone! Hiding in the terrain under some leaves, we found him barely hanging on by a thread. I could not believe the drama of this day. With pure excitement Ben exclaimed, "He lives!"
Great! I managed to purchase the one lizard with super-reptillian powers. Resurrected from reptillian death, this lizard was messing with my son's emotions. How long could we do this?
48 hours to be exact. Lizard hospice care ensued. Dx: Dehydration and anorexia. Rx: D5W 1/2 cc TID. In layman's terms, this meant we force-fed Skitters by dropping a cricket into his mouth with a chopstick. Ben held the lizard while Bob dropped the cricket. Ben then had to close the lizard's mouth to encourage him to chew. 5 droplets of sugar water were gently sent down his little gullet. They did all this twice a day until Sunday morning when it was clear (stiff tail and curled up claws) that Skitters really would no longer skitter.
At one point Ben felt Bob was too involved and Skitters was no longer his, but he soldiered on with his caretaking. On Sunday morning when the result of their efforts were clear, Ben was surprisingly mature about the whole thing. " I got to hold him a lot. We tried. You know, mom, everything dies."
Hmmm...where were the streaming tears, the wailing, the need for comfort? Oh right. We already did that. No need to repeat, I guess. Saying good-bye is helpful, and he got to do that. It will take a while for him to realize how lucky he was.