"Is that something?"
"No wait, I think that is a smudge on the screen"
"Move Loretta! See if she moves then we can tell. I wish she could hear me."
"Mommy, why is Loretta upside down?"
Even though we control media exposure (Screen time to the tweener set) at our house, we have been glued to my Mac for several hours on and off. It is actually on the kitchen table for anyone to check as we walk by. We even carried the computer over to our two juvenile xenopus, Bananabean Georgette, and Spaz Falafel.
Loretta, the albino xenopus, we are watching through the webcam is impressive. Her long, strong and beautiful legs propel her through the water. From the angle of the camera, it looks as if she is suspended upside down and and it takes a moment to orient the angle. But it is from the top down focused on her.
We have noticed when the noise of the cooling fan in turns on, Loretta moves -- so we all listen for the sound, drop whatever we are doing -- legos, reading stories, arguing, coloring, making food -- and move to the screen to see if something is happening. Loretta is being watched by many. We care about her even though the girls never met her.
We also care about the human moms-to-be, generously sharing their experience of 'finding out' with us. Making their private anticipation a public event is so courageous. The girls and my investment in their pregnancy raises the stakes in some ways -- and it is a pressure that I wouldn't have welcomed when I was waiting to find out. (Which by the way took one minute each time and seemed like an eternity.)
Considering our own frogs, I wonder if they will be alive, or one of their progeny (if they don't eat them all) when one of the girls gets pregnant. I could do the test having witnessed Eben and we could crowd around the tank with some yummy bakery treats.