Southern Thing Column

The feel-good tadpole update you needed today

The excerpt below is from a column that originated on It’s a Southern Thing. Click the link at the bottom to read the full column or go ahead and click here now.

Mamas are worriers. We just are. Some more than others, of course, and I got a healthy share of worrying genes. So when Sweetums adopted four tadpoles I discovered in my adult kiddie pool while preparing it for the season, I naturally asked all the right questions:

  • Do you know what to feed them?
  • What are we going to keep them in?
  • Who’s going to get up with them in the middle of the night?
  • Are they supposed to look like that?

Bless my hubby’s heart. He did the reading and knew exactly what to do. He made them a habitat where they’d be safe from predators in an outdoor setting so they’d feel at home. He bought algae at the pet store to supplement their natural diet of icky gunk. He fed them regularly. All Sweetums’ ministrations didn’t keep me, my friend and my daughter from questioning him at every turn.

  • “Do you think they need more shade?”
  • “Isn’t the water going to get too hot sitting on the glass-topped patio table? What if they think we’re trying to boil them and eat their le…? Oh wait, they don’t have legs yet.”
  • “Is that too much algae growing in there?”
  • “Is there enough algae growing in there?”
  • “Do they have something to crawl out on once they get their legs?”
  • “Do you think they miss their mommy at night?”

At this point, he obviously knew more about frog development than I ever planned to. Still, I worried. If I could have put my hand on their little backs to be sure they were breathing – like I did after Baby Girl was born – I would have. But the pressure would likely have killed them.

Sweetums took it in stride, by which I mean he wore his ear plugs a lot. I realized we were undermining his authority as a Tad Dad. Is this how moms make dads feel with their own kids, I wondered? I decided to trust his instincts. Click here to read the full column on

Boo and Ricky Bobby, Week 7. (Photo by Wil Elrick)

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