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the patience of stubbornness

The boys have a hard time resisting the cheap-toy dispensers by the doors of the Burlington Market Basket. We now have a fair collection of tiny plastic dinosaurs, so a few weeks ago Zion switched it up and opted for a blue lobster that grows when you put it in water. You know the type.

I was dismissive, and after a couple hours of soaking produced maybe a ten percent increase in size I was ready to call myself right. "It's only a little bigger," Zion noted. "Maybe it needs more water. Maybe the water needs to be higher."

"I think that's as big as it's going to get," I told him. "You can't expect much for 25 cents."

He wouldn't listen, though, and he wouldn't give up. He added more water to the tupperware where Crabby was soaking (despite living all their lives in New England neither Harvey nor Zion have ever managed to acknowledge the existence of lobsters as distinct from crabs) and left him sitting there on the kitchen table for one day, and then two.

And Crabby kept growing. Twice, and then even three times his original size, his bulk pushed at the sides of his container as he continued his slow, steady growth. I watched in wonder; Zion was merely quietly content. He knew that was going to happen.

I don't know what made him decide at some point to take Crabby out of the water. He sat for a few days on the table: large (well, two inches or so), bulbous, and damp-looking. We had some thoughts that he might shrink again out of the water, but he didn't to any noticeable degree. I only wish I had taken a picture—or better, a pair of before-and-after shots. Zion didn't play much with the post-transformation Crabby, but I suppose he didn't need to: the entertainment we got from him was already worth well more than 25 cents. Zion, you were right!

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