The glamorous neighbour has jetted off to Northern Ireland to visit family and doesn't seem to have learnt from the sea monkey incident, when the then-three-year old gave the tank a shake to liven them up. They didn't seem any worse for it, but it took me a while to recover.
So when the glamorous neighbour knocked on the door late one night and asked if I'd mind looking after the stick insects for a week, I really ought to have said no. Perhaps I didn't learn much, either.
It's going well so far - they're low maintenance and the kids love helping. We spray inside the tank every day and put a few sprigs of foliage in every other day for the beasties to chomp on. I haven't yet spotted any of the insects, nor the eggs that the glamorous neighbour says are in there...low maintenance, but boring!
They're not eating the foliage very quickly. The glamorous neighbour didn't say anything about clearing out the older foliage, so the tank is beginning to resemble a jungle. The four year old and I were peering in there today and I made the mistake of mentioning it.
"Easy," he said, reaching for the lid. "I'll throw some in the bin, Mummy."
With reactions that Superman would be proud of, I grabbed his hand just before he began plundering. Maybe I have learnt something after all - to guard against the four year old. But perhaps next time I'll just say No to pet-sitting...