The less weird are the ones containing a butterfly wing, an ex-chrysalis, some dead beetles (best not to take the lid off this one because they have a strong smell of fish about them now!), a half disintegrated bee and something else that smells, but not as bad as the beetles.
Then there is the specimen jar (the sort the nurse gives you to wee in). This one contains a 20p piece which is a lovely shade of verdigris. It came by this colour through a purely organic process.
Back when Small Sprog was about 5, I left Husband in charge for the day while I went to a tutorial. They had had a good morning and, while they were out, Tall Girl found 20p on the pavement. She was pleased with her find and, most likely, gloated about it! Small Sprog howled that it 'wasn't fair', so he got one too. When they came home they took their money upstairs. Tall Girl (sensibly) put hers in her money box and Small Sprog ate his!
To cut a very long (and dramatic) story short, I met them all at the children's hospital where the nurses used a metal detector to find where the money was lodged. It was stuck in his oesophagus, just above the entrance to his stomach, but luckily it was wedged sideways so the he could still swallow his own spit. They took an x-ray and kept scanning him every half an hour or so to see if it had moved along his digestive tract. It did not! So he was crowned 'the human money box' by the nurses, who obviously had seen this sort of thing a million times before, and taken down for surgery. They took the money out using a long probe with a grabber on the end. The worst bit was when they put him under the anesthetic. I couldn't stop myself from wondering if he'd ever wake up again but he did, and was none the worse for wear.
We asked if we could keep the x-ray. The 20p showed up well behind his ribcage! But they wouldn't let us take it home so they bottled the coin for us (which has turned such a lovely shade) instead!
However the jar that Small Sprog is most proud of is the most recent addition to his collection. It is the one that makes me want to vomit the most. He organised this one himself, showing me with pride the other day. 'Look what I've got!' Yuck, I can't bring myself to look at it again. In this jar he keeps.........his verruca, circa mid April 2008. It was a very large one and he had become quite attached to it! I guess I should be grateful that he didn't eat it too!
At the table today, mid mouthful, Small Sprog slips something out of his pocket and places it proudly on the table. I braced myself. 'What's that?' I ask tentatively
'It's my special stone' he replied in a way that told me I had definitely asked a stupid question, 'it sparkles'.
He reached into his pocket again.
'Oh you have another one' I exclaim delightedly (not).
'Yes, and this'. He is animated now.
'Oh, that's just a piece of greaseproof paper' I say.
'No,' Replied Tall Girl, 'it's my bunny teeth!'
Sometimes I wonder if they are really anything to do with me at all.