“Parenthood will take you to all kinds of wild places,” my mother used to say.
And I thought about his words as I bounced my week-old daughter on an exercise ball until my legs went numb. As she chased my 3 year old daughter down the aisle of Robert’s Fresh Market after she grabbed a handful of jellybeans from the bulk bin and ran away. While trying to explain the intricacies of potty training to my 18 month old son, who was very proud of herself for peeing in her sister’s bowl of chicken fried rice. While saying, very seriously, to a feverish and neurotic 7-year-old girl, coaxing her to take medicine: “Baby, I to promise you that I won’t let you die like Elvis. While cheering me on at the top of my lungs at a roller derby tournament in the Florida Panhandle. And, more recently, while learning the details of keeping reptiles.
For years I told my kids we wouldn’t have a dog. Then it became that we wouldn’t have a stinky dog. Or a shedding dog. Or a puppy.
So of course we welcomed Milo three years ago, a golden retriever-border collie-Husky mix… a 6 week old puppy who grew up to be a dog that doesn’t just smell terrible but also throws so much I don’t know how he’s not completely bald. Her hair has broken three vacuum cleaners so far.
Then they wanted a cat, and I said no. I didn’t want to deal with hairballs, litter boxes and the general attitude of cats.
But when my mother asked if we could take his cat for a few weeks as she moved and settled into a new place, I agreed. And when she passed away about two weeks into that arrangement… well, we had a cat.
Dissatisfied with our dog and cat, Georgia began lobbying for a leopard frog or gecko for her 10th birthday at the end of May. I said no. I said that reptiles are disgusting, that they carry salmonella, that I don’t want to deal with a thing anymore.
Anyway, we now have Rex, a leopard gecko that eats mealworms and crickets and, apparently, cockroaches, although I can’t 1000% bring myself to spend $2 for a cockroach at Petco as we already have way more cockroaches than I would like. here for free.
I developed a fondness for animals over time: I adore the dog (the children think that I am joking when I say that it is my favorite child, but it is not the case), I tolerate the cat, and I even think the lizard is quite cute.
Now Georgia says she wants a rat for Christmas.
I said absolutely not.
But I have already said it.
I’m sure I’ll be looking for advice on rat care in January.