I don’t know how I pulled it off as a kid but I feel like I had every animal I could ever have wanted. I don’t ever remember fighting my parents on this or even begging or whining for an animal. (though I’m not sure I would remember that – Mom might!) This just makes me think my parents were:
2) trusting me to be responsible
3) fine with animals
Now that I’ve got kids I realize I’m a lot less lenient in this area than my parents were, which seems sort of weird and unfair. I got to have tons of animals. Why not let my kids have the same experience?
1) because after having so many animals I know how much work it is
2) I am now the one who purchases furniture and no kitty claws will come close to it
3) I can smell the scent of each animal by just thinking about it and I’m not sure I want to relive any of it
So I made a mistake the other day when I hopped into the truck and my youngest said, “Hey Mom! Can I get another fish?” The right answer, I realize now, would have been – “Yes! Yes of course you can! A fish! Great idea! Let’s go right now!”
But instead I said something more along the lines of, “Seriously, how many fish deaths do we need to have connected to our family name?”
We’ve done fish before. Lots of times. Some had a decent record of days and others barely survived the weekend. Let’s just say we’re not fish people. We’ve tried and tried and tried and I would bet money that those kids who say they’ve had their Beta’s for 3 years really have parents who scoop out the floating one and replace it with its identical twin all while their child is at school!
The problem with me saying no to a fish? Well, he upped the anti. It became how ’bout a turtle? (they sti-ink!) A bird? (hello flying poop machines) Lizard? (Just, no.) Frog? (What are you going to do with a frog?) Hedgehog? (You’ve got to be kidding…)
After days of putting him off by telling him to research each animal, find out how much everything will cost (unfortunately, the kid has birthday money to blow), run the life span by me (if it will live longer than he will likely be in this house it’s an automatic no!), google facts about it and how it will get along with our dog…. (Did I mention we have a dog? Yeah, apparently that’s not good enough.) came the tears. Tears and accusations along the lines of, “You don’t want me to have any animal and you’re just trying to put me off and talk me out of everything!”
Doh! He was onto me! Crap.
We truly thought that by going with the dog it would satisfy their lifelong needs for small animals. But the boy is just like me as a child and wants his own. Something he can care for and nobody else is allowed to touch. It’s really more about ownership than anything, though he is our animal lover for sure.
So, I caved. I loved all my animals as a child. (cat, dog, hamsters galore, many turtles and even more fish. I recall a brief stint with a chicken and a budgee that would sit on my brothers head when he practiced piano. Oh, and a snake. That got out. Sorry, mom!)
It really hardly seemed fair that I got to have the joys of all these animals and yet deprive my boy of just the same. So we’re working on narrowing it down and I’m kicking myself for not just saying yes to the fish! Possibly my dumbest move as a mom yet!
Anyways, I’m hear to ask, did you have pets growing up? Did you love them or get bored with them? What was your favourite? I need pro’s and con’s (especially the cons) because he’s pressing hard and I don’t want to screw it up again.
And moms out there, let ’em have the fish!