Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A Fish Named Rover

The search for a pet has been an interesting one so far. The pet store employees have been so helpful with providing knowledge. For instance, did you know that corn snakes are very active and ball pythons make better pets? And when you feed snakes, you get frozen mice, put them in a bag, drop them in boiling water and heat them up until they are warm but not too hot? (Gross!) And that you shouldn't feed your snake in it's enclosure, because it might become cage aggressive? Cage aggressive means they'll strike at you when you put your hand in to pick them up. Now I don't know about you, but I couldn't have lived without all that information! And because I'm such a sweetheart, I shared with you!

We're looking at cats, too. (My preference.) So far, we've not had a lot of luck finding a good fit. They're either scared of everything, look sick, or are hellcats.

We've looked at lizards and turtles and other critters too. Yesterday, I bought a fish. Our fish is a blue and red male Betta that I've had my eye on for weeks. I brought him home and set up his little aquarium. He moves in today and is quite excited.

Bettas are interesting fish. You can only put one male in an aquarium. This might lead you to believe it's safe to put him in with a female. Not so much. Only when they're ready to breed and only until the deed is done. Then he goes back to solitary. Otherwise, he'll kill her. I read you can house them with some other fish, but only if they aren't as pretty as he is. What an ego these fish have! So, we have our solitary Betta. But I digress.

My boys came in from school and ran to see our newest family member. After homework and general chaos, we sat down for dinner. The topic of dinner conversation quickly turned to naming the Betta.

I'll spare you my husband's suggestion. Suffice it to say, he was less than enthusiastic after a day of travel. He just got back from a trip to Florida.

"Let's call him Betta!"

"No, Ninja!"

"I like Peter Jackson!"

"Okay, we'll call him Betta Ninja Fighter Peter Jackson Fishy!"

My children, ages 9 and 7, have no understanding of the "less is more" concept.

My response? "Let's name him Rover!"

They all looked at me as though I'd lost my mind. Perhaps I have.

So, while they argued over his name, Rover and I bonded. I entertained him with fish food pellets and he entertained me by viciously attacking them. I read that you can train them to eat from a little spoon. This could be interesting.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Not Babies Any More

This was the first day of school for the trio. My oldest is a fourth grader and is much too cool for Mom. The twins are in second grade and decided that they no longer need Mom to walk them in either. I have to admit I got a little teary eyed at the thought of my babies being at that stage. But it's all a part of the process. I'd much rather have them be independent than to cry and cling to me. It shows that they're well-adjusted little people. (Sniff, sniff)

Then my mind wanders to the teachers that we entrust with our children. I pray that they all really love children. And that they aren't like a few people I knew in college who went into teaching for summers and Christmas vacations off. I pray they look at those eager little faces and use the authority they have to help guide and nurture them. And I hope the ones who are sharp and impatient realize what a responsibility they have, and that it softens them just a little.

Nothing is more precious than those little beings we bring into the world. So, when they say "Mom, I don't need you", we let them go. And we wait with open arms when they run back for that hug, that quick kiss, content that they are traveling along the road of life just as they should.

Thank you for reading.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Imagine That

I've always had a very vivid imagination. I was an only child until I was six. Then my sister came along and frankly, I wasn't thrilled about her. (Sorry, sis.) I eventually came around, but my imaginary friends, Johnny and Kathy kept me busy until then. I made my mom set a place for them at the table, which they shared because they were never separated. Those two got into the most trouble! I was an angel. Hey now, stop laughing! I really was! I never ate candy before dinner. That was Johnny and Kathy. And no, I didn't break that ashtray. They did! I would never do such a thing.

And all was well until my grandpa sat on them. (Sniff sniff) He and my grandma had come for a visit. At dinner, he sat down and I shrieked! He'd squashed Johnny and Kathy! They didn't die, but it was touch and go for a while. Grandpa apologized profusely, but Johnny and Kathy didn't come around much after that when my grandparents visited.

Johnny and Kathy moved on a few years later. They hadn't been the same since they were sat on. The trauma was just too much for them and they went to live with some other little girl. I received an imaginary letter telling me so.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

When Betas Mate

My children want a pet. My oldest son wants a dog and a snake. Of course, he also wants a rat and a bearded dragon. Please excuse me while I go girlie for a minute....(ewwww, shudder, gross) I'm not really against a snake, but I'm not totally for it either. I don't want a constrictor, but a milk snake or corn snake would be okay. Maybe. The rat is a HELL no. The bearded dragon is a not-so-much. Although, I have to admit the bearded dragon is cute, in a lizardy --my blog, I can make up words if I want-- sort of way. The dog is okay as long as it's housebroken and doesn't destroy things. Uh huh, might as well dream big!

My middle child wants a cat and some fish. Those are pets I can live with, right? Sure, I like cats and fish are cool. He wanted a bird or a hamster, but I said no fowl or rodents. Those are firm rules. Which means the chick and duck he wants around Easter will be a no.

My baby wants a cat, a fish, a turtle and a horse. Um, well, where would we keep the horse? He thinks we could build an underground shelter, with a slide for the horse to get down to the shelter and an elaborate lift system using straps and helicopters to lift him up. Again, not so much. The turtle would be cool.

So, I take the boys to the pet store, one at a time. They ask tons of questions and the store clerks give them tons of answers. My middle child asks, "Why can't you put another fish in with a beta fish?" The clerk explains why (the male beta will kill another fish) and says the male will even kill a female, except when it's mating season. Of course, my kiddo wants to know what that means. Sigh. I explain that mating is what they do to have babies. He's cool with that answer. I should have known it wouldn't be that easy. We get home and he's telling the rest of the crew about beta fish. He says, "You can only put a boy and a girl in the same bowl when they're....um....oh yeah, getting married!" Stifling grins and giggles, my husband and I listen and make the appropriate comments.
We're still in the process of looking and discussing. All I know is I have to get pets I'm comfortable handling. Because you know who's going to end up taking care of it, right? We've (read I've) ruled out horses, rodents, spiders, boas, pythons, venomous snakes, birds, ferrets, and frogs. Other than that, I'm pretty cool with whatever they choose.

Planning on a visit to the shelter to look for kittens soon. Fingers crossed that we find one they all like. Then my poor husband will be the only one left to convince. He's not a cat person. He suggested we get a dog, a cat, a hamster, a snake, and a lizard. His idea is to put them in a room and see which one comes out. And NO, he's not serious! At least, I don't think he is...

Thanks for reading!