FYI: My 12-year-old daughter Rebekah likes to be called “Charlie.”
FYI: I’m not making eyecontact with anyone here (JON!) but I’m pretty sure another adult in the house put her up to this.
FYI: We have had no less than 10 caged animals over the years. Everything from guinea pigs, to rabbits, to snakes to hamsters. And probably a few that I’ve blocked out of my mind. Not to mention about 100 creatures we’ve “rescued” from the outdoors. No lie. When my daughter was about 3-years-old, she used to catch lizards and attempt to dress them in Barbie clothes. True story.
FYI: I have personally fed and cleaned cages for every living creature we’ve owned.
FYI: I’m not a fan of cleaning cages, nor am I a fan of animal smells of any kind.
FYI: Yes, as a matter of fact I HAVE told my daugther to feed and clean them herself. That works really well for the first few weeks. And I’m all for disciplining children through natural consequences. But I can’t–for the life of me–stand back and watch living animals die from neglect, even if it’s to prove a point. And trust me, I enjoy proving a good point.
FYI: Despite my daily feeding and cage-cleaning, I have watched every one of those pets die, eventually. A few of them I tried desperately to nurse back to health with my bare hands. Except for Pepper, the boy bunny. Pepper was a very, very bad boy bunny. Pepper peed on my walls. We let Pepper go into the woods one rainy afternoon. I told my daughter that some animals were created to live in houses as pets. Some were created to live in the woods with other wild (bad) animals.
Pepper, my dear, is a wild animal–not a pet. Pepper will be so much happier out in the woods.
Not my finest parenting moment, but when you are in charge of cleaning bad bunny pee off walls…
FYI: I have held sobbing children countless times as we carefully wrapped the good (and dead) animals in old baby blankets, made little coffins and then conducted animal funerals in our backyard.
FYI: Currently, we house one stray cat and three brand new beta fish (replacing Bubbles the Beta Fish after his untimely death a few weeks ago.) Oh, guess who feeds the cat and cleans out the litter?
So here’s what I have to say to Santa in response, with less than 11 days before the blessed event: