Thursday, March 4, 2010

Pet sounds

Archer brought home a book about record-setting animals for his reading homework tonight, and as usual, emoted enthusiastically about the longest cat, the smartest bird, and the oldest tortoise. The book was partly about these unusual animals, and partly about how to train and care for your own pet.

Growing up, my brothers and I had a succession of fish, dogs, ponies, and horses. I know I drove my parents crazy asking for animals at various times in my life.

So far the topic of pets has not come up with our children. It probably would never occur to Archer to ask for a pet; that would require a kind of imagination and initiative that isn't in his normal repertoire. But I'm just waiting for Cady Gray to broach the subject. Both of them are a little afraid of dogs (sometimes a lot afraid). But Cady Gray, at least, thinks puppies and kittens are cute and oohs and ahhs over them. I'm resigned to the inevitable question, at some point in the future: "Mom, can we have ... ?"

But I'm also glad it hasn't happened yet. Our housekeeping is always on the edge of collapse as it is; our routine is workable but often short on time. It's hard to imagine adding care for an animal into that mix. Of course, I'm not thinking about all the ways that I enjoyed the company of my dogs and horses over the years; I'm only thinking about the time it takes and the trouble it causes.

Let's hope that by the time Cady Gray gathers up her courage and pops the question, I'm ready to conceive of another way of life for the family. Otherwise the result might be the automatic "no" I'm feeling now.

1 comment:

Adam Villani said...

I have to say that hamsters require very minimal care. Feed them once a day, keep them in a wire (not plastic) cage so they can smell you, and handle them once a day, especially when they're young. Then you just clean their cages every couple of weeks.

They're very cute and do funny things, but they're also the opposite of sociable. The problem is that they only live about 2 years, so they end up teaching the kids about death. :-(