I'm trying to keep my business, my triplets, and my waistline under control. I excel at one of those, fail at another one of those, and one is a work in progress. Which is which is day dependant.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Guinea Pig Incident

DD1 has been desperate to get a guinea pig for months and months now. She's researched it online, taken library books out about the care and feeding of guinea pigs, talked to several guinea pig owners and taken copious notes.  It's been her main topic of conversation for several months now. DH and I didn't encourage this fascination at all - but nor did we really want to quash her enthusiasm - so we would just listen politely and ask questions and hope she would eventually let it go.

Uh-huh. Yep. Like THAT was ever going to happen.

Somewhere in there, we kinda forgot that she's .... especially awesome ... and therefore a little, ummm... obsessive about stuff. I didn't want to outright say "no" (although goodness knows why not, I totally could have) and so I basically told her that if she wanted a guinea pig, she had to do it all herself. In other words, raise the money to buy one, take care of it including the gross stuff, and blah-di-blah be in charge of the whole damn thing. The amazing thing is, not once did she actually ASK for one. Nor did she nudge me about it, not really - she just talked about it a lot, and mused about "wouldn't it be nice...?" and mentioned little adorable guinea pig factual tid-bits endlessly. (Did you know that when they are born they are the size of a 5c piece?) Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I believe that's what's called "getting what you want from your parents via passive agressive cuteness."

We fell for it. Or rather, *I* fell for it.

If you don't know this already, we are actually already the parents to an entirely gorgeous and over-indulged greyhound. Greyhounds are sight hounds, meaning they see small things about ten kilometres away and they want to play or EAT said small thing right this very moment. So they will RUN LIKE HELL and catch said small thing and play with it. To death. Literally.

Did you know that guinea pigs are in fact small things? Which scurry around in  ways which are very enticing to greyhounds?

Yeah. I did too.

I still gave in.

You can say it. I'm an idiot.

My only excuse is that I'm a sucker for a kid who says things like, "I think I'll name him 'Chuckles'," while looking dreamily into the distance and clutching a book which is called, "You and Your Guinea Pig: A Beginner's Guide."

And so the hutch was bought, the hay was bought, the water bottle thingie attached to the side, and Edward the guinea pig came home with an extremely excited little girl. Four days later, we were burying Edward the guinea pig and comforting that same little girl.


They do not have a chapter in the parenting guidebook for "When Parents Do Stupid Things (like allow a greyhound and a guinea pig to live in the same household.)" The crazy thing is, DD1 dealt with it a LOT better than I did - because for her it was the loss of a pet she had not yet grown (too) attached to, and for me it was about disappointing my little girl. I have never - and I hope to never again - hear the sound which came out of her mouth when she realised her new furry friend was being held capitve by her old(er) furry friend. It was awful. To think that a decision I made caused my little girl such grief...well, I certainly took myself out of the running for the Mother of the Year Award.

So what now? Tell her it's never going to work and refuse to get another one? Get another one but make the rules about co-habitation a little more formal? Convince her that a fish is just as fun and cuddly? Bury my head in the sand and hope she does not notice the empty hutch sitting forlornly in the garden?

Remember I said that I'm an idiot? Yes. Well. Some things just don't change. So we replaced poor Edward with 2 little female furry friends (Salli and Luci, respectively) and we've put into place some seriously strict rules about when the animal kingdom is allowed to cross paths (read: NEVER in any of their lifetimes, because then there will BE no lifetimes to live.) The battle lines have been drawn - Greyhound is firmly a BACK yard animal, and guinea pigs are firmly FRONT yard animals and there are no exceptions. Ever.

Tomorrow will be Day Five of the Great Guinea Experiment Part Deux- and if we wake up in the morning and the two little critters are still alive (and there is no reason why they shouldn't be), I'm going to consider it a parenting win.

Why? Because the joy these ridiculous rodents are giving my little girl is worth the ten Xanax I need to take every time the dog even looks out the front door.

1 comment:

Danielle said...

Still wish I could have seen you chasing the dog around the yard. Everytime I think about it, my day brightens a little bit. I do however hope Salli and Luci live a long and happy life.