This week’s post-from-the-archives originally appeared in November 2009; it marked only the seventh time I hit publish. Vivian and William, of course, are now 7, and they still talk about getting a pet. They also talk about flying to the moon on a broomstick.
My 5-year-old twins desperately want a pet. They’d love a cat, but they know their father is seriously allergic to any fluff ball. So they’ve settled on a dog. I try to avoid this debate about pets, because the odds are pretty even. When my husband’s home, it’s two against two; when he’s out, we might have quorum but Vivian and William have a definite majority.
(cc) Olaszmelo, used under a Creative Commons ShareAlike License
I don’t want a dog because I don’t want more work. I’ve already taught two kids not to pee on the floor: been there, done that. I’m still working on the don’t-lick-your-plate thing, especially when company’s over. To attempt to silence the issue, I’ve used the Distant Future Strategy; in other words, I’ve told them they can’t get a dog until they’re ten years old. I’m banking on them forgetting about it over the next five years. That’s unlikely, though, given that I first informed them about this arbitrary rule last year, and they still remember. About every second day, one of them says, “I wish we were ten, Mom…”
They’ve taken the dog-theme to heart. A couple of weeks ago, I caught them playing fetch with each other. Days later, William barked and licked his sister. (Evidently, I need to expand the don’t-lick-your-plate rule to include people). After being licked on the leg, Vivian responded by saying, “Nice doggie.”
In this relentless pursuit of getting a dog, Vivian and William have adopted a clever marketing tactic: if you can’t close the big sale, go for a bunch of smaller ones.
Today, they harped about fish and hamsters. Their dad said, “I’ll give you half a hamster. If you keep it alive, I’ll give you the other half.”
The kids looked at him, horror-stricken.
Adapted from (cc) Anita, used under a Creative Commons ShareAlike License
“How would we get half a hamster?” William asked.
“Carefully,” said his dad.
“Dad, we can’t keep half a hamster alive,” Vivian said, “it’d be dead.”
SPCA people, he was kidding. I’m almost sure.
Pet stories, anyone?