The way my kids talk, you'd think I was the cruelest mom ever for not letting them have pets in the house, and by cracky, when they grow up and have their own house, they're gonna have as many inside pets as they want, so they tell me. In which, I respond, "Go ahead, knock yourself out, but you're not bringing them home for Christmas."
"Why, why, why?" is all I ever hear. Why can't we just have one of those adorable kittens from the FREE box? Why can't we bring home the lonely puppy at the shelter that "is SOOO cute" and licks their face?
When I remind them they, indeed, already have two pets that are starving for attention in the back yard, they try to convince me it's not the same. If my kids had their way, our house would be filled to the gills with every cute kitty and stray dog, or reptile, they ever came across. Then I'm sure our family would be featured on the next reality show about animal hoarders.
I don't know what my girls are barking about, when they were little I got them a fish. Last time I checked, a fish is an indoor pet, but apparently that didn't cut it. Or perhaps it was the fact I couldn't for the life of me keep those darn fish from floating belly up.
Last summer, their nagging was starting to make me feel a little guilty, especially for my animal-loving middle daughter, so for her birthday I was bound and determined to find the perfect indoor pet, that she would love and wouldn't be a burden on me. So, I asked around to my friends, Googled "cheap and easy house pets," and spent a few hours in meditation and prayer. Finally after much research and reflection, and a little thanks to the toy store at the mall, I decided miniature frogs was the answer. The frogs were a hit! Not just with her but her sisters too. Finally, I'd solved the indoor pet problem!
NOT! As with all pets, the initial excitement wore off. Now, guess who, checks on the frogs, cleans their habitat, feeds 'em and had to fish out the bloated, dead one who didn't fight for his food? The girls still love them, just as they do the dogs, but ol' Mom has somehow taken over responsibility of them. That is one of my main arguments about the whole indoor pet idea. It's just ONE more creature I have to take care of.
When I try to defend my stance on No Indoor Pets and present my six main reasons why it's not a good idea right now, it falls on deaf ears. The girls chime together in begging unison, insisting that I will not have to lift a finger for the new animal. They'll take full care of them on their own, take 'em on walks, clean up their messes, and even pay for their food. (With what money, I have no clue.)
However, I know for a fact, those girls are full of baloney. They said they'd do the same thing several months ago when Hubby threatened to get rid of our dogs, and now we practically have to demand they go out play with them or heaven forbid, help pick up their poop. The girls seem content to watch me out in the frozen backyard with a plastic grocery sack rubber banded over my hand picking up 217 piles of dog poo. Usually, after about 20 minutes, my oldest will pop her head out and ask, "Did you want some help? I feel bad that you're out there by yourself." Then she'll pause for a half a second and head back inside. She apparently doesn't feel THAT bad.
I don't know what's worse, though, spending over an hour collecting three full sacks of dog poo all by myself, or having my oldest daughter help me and hearing her gross out the whole time. She acts like it's the worse job ever in existence. I'm pretty sure she has physically gagged a few times. I told her three main things I do to get through it, "don't ever breathe through your nose, don't look directly at it, and leave the fresh piles for last", but she doesn't listen. Then I told her to pretend like it's an Easter egg hunt, but she just couldn't get over the stench, so that didn't work either.
I don't trust my 5-year-old to manhandle poo duty without a making a huge mess of it, and it seems my middle daughter is conveniently gone when a nice enough day comes along to tackle that job. Hence, my point -- if the girls can't even help take care of the critters that are currently with us, then how in tarnation, do they think they take care of any new ones. So, as of right now, my rule stands, NO indoor pets!