By Heather O.
It’s not what you think. It’s not a baby, or even a puppy. It’s a snake.
Reptile owners. That’s us. We got the snake from a family in the ward who claimed they were done because the kids were tired of it, although it was quite obvious when they dropped off the snake that it was the father, not the kids, who was tired of it. The little sister, a girl about 8 years old, (who named the reptile “Hershey”, of all things) kept saying things like, “C’mon boy, let go. It’s ok, you’ll be all right.” When her older brother pointed out that the snake can’t hear her because snakes don’t have ears, she said, in that ‘I’m-a-determined-child-that-can-not-be-swayed’ voice, “He can hear ME. He listens to ME, because he loves me,” then stalked off in an offended manner. She did name the snake after a candy bar, after all.
DH has rechristined the animal “Fluffy”.
So now we have two pets–a bird named Lola and a snake named Fluffy. We are also very much in the process of getting a dog. We are taking a little bit longer on this one, because a cute furry face and a hasty decision lead to near disaster last time, and we want a better situation this time.
But suddenly, I think, “Uh-oh. We are rapidly turning out to be one of those families.”
You know the kind. They have an animal in every room. Their children catch random specimens and keep them in shoeboxes in the bathroom. Their grocery bill is twice as high because half of it is food for their animals. There is random animal hair, or feathers, or whatever everywhere, and everything stinks. The mother is usually a nice enough, amiable person, but people talk about her behind her back, saying things like, “Better keep on eye on that one. After all, she does have a pet snake!”
I actually think snakes are pretty cool, and I’ve always liked handling them. (Ok, admittedly I’ve only handled snakes like a half a dozen times in my life, probably every time was before I turned 6, but hey, I always remember liking it!) This particular pet is pretty low maintenance–it just sits there most of the time. No hair, poops just after it feeds, only has to be fed every couple of months, and that’s it. Easy.
Still, it’s a snake. The symbol of the devil. The symbol of Salazaar Slytherin. People don’t like them, and I’m wondering if I am endangering my already tenuous status as a normal mother by getting my child a pet snake. Maybe I should rethink this.
On the other hand, I realize that while my status as a mom goes down among my peers, my son’s among his will totally skyrocket with this new addition. I mean, seriously, what little boy doesn’t like snakes? I can hear the kids now, “Wow, Jacob, you have a snake? COOL!” Then they go running up to their mothers and say, “Mom, Jacob has a snake, can I have one, please please please?”
Oh, yeah. Those moms are just gonna love that. Let’s just admit it. I’m doomed.
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