Monday, December 22, 2008

Godzilla and Me

I have always thought of myself as a "boy mom". Perhaps it's having 2 sons so close in age (16 months apart. Yes, we know where babies come from. No, neither pregnancy was planned. Yes, we waited months to tell anyone I was pregnant with Jack because when you are carrying a 7 month old baby in one hand and holding a positive pee stick with the other you immediately become overwhelmed and know that just one "you must be Catholic" joke will send you over the hormonal edge.) and having been a young(er) mom for those 2 little darlings... wholly embracing the ideals of sticks and snails and while drawing the line at puppy dog tails, I have never thought of myself as prissy or fussy.

So, when Jack announced to the world at large (me) that his life would be made immeasurably better by the addition of a fat tail gecko, I was like, "Ask Claus" and then did a happy dance in my head because the "Big Gift" of Christmas had been settled.

Thanks to the magic of the Internet I've heard from a couple of you that A) a Bearded Dragon makes a better pet and B) one of the dogs will probably eat the gecko.

But, you know, all season, I've been thinking, Jake gets the new phone and Eva gets American Girl Goodness and Jack gets the gecko... Santa should thank me because I am making his job easier.

We thought it was probably a good idea to head to Reptropolis, (despite where this story is headed, I think we can all agree that this wins for best store name ever) to get an overview on Bearded Dragon vs. Fat Tail Gecko and learn about who needs what and how much for it do they need and etc... in other words, I already clean up after 3 dogs and I am not adding reptile crap to my list of chores.

Yesterday, as Hugh and myself and the kids as well as my Mother in Law and my Dad walk through doors proclaiming, "Huge Savings on Monitor Lizards", we were immediately assailed by the smell. OMG. The SMELL. Like pee and hay and fish food and good gag did it take all I had not to toss my cookies.

To the right there was a large open pen with a pod (posse? herd? bunch?) of turtles all being looked after by an iguana the size of my fucking dog.

There are cages all over the place with snakes. Goddamn snakes just willy nilly and I promise you, I saw one trying to make a break for it. He had his beady snake head up against the sliding door and was dragging himself back and forth... he KNEW this would eventually be the way out.

Eva immediately heads for the iguana, Jake and Jack take off for some back part of the store, my husband is oohing and ahhing over God only knows and my father turns to me and says, "You're nuts." And I ask him, "Is it warm in here?"

However, I gamely march up to the counter and ask the girl bleeding from a recent rat bite (you'd fight too if you knew you were about to be lunch) to please explain, Jack get over here, all there is to know about these creatures. Also, is anyone else hot?

She presses a clean tissue to her finger and starts to talk about heat lamps on 24 hours a day and other lights on for 12 hours a day and nocturnal and crickets and I was like, Whoa, what's this about the crickets? Turns out you need to purchase a week's worth at a time which is roughly 70 damn crickets and you have to feed them until it's their turn to go... feed the feed she chuckles and I say, "Wow, it's really hot in here..."

And then my husband and my Mother in Law are looking at me and asking if I feel all right and no, not really... it's HOT and OMG again with the snakes and the Monitor Lizard which looks like it could eat me and it occurs to me that I may never sleep again if anything from this store moves into our house. And oh wow, it's the early stirrings of a panic attack.

I step outside. Eventually the rest follow, except for my father who wisely made his exit earlier.

We get in the car, I ask for a mint or a candy cane or anything and Jack says, "Well, I guess since Mom almost fainted, a new boogie board would be a nice present too..."

That sweet child. He deserves the lizard of his choice after such thougtfullness.

But, he'll be getting a body board (and new fins).

29 comments:

Jen on the Edge said...

I feel sick just thinking about all that reptile horror. I hate snakes so much that I can't even articulate how much I'm shuddering right now.

BTW, this may be one of your finest posts yet!

furiousBall said...

My son has a beardie, they aren't bad at all and don't involve much grossness at all, I mean everything poops, but it's not as bad as say a cat box at all. In fact, I think one of my blog posts either today's or yesterday's has a video clip of me walking through the house and you see the lizard.

the cat and the dog love watching the lizard chase the crickets around the cage at feeding time too!

Kristin said...

Jen - This place would be your personal hell... no doubt. It was mine.

Van - I was surprised at how primal my reaction was to them. I went in all open minded and happy to please the child and practically left in a body bag.

Anonymous said...

I had a panic attack just reading this....

Crouching Mother Hidden Diva said...

I'm so over anything smelly, messy or labor intensive. Simplify, pare down, edit -- this is the new mantra.

Bless that child and his little boogie board lovin' heart!

Anonymous said...

C'mon, you can do it! The gecko never leaves it's aquarium.

"MissMeliss" said...

OMG. I'd get him the boogie board too!!!!

lol

Melissa

Amy Y said...

OMG.
I'm glad you got out of there alive!!

I had a toad once... that I had to feed crickets to. It wasn't so bad because when you don't have kids, going to the pet store a couple times a week isn't too bad.

But then the thing wouldn't stop peeing on me and eventually I decided he'd rather be living outside where I caught him.

Gracencameronsmomy said...

I always thought of myself as a "boy mom", too, even before I had kids, I just related better to boys...and I still can't do the $#%@% ballet bun...but I'm not gettin' a reptile, either(and neither is anyone else in our family) I'm with you...

s@bd said...

for a second there (just a second) I thought this was an 'I'm pregnant! with another boy!' post.

and then i fainted halfway through because GROSS


and, yes, 'Reptropolis' is AWESOME

Kristin said...

S@bd - No, but I do have my baby craving moments.

Jenny said...

Good gawd! And what a sweet boy!

A Beautiful Mess said...

too funny:)

Your son is a prince....any mother would be proud to have such a smart boy!

I can't even imagine the smell of that store.....

Anonymous said...

How would prevent the dogs from eating the bearded dragon?

Daniella said...

My bearded is on my shoulder again as I check blogs :) They really are sweet and the poop thing is actually cleaner than a lot of other pets and there is no smell at all - trust me, that would get me because I am Mrs. Clean but they are not for everyone :) Glad it all worked out with your son.

dgm said...

Alrighty then.

I was excited to hear you were at Reptropolis since it's only about a mile and a half from me (you shoulda called!) We love visiting there. It's like a reptile zoo--for free!. But then I saw how the story progressed. Sorry to hear that. We took my friend's daughter, who loves all things snakey, there, and she was practically hugging everything.

Wendy said...

I don't mind reptiles, in theory. It's just the thought of having to feed them something else that's alive that puts a stop to having one. I think a boogie board sounds like a great choice Jack!

carrie said...

Oh god, see? Wyatt has asked for a stick bug. I would not budge. But the evil grandparents did and if it is anything like what you describe, I'm going to poison it.

So not kidding.

Think I can talk him into a boogie board too? Yeah, not so much for our climate. damn.

Los said...

I worked at a pet store once ... we actually had one of our snakes escape, and find refuge in the shoe store across the mall ... we knew we had found the snake when we heard the loud shriek.

Kristin said...

Los, I am going to need the name of said mall... it's a danger zone!

Issas Crazy World said...

I just can't imagine buying any kind of lizard for my son. I am a non-animal type of person. We have a dog, but she's it and when she one day croaks, there shall be no more animals. I just tell them they are allergic. Now a boogie board, I can get behind that.

Joannah said...

He made the right choice! That whole routine sounds awful! I just don't get the reptile thing.

PIPO said...

Heh...you never fail to crack me up.

I swear I am going to get a girl obsessed with spiders and reptiles. I feel it comin' on.

Perrin said...

Oh dear, God love ya for even considering the reptile route. Very scary. This great post might inspire me to tell the story of how I almost lost my mind and did lose my cookies on Shaiman Island in 2006 while repeatedly walking past the "fresh seafood shop" and seeing the snakes crawl out of the water tanks. It was a panic attack at my very own personal best.

jennie said...

I don't want to have this come out wrong, but I'm really glad that you had this experience. And wrote about it. Because now I know that we can NEVER go to a place like that (let alone have a pet of the lizardy variety). So, thanks?

Tori said...

My friend...
I am glad you passed on the Beardie. You know fine well whose house it would have ended up at after a week and a half!!!!!
God love you and your funny turns!!!!
Someone intervened in time to save you from Reptilia....

Amanda said...

So hopeful my girls will never take an interest in rodents or reptiles for pets...or dates.

Shelley said...

Okay, I think your blog has fallen into a coma. :)

smalltownmom said...

I'm a boy mom too, but I've never had to deal with a request for a reptile. Thank goodness. I'd pass that request on to my husband -- he had an iguana once.