5 months ago my Facebook feed was flooded with all the momma’s commenting about my moment of crazy. It was the day I went to Petsmart for dog food and a turtle and came home with 2 guinea pigs. Because apparently they don’t sell those super cute baby turtles because those super cute baby turtles apparently turn into giant grown up turtles who need giant tanks. No thank you. But two rodents? Ok then.
It’s a day I’ll never forget.
And by the way, I’m only calling them rodents because they no longer live in my house.
To set the stage…….
Rob and I had just gotten back from our trip to Spain when all of this went down. But, right before we left, the night before actually, the kids found a large pond turtle on our sidewalk. We live fairly close to a large pond and had been experiencing torrential downpours, so there were turtles scattered everywhere.
Anyway, Josh, our sensitive animal lover, put him in a box and gave him water and some grass(bless him, we knew the turtles fate probably wasn’t good but poor Joshy was determined to keep him). We told him we’d keep him over night and take him back to the pond the next morning. Bad call. Apparently, turtles don’t survive in boxes with water and grass. Ooops.
So, he was distraught. In an effort to get him to school without tears(mind you,we were also trying to get to the airport to catch a flight to be gone for 8 days), I promised him when we got back we’d go to PetSmart and get a little turtle for him. If I only knew then what I know now.
The second we got in the door he reminded me of the whole turtle promise. Molly, our golden, needed food anyway so that next day we headed to the store. We searched the whole dang place, no turtles. So, I asked one of the sales associates and apparently, those little(i.e. baby…not sure what I thought they were, but it never occurred to me that they didn’t stay little. I don’t always think things through. Apparently) turtles grow and need large tanks, and they don’t even sell them anymore. Well great. I’m off the hook. Thank you lady for saving my life.
But oh wait, he spotted the rodents. So, I looked into Josh’s giant melt me eyes and said yes. To two rats with no tail. I called Rob, he told me I was insane and that I was completely on my own in this and good luck. Thanks a lot.
I immediately put it on Facebook only to realize…oh crap, what have I done.
The responses from other mom’s made me laugh so hard I cried. Then I may have cried for real. What was I thinking?! They like pee and poop in a crate, that I then have to clean out because I don’t want my kids making a mess of pee and poop. Shoot. SHOOT!!!!
Fast forward 5 months.
Here we are, with two rodents in our playroom that very rarely get any attention. I clean out the nasty crate once a week and it takes FOREVER. Listen, we have a dog. She poops and pees OUTSIDE. I’m not one to enjoy animals that do their business inside my house. Please don’t hate. I’m not cold-hearted. In fact, I had their very best interest in mind. So, after several threats to the kids that if they didn’t start taking better care of them we’d give them away, I snapped.
I tend to be a bit impulsive. So, while cleaning the crate on Monday I decided to snap a few pics and put in on Facebook(where I fully braced myself for those that would hate my very existence for giving away these precious souls) and put it on our local garage sale site. Within 10 minutes I had a wait list of about 5 people begging to take them off my hands. Hello, why didn’t I do this months ago. Freedom.
So, I contacted a lady, set up a time for her to come, and braced myself for telling the boys after school. My friends kept telling me they’d be fine. After all, most of them had already been through this with their own rodents. I knew my kids would not handle this news well, as we are a spicy breed. Here’s how it went down.
I uttered the words, and the crap hit the fan, which came of no surprise to me. However, they were way more upset than I ever could have anticipated.
A few of these phrases were thrown in my general direction, along with several pairs of shoes…
“you are so mean! How could you do this to us!…TO THEM!!!!”
“It’s like giving away a child!!” (really? because keep throwing your shoes at me and you might be next)
“This is THE WORST decision you’ve ever made! Grown ups are supposed to make good decisions!”
“I can’t believe this! You don’t even know this family! You are giving them away to STRANGERS!!!”
“Change your mind! Pleaassssseeeeeeeee mom change your mind!!”
“This is the WORST day of my entire life!!”
“How could you give them away to someone on Facebook?!?! They could be crazy!!!!”
“How can you live with yourself!!??” (very well in fact, I am no longer smelling shavings and pee and poop in my house. I’ll sleep fine)
“I hate this day!!!!!”
“We DO take care of them we just don’t have time to hold them!! (case in point) But we still love them, and they love us!!!!!!!!!!”
“What if they die of sadness!!!!!!!”
So, I think perhaps you get the idea. Tears were shed, and the guinea pigs got more attention in those few hours after school than they had the entire 5 months they lived in our playroom. It just wasn’t fair. To them or to me, the sole crate cleaner outer.
Now, before you say we should have given the boys more responsibility with them let me say this. Jake was the one who really made sure they always had food and water, which was great. He really was good at it. It was more the fact that they didn’t hold or play with them enough. And I’m sorry, but between the hours of 3:30-8 we cram homework and baseball and reading time and play time and dinner into our day, so blocking out 30 minutes of guinea pig time just wasn’t going to happen.
I found the sweetest family with a 4-year-old little girl who came to pick them up. She may kill them with kindness, literally. They are both females but had male names in our house, and Chloe named them both with appropriate girl names. See? It’s already better for them. Now they can stop pretending to be boys.
So, it was the right call. Better for everyone involved and we will love on and care for our ONE dog who poops outside and not all over my playroom floor. Caged pets just aren’t our jam, but sometimes you don’t know these things until you try, and I wanted them to have the chance to try.
So mammas, if you are feeling like a failure at life this week just think of me, my kids hated my very existence for about 24 hours and now? Now they are officially over it. No more throwing shoes(to be clear, they didn’t technically throw their shoes like at my face, more across the kitchen but still, the story is way better with them throwing shoes at me yes?) and no more dramatic outbursts, until I ruin their lives again tomorrow.