Tomorrow, at approximately 4 pm, Samuel James Drury will receive his first pet. A fire-bellied newt (you might call it a glorified fish). This has been a long time coming. Sam has been asking for a pet for 2.5 years (he just turned 4). His first choice would be a cat which allergies make impossible (for which I can't say I'm sorry). Originally, he had proposed that we could get a cat if we got rid of Daddy. When he realized that wasn't going to happen, he then proposed that he keep the cat in his room and banish John from the upstairs. When he realized that meant Daddy could no longer kiss him good night he finally settled on a hairless cat. Yeah. That's not going to happen.
(I just called Sam over so he could see a picture of a real hair-less cat. His response, "Wow. It looks kind of like an opossum to me.")
So tomorrow afternoon we will surprise Sam with a trip to the pet store where we will pick out a newt.
I already staked out the place and paid my $3.99 for my reptile of choice. Originally the store owner tried to push me in the direction of a 3-inch-long newt who he claimed could easily live up to 15 or 20 years. I'm afraid I was rude when I interrupted him with a gaspy, "NO! I don't want it to live that long." I'm not looking for a long term commitment in a pet. I would be fine if it died after a few months. Cruel, I know. I just want it to make it past two weeks.
When I was in grade school I had a newt that lasted for a week or two. I left the top of the aquarium off and he climbed the walls and disappeared. My mom found him months later shriveled up under the fridge. His name was Purpey and I loved him.
I'm bracing myself for Sam's response. He could very well give a nonchalant, "Thanks," and proceed to play with Legos. He could melt down at the realization that we are absolutely in no way going to get a cat...not even a hairless one. I have no idea how he'll respond. Although the fact that this kid can get excited over a new pair of socks bodes well.
I will keep you posted on all of the reptilian cheer around here. And I will make sure Sam's aquarium has a lid.