Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Mom's Pet Removal System= Biggest Parental Fail...Yet

     About 11/2 years ago I had an all day meeting so the hubs (without my knowledge) decided to take the 3 littles to the Florida Reptile Show. Forget the fact that they are girls mind you. They absolutely love this stuff. I think he was just as excited as they were. When I got home much to my chagrin I discovered the gang had come home with not one, but two bright green baby iguanas and all the paraphernalia that goes with.  Uhm....yay??! (Commence grilling of the husband who I declared to be totally nuts this time!) The girls, particularly Nature Girl was beside herself with glee. These two reptilians became her study. She even walked them on a leash and they sat on her shoulder as if they had always belonged there. I learned to be tolerant.....barely.
     Imagine having two giant lizards in your house, living in a giant aquarium with a metal 'cage' across the top. They have to be kept at a certain temperature with lights because they are originally from the rain forest. Temperature = HOT. What you may not know is that these babies are fast and hop, leap and hang upside down from the cage. In other words, they make noise....all.day.long. When the noise became too much they took a little trip to the garage. One day Nature Girl was taking one out to walk her, and the thing hopped off her shoulder and ran on down the street. Totally a funny sight to see this 2ft. long green lizard thingy running at top speed down the road, never to be seen again. So glad the neighbors weren't out! Score: Parents +1, Iguanas -1. I consoled Nature Girl who was beside herself at the loss of her pet, but I on the other hand was giddy with glee that we were one down, one to go. I do not care for reptiles, yall. Can you tell?
     Now, yall know, I may not like what Nature Girl (or the Doc) always brings home but I would never, ever, never, ever kill something on purpose unless it had 8 legs or a last name of Roach. Let's preface this before I get to this next part. If the girl loves animals and we love the girl, we have to learn to love put up with her passions too. Understand this before you read on.....please.
     In Florida where we live it might freeze a couple of times a year, at the most 3 times. Place in your minds one of these 3 days this past December.....at around sunset. The Doc goes out of town on business, usually to speak at conferences a few times a year. Now the temperature is dropping, and the hubs is gone for the weekend. I walk outside and see our girls......bathing the now 3ft. long, very grown up iguana.......with kitchen dish soap and a washrag. They thought she would enjoy being clean and shiny.....after all, she was from the Rain forest huh? The thing was just sitting there, taking her bubble bath probably either stunned or in shock. Either way, I reprimanded the girls (Mama's good dish soap? Really girls?) and took the opportunity to clean out the cage. Since school had started because of the hopping and skipping and cage clawing, we had left Bonnie outside to happily eat her lettuce and brusselsprouts. For an iguana, she had it pretty good.
     Bonnie was now dry, had new dry bedding, new food, new water and was happy. I was happy we had avoided freshly bathed iguana disaster. We all went to bed. The next morning I was getting ready in my room when I heard horrific screaming coming from Nature Girl. The kind of screaming that sets your hair up on end. Shortly thereafter Nature Girl comes running down the hall carrying in one hand over her head.......a completely frozen stiff (limbs outstretched, claws extended, neck arched, for the visual y'all), and very, very dead iguana. I had forgotten to bring Bonnie in. Freezing temps. Animal that lives in the rainforest.  A moment of silence now, as I took it all in.

    Nature Girl was hysterical. I mean complete miserable hysteria as she still grasped and shook AT ME poor Bonnie who was now way beyond the realms of CPR. This girl LOVES her animals. They are her life. What was even worse was I realized I had done this. I had left poor Bonnie in her new clean state out on the picnic table in a cross wind....ON THE COLDEST NIGHT OF THE YEAR. Oh, I felt horrible. Oh, there was no Dad at home to help. Oh, it was bad. The child carried around that dead iguana for what seemed like a year but I finally got her to relinquish it after she made sure I knew that all this was my doing. Ouch.
     So what do you do with a yard long dead iguana? Not my forte at all. I don't do dead things. That's for the Doc to deal with only he wasn't here to do it. We put Bonnie in a box (hide the evidence) and I secretly wondered if since she was cold-blooded was she just 'asleep'? I left her box in a hidden location until the Doc came home the next day hoping he would open it and find her well and ready for a carrot. Nah.....dead as a doornail. My fault.
     That night as we went to bed I had the thought that as I tucked my precious girls into their winter pj's and we all snuggled down into our blanketed beds with the heat on......this poor animal dependent on us for everything had slowly died in the night from my neglect. Hard pill to swallow even though I hate reptiles. Mom of the year. Nature Girl had accidentally vacuumed up her hamster and her mom killed her iguana all in the same few weeks. Hamster lives, iguana doesn't. Guess we're batting .50 heh? It's time for us to be done with this pet business I say!

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