I am braiding hair and the kids are watching a nature show. Six year old Jeremiah is inspired.
“Mommy, I really want a fruit bat. Can I have a fruit bat, please?”
“No, Jeremiah. I don’t think we can have a fruit bat.”
A moment later he has another idea.
“Mommy, can I have a baboon? I really want a baboon. They are so cute!”
“No, Jeremiah. You may not have a baboon.”
“What about a mouse? Can I have a mouse, please?”
“Miah, why do you want a mouse? We already have a dog!”
Now, he turns on the tears.
“But I want a pet of my own!”
“I’m sorry, Miah, but I can not have even one more thing in this house I have to take care of and that is exactly what would happen. Meghan brought that crab home from school full of promises to take care of it and if I did not go in occasionally and squirt water in the bowl it would be dead.”
Which reminds me…
“Meghan, get up and go pooper scoop the crab house.”
He sulks for a moment and then picks up a book on animals to browse. Suddenly, he is excited.
“What about this!” he says. “Can I have one of these!”
He opens the page to a large photo of a Caracal, pointed ears upright and fangs bared. Claudine, who is having her hair braided, is horrified.
“Mommy, please say no,” she pleads. “Please say no!”
“No, Jeremiah. You can not have that cat.”
“Why not?” he whines.
“Why not? Why not? Because it has FANGS, Jeremiah. We live in the city. Zoning would not even allow that thing here.”
He flips through the pages again for a moment and at last finds evidence he is sure will sway my opinion about the mouse he proposed a moment before. He holds up a two page spread of baby rats at varying ages of development in their nests.
“Look Mommy! You could have babies!!!! Don’t you want to have a mouse?”
“Miah, do you really think that is going to help convince me? Do you think I would be happy about having mouse babies?”
“Yeah!” he says.
“No, Miah. You may not have a mouse.”
“What about a snake, or a lizard?”
Then, Claudine has had enough.
“Miah, quit asking for wild stuff.”