Sunday, March 13, 2011

A bike, a cell phone, and vermin: what every girl wants

I apologize for being around just long enough to post for my favorite writing memes, but since Monday was my daughter’s 12th birthday, I was running around on my "free time" trying to decide what to get her. 12 is hard-she isn’t a little girl any more and yet she still is (so many opposites to deal with at this age!)

My husband and I were really at a loss about what we should get, and my daughter didn’t make it any easier-we kept pumping her for information, but all we got was "I dunno,"-enough said. (I started developing a little twitch after hearing this phrase repeated, so for my sanity’s sake…)

My husband and I happened on gift idea number one by accident-it had been an abnormally warm day back in February, and we all decided to go for a bike ride. We soon discovered that my daughter's current bike was much too small for her current height (gift #1 a bike, check!)

We also tossed around the idea of getting her a laptop, but we already have two computers, and she got an iPod for Christmas, so this seemed a little like overkill to me. Then the talk of a cell phone came up-I thought my daughter was too young for a cell phone but my husband did not. But since she’ll be in 7th grade next year and her involvement in gymnastics will continue, I thought I would look to see if there were any good deals. I was able to get her a pretty nice texting phone (don’t worry-our family plan has unlimited texts) without having to pay for a data plan-she doesn’t need the Internet because she has the iPod. (Gift #2 a cell phone, check!)

I picked up a few smaller gifts to round things off and really thought we were done-I was wrong! Now I might not have been entirely truthful when I said my daughter wasn’t telling us what she wanted for her birthday. The fact is, the one and only thing she asked for she was absolutely, without a shadow of a doubt, not going to get, over my dead body.

You see, after visit to my brother-in-laws in December all my daughter could talk about was their pet rat, and wouldn’t it be nice if…? Everyone likes this thing except for me-I mean the big ears are one thing, but that long, hairless tail just gives me the creeps! I listened to all the talk about how smart it is (almost as smart as a dog-not seeing it) and how sweet it is (it curls up and sleeps along my nephews neck-um, yuck!), and it actually comes when it’s called (my brother-in-law just yells, "Here kitty, kitty," and it comes running!) but it’s a RAT!

I had pet guinea pigs when I was younger and a parakeet when I fist got married, and the nastiness of cleaning out their cages every week kept me from pursuing any other tiny creature in a cage. I thought my husband was behind me on this, until I heard he and my daughter were stopping by pet shops on the way home from her practices "just to look" (turncoat!)

Well, I persevered up until my daughter’s last meet-the day before her birthday. She was doing fantastic on floor and beam but faltered on the vault-for some reason she earned only a 7.0 on what my daughter’s coaches thought was a clean routine. She was pretty devastated-you are pretty much out of medal contention in the all-around with a score like that, and we all knew it.

She had only one routine left-the bars-and after some of the high scores she received on two previous meets, we all felt pretty confident. Well, my daughter didn’t and she faltered, slipping off the low bar on the way to the high bar-a tremendous deduction and a final score of 7.6. But everyone has a bad meet every now and then so you just chalk it up to that and move on.

Hairy is the top and Mouch below
My daughter did manage to get on the podium twice, and I was proud of her, but I soon found out how upset she was when we went to lunch afterward. She actually broke into tears when we pointed out how she medaled in two events, and I did everything I could to console her, including going to the pet shop nearby (gift #3, oh brother!)

I didn’t say anything to her, but in my mind I decided that if she wanted some vermin (no rat, but maybe a couple gerbils so that my son could have one too) I would bend. So here I sit, the mother of two humans and now mother to Hairy and (Dominique)Moceanu (can you guess which one is my daughters?), two members of the rodent persuasion. They (the rodents that is) have a three-story condo, complete with a wheel, bedding area, and a couple toys to keep them occupied, and they are currently residing in my son’s bedroom. I wrinkle up my nose every time I walk in there, but I am trying, even after they (aka the rodents) both decided to see if I was edible or not!

I'm still alive even after the over my dead body comment, and I am still wondering how a little girl’s tears can have such power. I mean what about my convictions? Oh well, I can’t wait to clean out the cage (wimper...)


  1. You're just the sweetest mommy. Even in my nicest moments, I wouldn't have caved. You're far, far nicer than me! I feel really bad for her...

  2. Oh, she's a lucky girl to have a wonderful mama like you. I couldn't have handled the guinea pig. I wish things went better for your daughter at the competition. Hoping to send you a note soon Susan :)

  3. You're a great mom, Susan.xo.Have a wonderful day!

  4. Your a good mama Susan! My oldest used to beg for a rat and that was a Big No. However I have given way to several hamsters and a guinea pig over the years. They tend to grow on you. I think the bottom one is hers. Dare I say's cute ; )

  5. You are such a giving mother! I'm not sure I could handle the pet thing. At least not now since I have a toddler to clean up after. My life is already about vacuuming up cereal o's and crackers every day. Lol! I don't think I could add pet care to that.

    Sad eyes are hard to deny. They can give us mommy guilt. The gerbils are cute. So much better than a rat. :)

    Happy Belated Birthday to your daughter!!!

  6. You ladies are so sweet-thank you!

  7. We're in the same universe. For my daughter's 16th birthday last year (she just turned 17 this year) she didn't want a party or a sleepover or anything big. Oh, no, not my girl. She wanted a rat. She now has two, Daisy and Lily. *sigh* I don't hold them, but their tails don't creep me out so much anymore!


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