Alex

“When I Get a Turtle”

He wants a pet of his own. 

We have a cat, two lizards, and some fish. 

He wants a pet of his own.

He and his sister now are responsible for providing the cat with food (Julia’s job) and water (Alex’s job) every day without griping about it.  They’re doing well.  Probably because they don’t have to deal with the litterbox.

He wants a pet of his own.

Bill just gave Alex permission to squirt water into the lizard tank when it looks like they need it.  He can’t feed them their crickets yet – he’s too short, really.

He wants a pet of his own.

Alex tried to feed the fish one time and dumped most of the contents of the little can of fish food into the tank.  Boy, was Bill mad.  He had to do multiple water changes to get all that cleaned out.  I explained to Alex that too much food would kill the fish.  But I knew he meant well.

He wants a pet of his own.

Yesterday when I picked him up from kindergarten, he told me he would feed it and if it was sick, he’d bring it in bed and take care of it. 

He wants a turtle.

I told him if he had a pet of his own, it meant HE alone would be responsible for taking care of it, all the time, no matter what.  He was fine with that.  I said I would need to discuss it with Daddy.

He thought maybe he might want a turtle AND a guinnea pig.

I told him one at a time – IF we decide he’s ready for a pet.

When Bill got home yesterday, Alex bee-lined straight for him.

He wants a pet of his own.

I mouthed "All.  Day.  Long." at Bill as he escorted Alex into the living room to talk.

Alex wanted a turtle.

Bill told him a turtle was very expensive (all the stuff we’d need to set up the tank for it) and that right now Alex isn’t really ready to take care of a turtle, and it’s expensive.  (Yes, twice.  Like a five-year-old can really, truly grasp that.)

And Alex shot one unexpectedly out of the park – "Isn’t the money in my piggy bank so I can buy whatever I want with it?"

Um.  Yeah, but….

So we said he can save for a turtle.

In the meantime, he can have a betta. 

"They’re also called Fighting Fish," he informed me while I was putting salad together for dinner.

Yes, I know.

So that’s the plan for now.  And we’ll see how it goes.  He understands that he has to prove he is responsible before he gets anything bigger or more interactive than a fish. 

But it will be HIS fish, at least.

Because he wants a pet of his own.

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