kids · parenting

Alligators, Lizards, & Newts

From the time my first-born was 2 and could pronounce the word dinosaur clearly he has been obsessed. Four years of dinosaurs. I’ve become an expert on the subject, although he reminded me the other day that pteradon’s actually ate meat, they’re carnivores. Dinosaurs have been a constant in our house. Everyone who knows my son knows he LOVES dinosaurs. Over the past couple of years his love for his dinosaurs has broadened. He loves alligators, lizards, frogs, newts, snakes…any reptile or amphibian really. He truly wants me to get him an alligator for his birthday. He told me he’ll dig a pond in the backyard for when it gets big. That baby alligator will be so happy! No. Sorry sweetie, that’s not going to happen. He’s asked for snakes, lizards, and birds. I’ve replied “no” to all these creatures and I’m starting to feel bad about it.

It’s not that I don’t like them, well truthfully I despise birds. I got a newt for my 11th birthday and I had him till I was a senior in high school. Cute little thing. I also had a water dragon in high school, and I played step-mom to my friend’s iguana, she lacked mothering instincts back then. I don’t mind lizards. The thing is, they smell. The tank smells. We have two large dogs, I don’t need to be battling any more odors in the house. Another factor, I don’t want crickets in my house, although they already seem to make their way in once in a while. I can predict my littlest guy opening the tank and the little terror escaping. Ever see those scenes in the movies where you wake up and there is a lizard sitting on your face, or better yet a tarantula? Are these excuses good enough to deny my son his one request? I thought they were, but now I’m thinking that maybe I should just bite the bullet and make his 6th birthday spectacular. I need to find a vegetarian lizard.

One thought on “Alligators, Lizards, & Newts

  1. I hope you don’t allow yourself to feel guilty for long. Saying no to something that you can see would add to YOUR stress is usually right (when momma’s happy, everyone’s happy). It is worth the fight in the long run. If you have to cave, cave on a stuffed animal newt. My daughter always loved amphibians and reptiles. She still does. But I didn’t want the smell or the responsibility when she’d ask for one.
    We used to get a lot of these small plastic animal replicas. They used to be really well-rendered, but I think they’ve gotten cheaper and crappier. Anyway, they satisfied Violet for a long time. Once in a while, the girls still pull out the giant bin of animals. It’s so fun. Good luck! I appreciate moms who stick to their guns when it’s important and cave when it’s not. It’s just hard to know the difference sometimes.

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