Here continues the saga that proves how little power I have around my own house. This is not a story for the faint of heart. It is a story for the fathers out there that still have hope…that still have the power to say no. Good luck to all of you…it’s too late for me.
We decided to name the turtle Missile (that’s probably another post by itself), and once we got her home, we decided to figure out exactly what we were supposed to feed her. The fruits and veggie part was easy, but when it came to the proteins, we were at a bit of a loss. It turns out that you can’t just walk into your average pet store and get mealworms, crickets, or roaches. This led us to start frequenting a local reptile store by the name of LLLReptile which is where the train really went off the rails.
This store is absolutely fantastic, and the first time we went, there were massive tortoises just walking around the store. It was one of the coolest things that I’ve seen. At one point, someone was rolling around a cart with food for all the different animals. My kids asked if they could help and then they spent the next 30 minutes just going from cage to cage and giving food to whichever lizard, snake, or turtle is was designed for. It’s a terrific store and my kids became known there.
This led to an incident where we went in to buy some sort of live animal that was unfortunate enough to be edible for our live animal. Princess wandered off for a few minutes and came back with a gorgeous ball python wrapped around her arm.
This left me with very conflicted emotions. One the one hand, I was extremely proud in the “Hell yeah! I didn’t raise me a girly-girl!” type of way. On the other hand…THERE WAS A MOTHERF$%^ING SNAKE WRAPPED AROUND MY DAUGHTER’S ARM! This got even worse when she said the phrase that every father dreads: “I want one.”
Unlike the turtle, I decided a snake wasn’t exactly the best impulse buy. Therefore, we convinced her to put it back. She was going to have to go home, do all sorts of research to make sure it was safe (and that she actually wanted one). She was also going to have to save up the money to buy the snake along with everything required to take care of it. Much to my dismay, she did exactly that. She proved to us that she was responsible enough for it, that it wasn’t a danger, and she bought everything that was required ahead of time.
This may sound like the culmination of the story where I cave to my daughter’s wishes and give her exactly what she wants, but we haven’t even gotten to the best (worst?) part yet…
Whenever possible, we like to rescue our animals. As a result, we reached out to the San Diego Herpetological Society, a top notch organization that does a lot of good work to put unwanted reptiles with owners. The lady that I talked to said that they had plenty of ball pythons available and that I should stop by. When we got there, she apparently thought that we were there to get my wife a pet, so she handed CINCHouse a snake which immediately curled up in her arms and basically just started chilling. That led to this amazing conversation:
CINCHouse: “This one’s mine.“
Me: Blank stare…
Me: “What do you mean, that one’s yours?“
CH: “This one’s mine.“
Me: “We didn’t come here to get you a f$%^ing snake. We’re here for your daughter.“
CH: “I don’t care. This one’s mine.“
Me (possibly having a stroke): “What…no…but…I don’t…we don’t have a tank or all the equipment for you to get a snake.“
CH: “We can get all of that here.“
Me (definitely having a stroke): “But…why…you can’t…we don’t…NO! You’re going to break your daughter’s heart. Now give her the snake.“
At that point, I turned to look at Princess and my heart dropped. She was sitting on the floor with a different snake curled up in her lap. As she started to look up, I knew what she was going say before she even opened her mouth…
“This one’s mine.“