Friday, February 11, 2011

Keepin' It Real


I debated calling this post “I’m going to be a great mom” but I don’t know what the appropriate font is to express sarcasm.

I firmly believe that kids just need to know the truth at all times. The stork/when-two-people-love-each-other-very-much nonsense baffles me, animals do not go to a magical farm, I struggle with the jolly fat man, and don’t even get me started on this Tooth Fairy business.

Now I will be the first to admit that I do not, in fact, have children and shouldn't formulate any opinions or protocol for these situations. It may be a measure of protection parents use to shield their children from the horrors of a world without money for the disposal of discarded body parts. I imagine it’s much like taking your old car into the Tear-a-Part auto place and receiving a check for $20.

I still don’t get it.

So when kids ask me questions, I tell them the truth…

Which brings me to Norman. He was my beloved turtle of 7 years before I sent him to live in my uncle’s pond (not an analogy for him dying). He is still alive and thriving. My uncle sends me pictures and updates on Norman and his posterity. Norman, being a water turtle, ate goldfish. He was the cheapest pet a person could own; for $1.00, I bought him 10 goldfish that lasted 2 weeks. $2.00 a month was all it took to care for the little guy.

On one such occasion I stood in the checkout line, baggy full of goldfish in hand, as a small child admired my booty (as in pirate, not the beautiful specimen I carry on my backside)

“That’s a lot of fish you have there!” He exclaimed in delight. I’m sure he was imagining how amazing my house must be to need so many aquatic creatures to fill it. “What are you going to do with all of those fish?”

I took pause, looked at the boy’s father as if seeking permission, (although I would have said the same thing no matter what) leaned over to look the boy directly in the eye and said, “I’m going to feed them to my turtle” (I may or may not have added an unnecessarily menacing tone)

The boy looked accosted and mortified, “no, you need to get them their own tank so they can swim around!” He looked on the verge of tears.

I was unaffected by his emotion, “But then my turtle wont have anything to eat.” I looked up at his father to make sure I hadn’t crossed a line as I remembered this wasn’t actually my own child. Father smiled in approval at my “Circle of Life” lesson.

Whew.

After a bit more discussion of fishes and their role in my turtle’s life the boy seemed satisfied and appeased.

Before leaving he waved at my bag of fish, saluting them at their noble duty, and wished my turtle luck.

My parenting skills are definitely in question, but I make an excellent ‘Life Lessons’ teacher.

2 comments:

AnimeFeaver said...

Hahahahaha... Just too funny. (Glad to hear Norman is well, I didn't know he's living in our uncle's pond, which uncle?)

Celestie said...

Shut up, did this seriously happen?? I can just picture you leaning over and with a menacing tone squashing that little boy's sense of safety and peace in the world. Precious. :)