The Newest Member of Our Family

It’s been a real rough school year for Jaden. He’s been getting into all kinds of trouble, which is totally not like him. I started offering incentives for doing well in school. He’s got a behavior chart and can earn up to three points in the morning and three points in the evening, for a total of six.

Our original goal was five 6’s in a row but that proved to be too much pressure. If he didn’t get a six on Wednesday, the rest of the week was shot. He didn’t have anything to work towards for the rest of the week. We decided that he needed to get six 6’s without going to the principal’s office, then we could get a pet. That meant he could get as many 4’s & 5’s as he needed to … but he needed six 6’s.

This pet thing is a big deal … I’m not an animal person. I believe animals belong outside, not in my home. Maybe that makes me cold hearted. Animals just sort of freak me out.

Then began the conversations about what kind of pet to get. My rule was that it couldn’t be something that would get lonely. We aren’t home enough during the day to have something that needed company, i.e. no cat or dog. Like any rational mom, I suggested a fish. Easily replaceable when it croaks, cheap and not hard to care for.Jaden suggested a turtle. Not a horrible idea. A turtle makes a cool “boy” pet.  I figured that would be ok … I could use plastic gloves if I ever needed to touch it.

Then, my brother brought home his guinea pig, Ruby, for Easter. Now she was cute … from a distance. I didn’t mind watching others hold her, or snapping a cute pic of her in an Easter basket. Jaden on the other hand, was totally in love. He held her for 12 hours straight … just chillin’ with Ruby on his lap; loving the little piggy snot out of her. Crap.

Surprise, surprise Jaden now wanted a guinea pig as his reward pet. I started googling and consulting with other mom friends. Adopting a guinea pig seemed like it might be a plausible idea. At least it wasn’t totally ruled out.

Then the week came when he got four 6’s. Dang we were close. Then Monday he came home with another 6. Tuesday morning when I dropped him off, I just knew he was going to have a great day. In fact, I submitted an application to the Humane Society that morning when I got into work. The text came right after he got off the school bus. “I’m getting a guinea pig.” Funny thing I was so dang proud of him, I hardly thought about the fact that I was about to let a rodent live in my home.

When I got home from work, we hopped in the car and headed straight to Petco. I wasn’t ready to buy one just yet, but we were going to LOOK and get the supplies so we’d be ready to adopt. This is what I was shopping with:

The young man helping us was very sweet answering all my dumb questions. Then he mentioned that there was one more guinea pig in the back and she was the littlest guinea pig he’s ever seen. Yes, of course we wanted to see her.

Out he came, with this little fur ball in his hands. It was love at first sight. Jaden held her and I knew there was no leaving her at the store.

Welcome to the family Buttercup Cookie Dough 🙂

This is what life is all about. These moments are what fill our love tanks so we can do the day to day crap. I’ve been stuck in a no vacation-homework every night – pay the bills – do the laundry – wash the dishes kind of rut.

The glitter in my boy’s eyes and how they just love her up is totally worth it all. I’ll deny it until the cows come home, but I think I just might love her too.

Love, Mel

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