Letting Kids Make Choices
I give my kids a voice, all three of the children know that they can…
I am thankful that my children love animals so much but also understand the responsibility that comes when having a pet. You see, I took in pets in the past that I simply could not keep. Whether it was due to moving to a new place where pets were under no circumstances allowed or taking in a pure bred black lab puppy only to find out a puppy and two boys in diapers was not going to work out, I have learned that I will never again take in a pet without having the long term, life long commitment to that animal. Through sharing my experiences, I have taught my children the commitment a pet takes on, so that they understand why I say no to having anymore pets at this time in our lives.
My children still enjoy visiting the pet store, it’s usually my youngest who would rather visit the pet store just to walk around for a couple of hours versus my older two, but since there was no school last week and we had to find something to do, the pet store made sense. First we visited the reptile center to look at the snakes, bearded dragons and spiders. Next up was the bird room where this large white talking breed of bird was trying like hell to get on my shoulder. I wanted to take that bird home, but of course I can not have anymore pets at this time and really am not interested in a bird, talking or not.
Next up was my little ones favorite area, the turtle and fish part of the pet store. This kid really wants a pet turtle, ever since his betta fish, Porky, died, he has had his mind set that someday he will have a pet turtle to love and care for. We walked around the fish area and then ended back at the turtle section again, where they were about to be fed. The pet store dude was like “you may want to step back if you are squeamish” and I was all confused, but then saw him toss a fish into the turtle tank.
The boys were in awe, they said “boy that is AWESOME” while they watched this red eared slider turtle devour a fish. He ripped it to shreds but first swam around with it hanging out of it’s mouth as to try to keep it away from the other turtles. My sons sat there for about forty minutes watching this whole process of turtles biting the turtle with the fish, attempting to kidnap that fish food from the original turtle and watched and watched until finally the big turtle ate the whole fish.
The boys said “look there is it’s guts” and “look there is it’s blood”, all admiring of the fact that this poor fish was half eaten up by the big turtle. They loved every moment of it and that is when I promptly looked up at the pet store dude and said “you were worried about them being squeamish? I think I may be a bit squeamish, never-mind them!”