My kids have been asking me for a pet for ages. They have their hearts set on a dog.
But I don't want to clean up after one. I don't want to bathe one. I don't want to feed one. I just don't want to do it. And there are times when I feel guilty about it.
Times like this when my sweet little girl is holding up a caterpillar and asking, no make that begging, "Can we Mommy? Can we? Can we keep it?"
"Oh all right," I relent, knowing that no good will come of this.
Sarah had spent that afternoon at the neighbors house collecting caterpillars. They collected 11 in all. She was running around carrying them in her hands and squealing in delight with each one they found.
Her squeals of delight were even louder when we got home and she found one of her very own. So, of course I said that yes she could keep it. We put it in a jar and Daddy drilled holes in the lid.
I knew we were in trouble when Sarah took Cora Alora to bed with her. She placed the jar in the center of a pillow and lovingly told her good night. Cora went with us to our t-ball game the next morning. Sarah didn't want to part with her but she allowed Grandma to hold Cora while she played.
Cora went with us to lunch after the game. And it was after lunch that I realized at little too late that frozen bananas don't make good caterpillar food. Apparently, when they thaw out, the excess water they leave behind is just enough to drown a poor caterpillar that has been mercilessly trapped in a plastic jar.
"Do caterpillars sleep on their backs, Mommy?" asked my sweet son Peter on the drive home from lunch.
"Um, yes, honey. I think they do," was the only response I could muster. I was trying to put off the inevitable.
When we got home we had to tell Sarah the truth and we spent the rest of the afternoon looking for a replacement through tears and moans of "I miss Cora." We eventually found four more caterpillars and she was content.
I wish I could say that I will get my kids a dog when they are older but I don't want to give them false hope. Right now, it's all I can do to help them take care of the caterpillar. I've already accidentally killed one and we all know that the other ones won't be far behind.
And look at the amount of poop they make! It's staggering! Can you see it in there? That's a lot of poop for four tiny caterpillars.When I look at all that caterpillar poop I just keep thinking about how much dog poop there would be in my backyard and it just makes me feel even more strongly that a dog is not in our future.
But then I look at how happy this little girl is to be holding a caterpillar and I start to think that maybe a goldfish would be a good compromise. At least we could keep it alive longer than 36 hours. (Which is how long the 4 other caterpillars made it.)