We got a new pet. Well, two new pets. I was hassled and bothered and I finally broke down. What is it with Harry and reptiles? Are all boys like this? It started off with him wanting a snake. Believe it or not his begging lasted almost a year when my saying, “I will never have a snake inside my house” for the 600,000th time finally sunk in. He was wearing me down a little with his argument that he was born the year of the snake and therefore had to have one. “People born during the year of the snake are deep. They say little and possess great wisdom. They never have to worry about money. They are determined in whatever they do and hate to fail. They are intense and passionate”. Hmmmm, but then I thought that snakes have to eat live animals and I snapped out of it.
We did have turtles: Terts, Studs and Forehead (the last named after Mo’s old fish) and they survived for 3 years despite my miserable complaining about cleaning their stinky tank every other week (ok every month). Then we let them go in Echo Park lake in a sad but hopeful ceremony. Yes I cleaned the tank, just like I walk the dogs (mostly) and feed them and wash them and call for the cat from the porch in my pajamas at 11pm every night.
Then Harry wanted a tarantula (not a reptile but in the same section of the pet store) then a chameleon, then a dragon lizard, then a gekko (I actually made him sign an agreement for that one “I will not say the word gekko in this house, ask Mom for one, or use the word in an abstract way for 4 entire months in a row and Deirdre will agree to buy one for my birthday”. That didn’t happen.
Then we took a visit to the pet store down the street in our neighborhood. They sell mostly fish, but every once in a while they have a cage filled with bunnies (No!) and greasy green birds that sit on a branch (uh-uh). But about a month ago we found some salamanders. And they weren’t bad! They live on land and water! They didn’t smell! They have a great name that’s fun to say! So I said if you earn the money, and pay for them entirely on your own, and sign a contract to feed them and clean the tank no exceptions, then we will get them.
He cleaned Josh’s entire yard, washed Victoria’s car, cleaned out Leslie’s refrigerator and helped Dallas load up his car with music equipment ($5 tip!) and he even walked the dogs and made his bed every day for a week.
And here they are: Paul and Steve. Steve looks pissed in that photo because it was before we found out he was a she. Now she's called Stevie.