Tuesday, July 1, 2008

where I win "Parent of the Year" for not locking her in the closet for a month

So maybe I've mentioned once or twice how my daughter is completely, obsessivly animal crazy. She has been BEGGING us for oh, 38 years, for a puppy. "But we already have Moby" I say. But she wants a puppy of her OWN, one that she picks out and names and takes care of. Nevermind that when I ask her to feed Moby once a month, she asks if she'll get an allowance for it.

Well, she's figured out that David and I have a soft-spot for rescued animals; she knows that that is the ONLY way we are getting another dog. She also has been told that we are not adding ANY. MORE. ANIMALS to our zoo for at least a year. However, her sitter took her to a pet store, where Anna fell completely in love with some puppies there, mutts of the long-haired-dachsund/terrier variety. So, basically, the DOG OF HER DREAMS.

Last night when I got home from work, she hauled me into the family room to ask me if we couldn't just go LOOK at them. Because THEY NEED HOMES THEY ARE IN A TINY CAGE WITH ONLY ONE TOY AND IF WE DON'T SAVE THEM NOBODY WILL. She begged, she cried, she wailed, she let loose the crocodile tears as if her heart was breaking.

Now, if I've learned anything during the 7.5 years of parenting this child, it is this: DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, ALLOW YOURSELF TO BE TALKED INTO GOING TO A PET STORE WITH HER.

Furthermore, I reminded her of our agreement that if we got the bunny, we wouldn't even TALK about getting another pet for a year. She PROMISED me that she would be completely satisfied with bunny, that she wouldn't ask for a puppy because what she really wanted was something small and soft and cuddly and her own. I was feeling awfully smug: problem solved, no puppy talk.

Yeah. That lasted, what? A month?

I calmly reminded her of her current animal line-up:

1 dog
3 cats
1 bunny
19 assorted tropical fish
1 Beta fish
11 tadpoles
and 6 snails

That, I said, is more than enough animals for one girl. She asked why I had to be SO MEAN, when her friends just got a puppy last weekend. "They," I said, "don't have as many pets as you do."

"Well", she wailed, "Then YOU shouldn't have said yes to all of them!!"


Dee said...

Let's face it, your child is smarter than you !
She IS going to be a lawyer, so at least she'll be able to support you in your old age. You can remember that during these arguments and smile !
I'm proud of you for saying NO. Good girl !

Dee said...

Kate, another new picture. Cute!

Blank Girl said...

Hehe... she does kind of have a point there. Although, I'm sure that if you had said, "You're right! We have too many pets, let's take them back to the pet store" that she might back down. It's hard, though. Puppies are so cute. :)

Felicia said...

Perhaps she should grow up to be a veterinarian and make gobs of money to support her mom in her old age :)

Anonymous said...

LOL..she's got you figured out doesn't she? Smart kid!

kate said...

Felicia, that's exactly what she wants to be when she grows up! That, or a zoo-keeper.

Heather, I did exactly that! And you know what she said? "You wouldn't do that because you love them all as much as I do!"

I think she's going to be on the debate team in HS; this kid can argue ANY point and has been like this from the time she learned to speak.

sigh. I am SO afraid of the teenage years.

Heather said...

Oh, I know! You could strike a deal with the pet store people to "pretend" to take some of the animals back but once the lesson is learned you'll be back for them. Or you could have a friend pick them up after you leave the store...

Linda, aka "Lala" said...

No, no, no! No tricks. Just stand firm on the agreement SHE made with you. Otherwise, she will learn that agreements mean nothing. I had one that argued and manipulated just like that. You have to stand firm and say, "a deal is a deal".

Also, I would tell the babysitter that there will be NO MORE trips to the pet store and that if she pulls that stunt again, SHE gets to keep the puppy AND Anna.