Once upon a time (read: this weekend), my family visited Petsmart.
But lo, this was more than an errand. Given the level of animal love in my children, any trip to Petsmart is a full-fledged event, complete with shrieks of joy at the presence of actual hamsters and tears of devastation when, once again, the children are informed we are not adopting a cat.
(I've had a cat before. I don't need that much condescention from a creature that sheds more than me.)
Technically, the purpose of our visit was to buy fresh dog treats. But the real agenda was to see the wild critters.
Kieran ran into the store, head down, arms pumping and then stopped and shouted, "Let's DO dis ting!"
Then he ran to the birds, shrieking, "WOOK MAMA! BIRDS!" Because who would expect to find the same parakeets at the pet store every time you go?!?
The kids wandered from section to section. A kind employee, who was tending to the reptiles, let us hold some geckos and a small bearded dragon. Natalie, Connor and Teyla eventually took up residence in the cat jail, where rows of adoptable cats (oxymoron) sat peering through the bars with suspicion. Kieran entered the room and was so overcome with joy ("CATS! MAMA! KITTIES MAMA! MEOW! MEOW!") that the cats went into full arrogance mode, glaring at the loud intruder. One even jumped up on its litter box and glowered.
Kieran and I left to visit the fishes.
He was equally enamored by the wall of blue. He peered and laughed and pointed to each little tank.
And then I had a flashback:
Kieran, last spring. Same wall of blue. I turn, to ask an employee a question. When I turn back, Kieran has both arms fully submerged in a low-lying tank. "FISHES MAMA!" he yells with excitement.
Me, horrified, running in a slow motion. "NOOOO BUDDY! You can't catch the fish!"
Minuscule goldfish in a frenzy, swimming away from gigantic chubby hands.
I scoop him away from the tank. Dry his hands on my shirt. "Kieran! No! The fish need to stay here."
"Dis one?" he asks innocently, holding out a little fist that has A TINY GOLD TAIL STICKING OUT OF IT!
OH MY FREAKIN' WORD, CHILD!
Me, running in slow motion, back to the tank. Opening chubby fist, shaking tiny goldfish back into the water.
Me, running out of store with wet-handed, sad little boy, vowing never to return.
Gather the family quickly. End Petsmart trip.
And the cats rejoiced.
Welcome to The Parent 'Hood, a weekly blog round-up of all things parenting. I host this carnival every Monday, along with some of my favorite blogging buddies (FriedOkra, Vita Familiae, To Think is To Create, Joy in this Journey, Lovefeast Table and O My Family). Post your link using the tool below, and your post will show up instantly on all the host blogs. (How cool is that?)
A few bits and pieces:
1. Today’s link-up will run from this morning through next Sunday night. A new link-up will start next Monday morning.
2. Link the unique URL of your parenting post, not the homepage of your blog. Otherwise, your parenting post will get buried under new content on your homepage and be hard to find when readers click through later in the week.
3. We ask that you please include a link somewhere in your post back to The Parent 'Hood, via this post or The Parent 'Hood welcome post on any of the other hosting blogs.
4. If you're on Twitter, hashtag Parent 'Hood posts with #TheParentHood.
5. Share your own posts and read and comment on other blogs. Any good 'hood is all about community, right? Read, comment and enjoy as you have time.