The Reptililan Era

Cammy’s birthday was yesterday (8 years old!!). As he told his Grandma Kathy when she called that morning, “I think my hands are bigger today.” He could not have been much happier all day– I had toyed with the idea of pulling him out of school early for a treat, but then I remembered how much fun it was to be at school for your birthday. He came home plastered in “Happy Birthday” stickers and determined to pick the weirdest possible place to eat dinner for his birthday: “Red Lobster! Or P.F. Chang’s!” he said. So I gave him my iPhone with its cool Urbanspoon app, and he happily spent about 1/2 hour researching options……

….freaking Buffalo Wild Wings it was.

Now, as I mentioned last week, Cameron has been lobbying hard for a lizard of some kind for his birthday. My thought process went like this: “No WAY….. Well, he does seem to really want one but still, no way….. okay, not a HUGE lizard…. and definitely not one that lives longer than 5 or 6 years….. I wonder what will be the best way to surprise him with a gecko?” (Note complete absence of any consideration of how to care for this gecko, by the way. I’m already wondering who is going to clean this tank once a week.) So after eating Cameron’s special birthday dinner of boneless Buffalo Wild Wing wings (read: BWW’s version of McNuggets in various kinds of sauce), we headed over to Petco, where Cammy fawned over the baby corn snake for so long that Dave and I decided we needed to distract him. “Hey Cam– see these geckos up here?” I said. “Pick one to take home.”

The kid has the world’s best grin of happiness, I swear to God. When he was a baby, Dave and I called it the A-#1. And I guess cleaning gecko poop out of a tank will be worth it for the next 5 years, if he keeps giving me the A-#1 like he’s been doing. He called his grandma and his Uncle Mike from the pet store and told them both, “I can’t believe it. My legs are shaking!” He carried his gecko around in the little cardboard box through the store, alternately beaming at strangers and whispering earnestly through the little vent holes. I made him a sign called “Cameron’s Jobs for Razor” (Razor Tulane being the gecko’s new name) and hung it below his tank; Cam was up past 11:00 last night and woke before 7 this morning, checking on Razor. He also wants to train Razor to sit on his head while he watches TV or does his homework…. but let me tell you: Razor is freaking FAST and Cameron’s mother is freaking EASILY SPOOKED and these two things do not bode well for Razor getting to leave the tank on a regular basis.

So while Cam basked in his unbelievable good fortune at Petco, Gabby was sitting on a stepstool in deepest despair for a pet of her own. And because she has her daddy wrapped neatly around her little finger, she got her wish– in the form of a betta fish in its own little purple tank. She named her fish Billy Bubble (no, I cannot explain why my kids give everything first AND last names) and gave it little pet pep talks all night: “Hi, Billy! You’re going to be a good fish, aren’t you? Yes, you are!! Yes, you are!!” When I accidentally referred to her as the fish’s mommy, she corrected me with great disdain: “No, Mommy– I’m Billy’s OWNER.”

I have a terrible track record of keeping fish alive, so if Billy Bubble doesn’t make it through the weekend, let’s all hope I can find his twin at Alsip. Also– we have to feed this gecko live crickets. Ergo, there is a bag of crickets on my kitchen table right now, and I kind of can’t wait to see the gecko eat one and kind of could wait for the rest of my life.

Finally, not to be left out, Addison bought a bag of mint-flavored dog biscuits for our dog Abita. Well, actually she bought them for herself, and was disabused of that notion when I caught her eating one in the kitchen. How that kid can cry for mint-flavored dog biscuits, yet gag on Cameron’s birthday cake, is beyond me completely.

On an unrelated personal note: I just want to tell my sister that I love her so much. We all do.


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