Furry New Family Members

That’s right, not one but two. And it’s not what you’re thinking.

You may know that as recently as last month I talked about what we’d do if we won the lottery (i.e., get a DOG…or two), as well as the virtues and benefits of saying NO to your children (and may have bragged that I am pret-ty good at that).

Well, yesterday, without coming close to winning the lottery, we acquired 2 rodents (I’m getting to that), and I went against my ‘behave, wait & we’ll see’ rule and caved in to early pressure on what they wanted for their November birthdays. First, it was what they wanted for Christmas. Almost before I noticed it, they upped it by a month. They’re good.

It goes like this. My daughter got into her head that she wanted a guinea pig. It started out with the hamster that her cousins have, that she and her brother love like crazy, but makes my skin crawl.

I’m not joking. The thought of hamsters, mice or rats makes me shudder. It literally sends a shiver up my spine and makes me tense up. And having them as pets is absolute insanity. I even hate squirrels. Rats with bushy tails. The kids know this about me. One time a mouse raced across my living room when I lived by myself, as I was peacefully reading a book. It ran into a closet. And I almost passed out. Like that.

So my daughter was clever. Guinea pigs are FLUFFY. They’re BIGGER. And she began the great Get Mom to Buy a Guinea Pig Campaign of 2010. And talking without stopping from waking til bedtime about Guinea Pigs. She even went to the internet to do research on her new obsession. Below is a sample of one of her reports. I’m sure it’s fully plagiarized.

Exhibit A

What’s completely funny about this is that I’m South American, hahahaha! Relax, as if I’d ever EAT rodent.

Have you met my daughter? Some of you have. She has a one-track mind. And quickly got me from “uh-uh, no way – forget it” to “let me think about it” to “you’ll get one for your birthday if you PROMISE to not mention the word ‘guinea’ or ‘pig’ or use the 2 together in a sentence from NOW UNTIL NOVEMBER”. Which of course she didn’t. My mom tells me she gets it from me, but when this kid gets obsessed, she has no peer. NO PEER. My next step was frankly begging to keep my sanity.

My son wasn’t bugging me about anything anymore because he’d changed his mind and decided to ask his father for a chameleon, so at least they weren’t double-teaming me or however you say that.

Yesterday morning, as I was still off work and just for something to do, we visited a PetSmart store. I wanted to get a look at these animals and see what they and everything that goes with them costs, to see if I could even afford it. I’ll fast forward this now since we all know where this is going.

We walked out with 2 guinea pigs (since they’re meant to be kept in pairs), so each of the kids got one. 2 females. Named Isabella and Caramel. My friend Lisa burst out laughing when she heard that, and said, “hmmm, wonder who named which?” I’ll admit it, they’re cute. And they’re super fluffy so other than their little claws, they are decidedly un-rodentlike. And they’re kind of cuddly and super interactive. And the kids are in LOVE.

So now I turned into that mom. The one who willingly lives with rodents in the home for the sake of her children. But I’m never going to turn into crazy mom who also has chinchillas and birds and snakes and crap. I’m drawing the line.

Here are Isabella and Caramel. And their happy new owners.

Sofia, Izzie, Max, Caramel

P.S. Incidentally, with all the research they’ve done (Max has taken over – he knows virtually everything there is to know about these critters now) they know that guinea pigs live for 5-7 years. Caramel is 3 months old, and Isabella (already just ‘Izzie’) is 1.5 months old. Today, Max said, “in 5 years, when Caramel dies, and one and a half months later Izzie dies, we have to have a respectful funeral.” Look, in this family, we plan ahead.



  1. Thank God I’m not the only one who thinks squirrels are rats with busy tails. I still think it’s fab of you to let the kids have their pets to play with. Great research on their part also. I now know more than I ever wanted to about guinea pigs. Learn something new every day!


  2. well you’d better start planning (and sewing) for Hallowe’en because you now have an obligation to ensure the guinea pigs are in character: http://www.kaboodle.com/reviews/guinea-pig-dracula-vampire-costume-clothes-outfit

    Just learn to sleep with one eye open.


  3. How cute! If Tribbles had eyes, they would be guinea loaves!


  4. Bless your little heart, you push-over you!


  5. Ha! How can you say no to that campaign? That was some very serious research.


  6. Very cute little furry guys…oh and the kids too!


  7. You are a GREAT MOM!


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