I set their not-so-little cage down on the playroom table, fighting off all my misgivings I had about bringing home the beloved classroom pets. Two little guinea pigs, two fluffy pets that the kids adore. And all I could think of was our sweet, loving cat, our resident ruthless killer.
|Oreo and Snickerdoodle|
So the girls and I had a serious talk. I got down to their level and we discussed how, even though the cat is sweet and cuddly with us, he kills rodents for fun. They looked at me with utter disbelief in their eyes.
I repeated myself and tried to hammer home how important it was that the door to the playroom remain closed during the guinea pig’s stay in our home.
The kids nodded, distracted by their new friends, and I left the room, crossing my fingers.
Turns out the cat never even noticed they were there and by Sunday afternoon I had thoroughly relaxed my “Oh my GAWD! The playroom door is OPEN!” freak-outs.
Which is why, when M hurried to my side and hissed “We have a problem with one of the guinea pigs!”, my heart skipped a beat.
Because oh, my, how on earth would I ever look the Kindergarten teacher in the eye and tell her one of the pets was dead?
M instantly saw where my mind had lept and was quick to reassure me.
“None of them are dead. It’s just that… well Little L colored one of them green.”
First reaction? Denial. Then Little L started sobbing, having apparently just realized that it was not cool to use the guinea pig as a coloring page. And I heaved myself off my cozy resting place on the couch and went to assess the damage.
I’m sure I could have turned it into an amazing parenting moment if I’d been able to catch my breath, but every time I tried to admonish Little L for what she’d done the giggles would start all over again. In fact, M and I pretty much giggled our way through the evening.
All my wunderkind could manage to explain between gasping sobs was that she’d “just wanted to see what would happen.” As for her choice of color? Well, duh, that’s the marker that was on the floor. Impulse control is apparently very low in this one. But hey, she colors really well within the lines. And who knows, maybe the young Snickerdoodle wanted to be a punk rocker for Halloween…
You’ll be glad to know that baby wipes are very effective for removing crayola markers from guinea pig fur. Snickerdoodle looked like his usual self when he was returned to his cage in the far corner of the Kindergarten classroom where 21 other innocent 5-year-olds wield markers all day. As long as none of them decide to “just see what happens” when they test out their scissors on him, I think he’ll be just fine.