Chicago boy gets the perfect pet (not really)

I make no secret of the fact that I am not a pet person. While it is true that my husband and I are both dreadfully allergic to cats and dogs, I am just not fond of four-legged creatures as a general rule. I think part of the issue has to do with our family being on the go. In order to maintain any semblance of a bathroom schedule for Lassie, we would have to call in a lot of favors from friends and family. I prefer to save acts of goodwill for when one of our kids puts a screwdriver through his eye and someone needs to watch the other kids as I jump in the ambulance.

True story, by the way.

For the record, I adore penguins. If God had put me in charge of the Ark, there would be nothing but penguins and humans left on earth. I would have jammed the ship full of them. I think it all started with Chilly Willy, the cartoon penguin who hated being cold. Living through Chicago winters for nearly 40 years, I can totally see where Chilly was coming from. Our kind needs to live on a beach. Drinking margaritas.

This summer, my youngest son, Joey, has been relentless in his quest for a pet. Last week, he decided the best way to achieve this feat was simply to capture his own. He ran up to me at a July 4th party with a half-squished lightning bug between his fingers.

“MOMMY, look! This bug is Freddie. He doesn’t even want to fly away because he LOVES me. Just look!”

With that, Joey dropped the flatlined insect on the ground to prove his point. Sure enough, Freddie did nothing to facilitate his own escape. My husband, a trained paramedic, took one look and commented:

“I think he’s in D-fib.”

Freddie was indeed carried home courtesy of a red Solo cup and paper towel. The next day, Freddie was moved to far more posh surroundings: a $4.09 net cage from Target.

As I kissed my youngest child while he slept in his bed last night, I realized that there is something special about a boy and his bug.

But if the kid starts showing up with grasshoppers, I’m putting my foot down.

As in *crunch*.

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