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Friday, January 17, 2014

Just a Little Rant

Recently, I posted to my Facebook that we had a tragedy, our guinea pig died. Most of the people who responded were sympathetic, and then there was one response that made me almost see red. It's not often that I see red!!!

Here's a little background, I am a very live and let live kind of person. I can generally ignore when people are insulting me. I happen to know that this person wasn't trying to be mean or insult me, she was simply trying to offer sympathy in HER own special way. I really tried to shrug it off, but...

I am also really emotional from this miscarriage right now.

In any case, I bit my tongue and vowed to just ignore her. But now it is a few days later, and I still have an urge to wring her neck!!! Why?

Well here's what happened. My boys told me that they wanted to give Moe (the guinea pig) a bath, and since they have given him one before, I had no problem with this. I knew they knew how to wash him without hurting him.

A little while after they started bathing him, they decided to add a little more water to the tub to see if he could swim. As it turns out, he can! This was really cool. The boys got it on video and showed it to me, and he looked really happy. I thought to myself: "Hmm, maybe we finally found a good way to give him some exercise."

See the video for yourself:

So, after seeing this video, I made a decision to let the boys continue to let their pet swim. Mind you, from where I am currently sitting (and where I was sitting at the time) I can see into the bathroom. I just have to look over my left shoulder and it's like 10-15 feet away from me. So I could see them the entire time. Plus, the boys had a camera and were giving me continual updates.

At one point, I heard them say: "Hey, let's put a little more water in the tub and see if Moe can dive." And a little after that, I heard them say: "Oh no! Smoke came out of Moe and he sank!"

I rushed to the bathroom to find my boys crying and holding Moe. "We think he's dead!" I immediately took the poor little guy into my hands and tried to massage the water out of him. I alternately pumped on his chest and then blew air into him through his nose with his mouth closed. I have seen animal CPR done, but never had to do it myself before.

I worked on him for a good 10 minutes because he would twitch in a way that made me think that it might eventually work, but alas, no. He was well and truly dead. My poor boys were wailing in grief, and rightly blaming themselves for killing him. This broke my heart.

You see, I originally got them a pet because I wanted them to learn responsibility. I wanted them to learn to take care of an animal, and to learn love and compassion, and.... Well, I knew that at some point, the animal would die. I wanted them to have to experience death BEFORE it happened to someone they really love - such as my mom, who has heart problems, a pacemaker, and may or may not die any time. She's doing well, so it's not a big worry, but it will happen someday.

I figured that this guinea pig would live more or less happily with us for a few years, and then pass away quietly in the night. He would be a literal and figurative guinea pig in that my boys would be learning so much from him. How to care for him. How to play with him. How to deal with death when the time came.

Never once did I expect this to happen! And worse, my boys really did kill their beloved pet, so how do I help them deal with this??? It was a challenge, but I explained that I believe in reincarnation, and that I fully believe that Moe will get to live again. Maybe he'll be a daddy guinea pig with lots of happy babies in his next life. Maybe he'll be a cat. Maybe he'll decide to be a ghost and haunt us for a while. The possibilities are endless.

Eventually, my boys calmed down. Gryffin jumped on my possible explanation of: "Maybe Moe was old and that's why he couldn't dive as well. Maybe it was just his time to go, and it happened at the same time as you were teaching him to swim." To assuage his guilt. He tells himself that while yes, he caused Moe's death, it was Moe's time to go because he was old.

Rationalization at it's best, I guess. My hubby has explained that it was an accident, and that has helped them too. Even so, it has been a sad week in our house.

So, getting back to this woman and her comments, she wrote something along the lines of: "Well if you had been supervising them, this easily preventable accident wouldn't have happened. Next time, don't assume that they know what they are doing with such a vulnerable creature, and supervise them closely. At least it won't cost very much to replace him."

I tell you, I literally saw red!!! I mean she is blaming ME because I wasn't hovering over my boys every second. I already stated that this was THEIR pet, and that they had learned how to bathe him. So why the hell did I need to hover over them. I ALSO stated that they had been bringing me updates and video clips of what was going on. I WAS EFFIN' supervising them!!!!!

How dare she sit back on her high horse and tell me that I am to blame because I let my boys play with their pet?!?! Like I don't have enough to deal with trying to explain life and death to my boys without her telling me that - in essence - I am a bad mom for trusting my boys to play with their pet on their own with indirect supervision.


Deep breathe........ and release...

Okay, I am better now. Rant over. Just had to get that off my chest.

And in the meantime, my hubby and I have agreed that if we get them another pet, it'll probably be a teddy hamster because they are big enough not to get lost in our house, but still small enough to fit in one of those exercise balls and roll around the house. Plus, when we have to travel to the cities and back, it'll be easier to use a small carrier.

It probably won't happen for a while, but it probably WILL happen, because we have everything we need to care for a hamster already, even a ton of bedding, just not the right food. So, it just makes sense to get one.

OH! And possibly the only ray of sunshine on an otherwise dark day was - when my boys were begging for their pet to live - Gryffin actually said this: "Dear God please! I'll do anything! No wait, Mother Nature! Dear Mother Nature, please let Moe live, Please?!?!" This is a bright ray to me because I do believe in the forces of Mother Nature, and that she would be the appropriate deity to ask for this particular favor. So it means that Gryffin is listening and learning.

However, I did have to explain to him that no God can bring something back to life once it is truly dead. They then kept asking me if this God or that God could (Can Loki? Can the Grim Reaper?) Until it was clear to them that dead is dead. But remember, I did also explain reincarnation, so death is not so bad as it sounds at first.

Anyway, thanks for listening to my rant, and have a happy day :-)

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