Thursday, August 26, 2010

Just Say "No"

If one of your kids ever asks for a hedgehog,
say "No".

Trust me on this.

I was being a good mom once upon a time
and said "yes".

And you know how you look back
on on the stupid insane unwise things you've done
and shudder a little?

Well, saying yes to a pet hedgehog
was one of those times I consider
an embarrassment -
and a blemish on my otherwise
nearly perfect  satisfactory record of motherhood.

Oh, the little critters are cute...

But so are baby bears
and panther kittens.

Hedgehogs are surprisingly soft
and curl up into a sweet little ball-
you just want to smooch their little toes.

They seem so innocent and harmless.
What damage could they possibly do?

First of all, the little Rubbermaid tote
we kept "Pokey" in was apparently too shallow-
or Pokey was just a great Houdini-fied hedgehog.

No matter how we tried,
we could not keep him contained.

And like any small varmit
on the run   set free-
he left a trail of poop behind.
A bit larger than a mouse turd,
but luckily smaller than dog doo-doo.

Usually this fecal trail
was the way we discovered his hiding places.
"Fugitive Pokey"  loved to curl up
in the corner of my daughters closet.

So, to keep the peace-
I would round him up-
wipe up the evidence-
and place him in his plastic tote
where he fed on worms and ball-bugs
until his next great escape.

Finally, I put my foot down.
I made the intelligent and mature decision
to be a "bad" mom.

The hedgehog had to go.
No whining.
No deals.
No changing my mind.

The hardest part was finding him.

But when we did,
my son gave him away to a good home
where they thought he was so cute and so sweet-
...and they were so dumb.

Not long after we kicked out  dumped  sacrificed Pokey,
I was cleaning out my daughters closet.

Hanging in the very back
was her senior prom dress.

A three-hundred dollar prom dress.

(Yeah, it was another of those spells
of mother-induced insanity).

It was absolutely gorgeous.
Red- with hand-sewn sequins
that went down one side along a slit up the leg area.
It was fitted at the waist with a heart-shaped neckline
and the lower part was a layered crepe-like material.

I pulled it out and laid it across the bed-
being all nostalgic and everything.

"Ut-Oh," I whispered.

The entire bottom of the dress
had been shredded.
Like a thousand tiny pin pricks.

Pokey Scissorhands had apparently
liked the dress as well as I did.
So much- that he had nested in it
like a sleepy baby
every time that he secured his freedom.

The hardest part was telling my daughter
that her prom dress was now
a Halloween zombie costume.

Good thing Pokey was already gone
or his little prickly neck
would have been choked to death.

So, I'm here today to say this:
Learn from my mistakes.
Heed my warning.
No hedgehogs.

No varmits.

Just stick with puppies
and goldfish.

Your life will be better  for it.