Don’t ever tell your kids that having a pet lizard is not meant to be. Because here’s what will happen: You’ll be out of town, they’ll be in the car with Daddy, and a lizard will drop out of a tree and land right on the windshield.
They will capture it in a plastic foam cup, go to PetSmart and buy a terrarium. And by the time you get home, they will be huddled around the dining table, ready to introduce you to the new family pet.
“His name is Windshield.”
Of course it is. Nice pad, by the way. A soft dirt floor – lots of leaves and grass – and a climbing system of sticks and bamboo. And is that one of my ramekins? So much for putting my salad dressing on the side.
Daddy leads a search for crickets. I don’t know what’s harder – catching and wrangling a cricket into a piece of Tupperware, or getting a cricket into a terrarium without letting out a lizard. All I know is both are a workout and cause you to break a sweat.
And speaking of beads of water, Windshield likes to lick the water off the sides of the glass. Maybe I could get that ramekin back before dinner? He’s got the cutest, little tiny mouth and tongue. I don’t know how he’s going to eat that crick...
NO. WAY. He’s got a cricket 20 times the size of his head in his mouth. He gums it to death while I scream. And Daddy reminds us all that this is what happens out in our backyard every day. I’m getting a condo in SouthPark.
My friend Jenny comes over and we introduce Windshield. She tells me she’s got two little frogs given to her daughter as party favors. I didn’t know you could do that. And she’s just learned that eventually one frog will eat the other frog.
NO. WAY. That’s what she has to face every morning? The possibility that she will go downstairs, look into the bowl, and one frog will just be gone? And the other one will be sitting there all bloated with a wicked case of indigestion? And every day, have to look at that frog and think: There is a frog, inside of that frog.
I quickly impose a ratio on the kids – the lizard must outsize and outweigh any cricket 10-1. Just to be safe. And Windshield needs to live out on the back porch. I don’t want the Hunger Games as my centerpiece on my dining table.
Thankfully, my son has a birthday in two weeks. Six boys are coming to the party.
I only need 5 more party favors.