Recently, Jonathan and Abby, my two rambunctious if often adventurous kids, decided to get a not ordinary pet, much to the consternation of their mother who did not agree with them, saying that it was just another whim in a long line of whims that the two are fond of always taking.
They came to me asking for my permission to have hedgehogs as pets, when their mother earlier said no to them. I looked at my wife and she is giving me the evil eye, probably silently saying for me to be very careful on the words that I will be saying next, which made me pause a little bit before answering the children. I eventually just told them that I would have a little talk later with their mom to find out if they would be allowed with their plans. They agreed with it and I readied myself for the gallows which eventually would come later.
After dinner, I consciously helped my wife with the dishes and threw the trash outside without being told, which really was not my normal routine, as I would usually jump straight in front of the television after eating. My wife seemed to notice the extraordinary event unfolding in front of her and just smiled as she watched me finishing the dishes. It’s the hedgehogs right? She asked me. I just responded with a guilty grin which was also immediately wiped out as she said that her answer would still be no, with an added “not on your life” bit.
She then proceeded to explain to me that hedgehogs are not ideal pets, what with their spiky coat that could cause injury if handled incorrectly, and of their nocturnal nature and solitary kind of living which would eventually translate to a pet which neither is social nor fun to interact with. I agreed with her on all points as she seemed to have had her research on it and I also do not know anything about it so I just kept quiet. But after her lengthy speech, I dropped a bomb of my own and proposed to her that I will do the dishes for two months if she just agrees. I only remember the silent room and her big smile and that was eventually it.
I went to where my kids are and saw them already planning for their hedgehog cages. I felt this feeling that they knew that I would do anything for them, and that them asking me for it makes it a sure thing, which kind of also made me happy inside. I silently spied their various drawings of a large cave inside the cage and also the typical exercise wheel which I thought was a little small with regards to the humongous cave that dominated the cage. I also marveled at their seemingly well detailed plan complete with water bottles, feeding pans and also the strange drawing of what seems to be the eventual bedding for the cage.
I then called at them and flashed a big smile. They knew it was a yes and they were very happy about it, to say it mildly. They showed me their sketches for their proposed cage and then they went for their mom to also say thanks, and I was left alone in front of the television wondering about the two wet, grimy months in front of me. Well, it was kind of worth it, I mumbled to myself. What have I gotten myself into?