I was reading Ned Hickenson’s blog earlier today about That time I organized an escaped hamster posse, which made me think of the things we do for our kids. Now his daughter had a hamster, well mine had a rat, courtesy of my sister. This was a lab rat, so he really wasn’t used to being handled, and had a tendency to bite you if you weren’t careful. He preferred his cage over us and pizza crusts.
We had the rat for about a year or two, when he started to develop these nasty tumors on his skin. The first time I took him to the vet, I was told they could remove them but most likely the tumors would return, and then I would have to make a more serious decision. We decided to let the vet remove the tumors, and basically hoped for the best. Well it was a few months later, the tumors reappeared, and this time, there were lots, so a decision was made to put the poor guy asleep since there was no real treatment, and he was now pretty much covered with them.
Being a big suck though, I decided we would lie to our kids. Not my most proudest parenting moment, but I was just not ready to tell our two girls, mommy is having the rat
killed put down. So I took the rat to the vet, and when I came home without him, I lied. For years this worked, the girls believed he had died naturally. Eventually though, I couldn’t keep listening to them tell a story that wasn’t true, so I sucked it up, and told them the truth. Surprisingly they weren’t mad that I had put him asleep, I guess because they knew in their heart how ill he was, they were more upset that mom had lied.
Now there are parents out there right now, who are saying “OMG, how could you lie”. Well, I don’t have an answer, I just couldn’t tell them the truth at that moment.