I feel bad for Adelaide.
The reason I feel bad for her is because I have allergies. And not just feel-like-you-have-a-slight-head-cold-every-once-in-awhile allergies, but Paul from the Wonder Years allergies. Have to have inhalers strategically placed throughout your home and car and carry an Epipen in your bag kind of allergies.
Normally they don't affect our kids too much. I try not to wander through giant fields of ragweed and avoid Red Lobster like it might kill me (because it could, ha...ha?).
In the past year or so, however, Adelaide has begun asking for a pet. She knows I'm allergic to cats and dogs (I know, I know, it completely sucks to be my kids), and that, for now at least, those two animals are out. So she's moved right on to smaller species, like turtles, hamsters, birds, etc.
Having grown up with pets, I am fully aware what would happen if we ever brought any of these animals home. The first couple weeks (optimistically speaking), the kids would be all over them. Feeding them, cleaning their cages, paying attention to them. Slowly but surely, all responsibility would fall to me, Mom.
Right now is just not a good time for added responsibility. Our kids are still young enough that I spend half my days up to my elbows in some kind of bodily fluid. Or I'm putting every last kitchen utensil back in it's drawer. Or I'm scrubbing chalk off the wall. Or I'm trying to get lotion out of the carpet. The last thing I need is an extra body to clean up after.
If Adelaide whined or threw a fit after we told her "No, you cannot have a fish right now", or "No, you cannot have a lizard ever," I wouldn't feel so bad. That kind of behavior causes any and all sympathy to evaporate from my being.
Instead, a few days ago, Adelaide found a ladybug crawling up the wall of her bedroom. She got it to crawl onto her finger, ran over and looked into my face, eyes shining, and breathlessly asked, "Mom, can I have a ladybug as a pet? Please?"
She may as well have asked for "More gruel, please?" That's how guilty I felt.
Maybe she could get a hamster. I'm sure God didn't give me a deficient sense of smell for no reason.