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Fayette-Mom: The monster ... or hermit crab ... in the other room

Mommy confession time: I don't like "critters." And by critters, I mean anything with four or more legs, in any size, shape or habitat.

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Jennifer Joyner
Jennifer Joyner

Mommy confession time: I don’t like “critters."

And by critters, I mean anything with four or more legs, in any size, shape or habitat.

And by “don’t like,” I mean I have to take several deep breaths whenever I am around any type of critter and I have been known to hyperventilate if I am not fully prepared for critters, and sometimes, the very thought of critters makes me have a full-blown panic attack.

I should probably seek some help for this, I know. Especially since I have kids, and my kids love any and all critters and no matter how many shades of purple I turn, they don’t really understand how or why I don’t love critters, too.

And so it is that we don’t have pet hamsters and there won’t be a family parakeet in our house. We do have a dog, but my kids can just forget the kitten/rabbit/feret of their dreams. I just … can’t.

So you can imagine how perplexing it is for me that we are now the proud owners of a hermit crab.I’m shivering just typing the words.

It all happened in a fog: We were at the beach, and Grandma was with us, and Grandma is incapable of saying no and gosh, Mom, they are so cheap! Can I, can I please????

And I guess I was feeling guilty about having to save money on vacation and saying no way more than I wanted to, and really, can I make all my kids’ dreams come true for less than ten bucks????

My daughter promised me that she would keep the hermit crab in her room and I wouldn’t have to feed it or deal with it or even look at it. And by gosh, she’s seven years old, so of course I can totally believe her.

Like I believed her when she told me that hermit crabs only live, on average, for about three months.

All of you experienced parents, or even just people with a brain, are out there laughing at me right now.

Because that was July and now it’s November and the hermit crab is expected to live, oh, about two more years or so.

And yes, my daughter takes care of it, except when it keeps her up at night by digging around in its rocks, so she moves it out of her room, right where it can surprise me when I wake up for work every morning at 4 a,m.

Do you know how hard it is to not scream and wake up your whole family when you are confronted with your one of your worst fears???

And can you imagine how dumb I feel when it happens over and over again?

Two years? I’ll never make it.

Jennifer is a mom of two and WRAL-TV assignment editor in Fayetteville. Her food obsession memoir, “Designated Fat Girl,” came out in 2010. Read more about Jennifer and her book on her website. Find her here on Go Ask Mom on Tuesdays.


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