Mom Keeps Pet's Death Secret

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Principessa, Jan 18, 2009.

  1. Principessa

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    Mom keeps pet's death secret


    By Christy Oglesby

    (CNN) -- The moment I saw that guinea pig's corpse, I made up my mind. I would not tell my son Checkers was dead ... at least not that night. Drew had five tests within the next two days. I wasn't going to let grief jeopardize his grades.

    I realize instantly the challenges of my decision. How could I keep this secret in a 10-by-12 room in which the guinea pig chalet was almost as big as the twin bed?

    I'd already goofed by yelping, "Oh, my!" when I saw the body. Drew heard me from his bathroom. "What's wrong, Mommy? Are you OK?"

    "I'm fine," I reply. But he recognizes that I haven't answered both questions.

    "But what's wrong?"

    "Nothing."

    "Well, why did you say that? Is it the guinea pigs?"

    I feel panicked. No sloshing! He's drying off! Pajamas are next! I realize I'm holding my breath, and in my head, I'm yelling, "Move, Christy! Move!"

    I exhale as I lie. "Everything's OK."

    In what seemed like one move, I reach in the closet, dump shoes out of a box, grab Checkers, plunk the stiff in the box, run downstairs, stuff the cardboard casket into a plastic bag, dash to the garage trash can, finish rapid hand-washing and make it upstairs as my third-grader steps into the hall.

    "We're having storytime in my bed tonight!" I say breathlessly. My bed is off-limits except for nightmares, illness or Saturday morning. Drew's so excited about the treat, he runs for the king-sized sanctum without asking questions.

    We read and pray, and then I give him a piggyback ride into his dark bedroom. It's Wednesday, 7:45 p.m., and for now, I'm in the clear. By the time Drew wakes the next morning, I have a plan: darkness and distraction.

    We're always 30 minutes into our commute before the sun rises. Between a disabled circuit breaker to prevent lights in his room from working, piggyback rides up and down the stairs, dressing in mom's room (where the lights work) while we review potential bonus words, multiplication drills, Scripture recitation for the Bible test, questions science and reading lessons, there are enough morning distractions to safeguard my secret.

    Thursday evening is a challenge. In our house, TV is for weekends only. It's cold and drizzly outside; Andrew has beaten me in chess -- twice.

    I pull out the biggest distraction of all. "I'm going to let you see a video tonight. You need to relax a bit from those tests today," I say.

    His eyebrows make a big V on his forehead. "But it's a school night, Mommy." I assure him it's OK. He's suspicious, but TV is as awesome as getting in Mom's bed, so no more questions.

    My co-workers split into camps. The Grief Gurus ream me for concealing the death. Andrew loves Checkers. He deserves timely notice of death. I care more about grades than his emotional health. Bad things will happen to Drew at inopportune times in his life, and he has to learn to juggle difficulties. I'm delaying his development.

    Whatever.

    The Practical Posse has opinions, too. That guinea pig still will be dead Friday. Andrew will be just as sad after his tests with fewer consequences than if he's sad before the tests. Make sure you're honest about why you delayed telling him.

    After school Friday, I break the news. There's a shriek and then loads of tears. I'll never forget the long drawn-out wail, "I loved her like a daughter!"

    I'm convinced that boy's been reading William Faulkner, because there is way too much drama that follows. We must wear black for three days. The only song we can listen to on the "High School Musical 2" CD is the duet after Gabriella and Troy break up. It's the saddest one. He cancels Happy Meal Friday, because there is nothing happy about this day.

    I answer the questions. She was on her side at the end of the ramp. Her mouth was open with her two big teeth protruding. No, it didn't look like she suffered. Maybe a lung problem killed her. I think Andrea (the cage mate) will be fine. No, it wasn't your care that killed her. And then finally,

    "She died Wednesday."

    Tears stop. Voice strengthens. "Wednesday?!"

    "Honey, you had a science test. You needed to know your binominal nomenclature. You had a math unit test, a reading test. You had to do your scripture recitation and a Bible test. You see how upset you are now? I couldn't let you go to school and take tests feeling like this."

    There's a long pause. And then he says the words that make giving piggyback rides on a spine with bad discs and disabling circuit breakers worth it.

    He stares deeply and says, "Thank you, Mommy."

    Maybe the Grief Gurus are right. Maybe Drew deserved to know sooner. But he seems fine. I'm certain he'll develop into a man who can handle more than one problem at a time.

    And Checkers, rest in peace.




    Can somebody please tell me why this made national news? A kids guinea pig died and his mommy lied about it. Big Fat Hairy Deal! Doesn't stuff like that happen like every day? :confused: The other odd thing was that she threw it out, instead of going to every pet store in the county trying to get one identical to the dead one.

    And what the heck is binomial nomenclature and what kind of school is her 3rd grader in that he is getting tested on it? :irked:
     
    #1 Principessa, Jan 18, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2009
  2. latin_cock

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    Binomial nomenclature is the nomenclature in which species are classified. But yeah sometimes i wonder why they would write things like that in the paper or show pointless news on tv. Like the other day i was watching the news and there was this news about a lady that moved and didnt get her line reconnected like wtf?
     
  3. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    Just another article that helps Bible-thumpers feel self-righteous about their questionable parenting decisions. I don't actually believe this story one bit. Wearing black for three days followed by some valiant, "Thank you mommy!" It's pablum. I'd be furious if my parents didn't tell me about a pet's death and robbed me of chance to mourn and bury my pet. Throwing out a pet in the trash?? This woman is fucking headcase with no respect for her kid's emotional needs (if she even has kids).
     
  4. Principessa

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    That is not news. That is a common inconvenience. :tongue:
     
  5. Incocknito

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    Is this what they call news these days?
     
  6. rdpugh

    rdpugh New Member

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    Because news is reported 24 hours a day now, the media has to find something miniscule or make something up. Most of the time, they make something up.
     
  7. CUBE

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    Sounds more like a beginning writers story...but I thought a better way to go was hit the store, buy another one, throw it in the cage, keep mouth shut
     
  8. Principessa

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    That is what I thought as well. :cool:
     
  9. D_Bob_Crotchitch

    D_Bob_Crotchitch New Member

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    You are kidding yourself if you think a really sharp kid won't notice the difference in the animals. If someone really loves their pet, they'll know.
    It sounds like a poorly written story that is a bunch of :bsflag:
     
  10. D_Martin van Burden

    D_Martin van Burden Account Disabled

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    I'm willing to take it at face value: it's a human interest story. And you could only hear so much about the economy tanking or the plane crash in New York or Bush wrapping up his incompetency that was running the country for eight years before feeling oversaturated. Inauguration Day will get massive coverage, so maybe we need a filler?

    I was that kid once, though. We moved from one house to another when I was 12 or so, and when I asked about my dog, my mom apologized and said that he ran away while we were making trips back and forth and that we couldn't find him. I was pretty sad, but I believed the story until I learned otherwise. I was rather pissed. I was upset, sure, but the real injury was how my mom insists that we tell the truth and somehow she can justify lying in her head. I would have much better appreciated being told that my dog was really old and with health declining, it was the right thing to do to put him down.
     
  11. Not_Punny

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    Fluff stories reconnect people to the "human" side of humanity. News can be so dark and awful. We need "fluff" to help us continue to believe in the milk of human kindness.
     
  12. Incocknito

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    But the story is so formulaic and bland. I write better stories with my foreskin. And an inkwell. But enough about me...
     
  13. Not_Punny

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    And yes, I've lied and minimized facts about pet deaths. Kids don't need to know the gory details, and timing is oh, so important.

    And sometimes, a pet really HAS just up and disappeared. One cat, a beautiful blue-eyed Siamese, probably WAS stolen -- and it comforted my daughter to imagine the cat happy and pampered in a new home. This is better than imagining the cat as road kill or chewed up by coyotes.
     
  14. Not_Punny

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    Oh, it wasn't THAT bad!! A little stilted and too much cutsie, but not horrible. She didn't find the metaphor in the story, and because of this, it lacked a good tie-up at the end.

    Do you tie things up at the end of your foreskin stories?!! :eek::biggrin1:
     
  15. CUBE

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    So you were thinking it was a REALLY sharp kid...that is darling.
     
  16. CUBE

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    I totally would pay cash money to see you work that foreskin...what a cute guy, the foreskin angle sets you apart. so sexy
     
  17. B_Nick4444

    B_Nick4444 New Member

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    actually, I'd like to hear more (especially the foreskin writing) ...:tongue:
     
  18. naughty

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    LOL! I so believe that story. I had a colleague whose parent attempted to replace her much loved dog who died while she was away at school. When she came home and proceeded to call "her dog" (they named the new dog the same thing) he blankly stared at her as if he had never seen her before in his life (which he hadnt) Vasilating between believing her pet had suddenly developed some form of doggy autism and suspecting her parents of a much deeper deception asked out right, "Mom and Dad, did you seriousl think I was going to think this dog was Fluffy? He looks at me like I am crazy and doesnt respond. This is not my dog. Where is Fluffy?" At this point her parents broke down and told her the sad tale of Fluffy's demise. She cried but remembered much longer the lengths to which her parents had gone to cover up his death.
     
  19. CUBE

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    The story should have leaned to becoming so into covering the truth that she ends up killing other people to bury her secret, burning the house, going on a crime spree...you get the idea
     
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