The Pig

America, we are no longer a family of four.

NO, America.  Mommy and Daddy did not fumble their way into another baby.  (The Emma is a tough act to follow.)

About a week ago, we added a furry little creature to our family.  Don’t panic, America.  It is NOT a horse.  (If it were, The Emma would be writing you from the local Marriott.)  And no, America, it is not a dog.  Some dogs are acceptable.  But it depends on their size.  The dog-to-Emma ratio.   (I like to frame it this way: could The Emma take it in a street fight?) Cats are okay.  But they make Daddy sneeze.  And for some reason this is not okay with Daddy.  (Seriously, Daddy, we’ve been over this: your sneezing doesn’t bother me at all.)

So, we got a pig.   A guinea pig.

And, right now our house smells like hay.  Because guinea pigs like to eat hay.  And sleep on hay.   And do other things in hay that I WON’T.  EVEN.  MENTION.  (Until the next paragraph.)  America this is a problem.  First of all, Daddy is allergic to hay.  HOW DID THIS NOT OCCUR TO YOU, DADDY?!?  Think it through.  (Life is a chess game, Daddy.  Put down the checkers.)  But more importantly, hay reminds The Emma of horses.  Which, as we all know, are the least acceptable pet.  (Except for any other bigger, scarier animals.)

I will say this, America, having a pig has been a learning experience.  And if The Emma has learned anything, it is this: guinea pigs think EVERYTHING is a potty.  America, I am not kidding. I don’t know why we even got a litter box.  (An aside: I prefer to call it a “glitter box”.  Because it sounds more sparkly.  America, stop smirking.  And if you feel tempted to say, “All that glitters is not gold,” don’t.  Just don’t.  I don’t know what that means.  But I am not amused.)  Anyway, we line the bottom of the glitter box with soft paper shavings.  Add a mound of fresh hay on top.  And what happens?  The pig stands outside the glitter box.  Eating the hay.  And pooping.  EVERYWHERE.  Naturally, Jacob and I think this is AWESOME.  Mommy and Daddy?  Not so much.

They don’t seem to appreciate it when a small creature exerts her will.

At this point, you might be asking yourself: why DID Mommy and Daddy bring home a furry little animal who will likely never be potty trained?  Is it because you long for the days when The Emma was in diapers, Mommy?  Do you?  Because there are other solutions.  PM me, Mommy.  We’ll discuss offline.

More likely, they got the pig because of My Jacob.  You see, Jacob has been asking for a pet.  FOR FOREVER.  In fact, TWO YEARS AGO, he had this conversation with Mommy on the way home from school.

Jacob: Mommy, can we get a pet?

Mommy: No.

Jacob: Whhhhhyyy not?

Mommy: Because they’re a lot of work.

Jacob: But *I’LL* do ALL the work.

Mommy: Jacob, the thing is, kids always say they’ll do all the work, but you know who ends up really doing all the work . . .?

Jacob: Who?

Mommy: The parents.

[Long pause]

Jacob: How ’bout you clean up the poop.  And I do everything else?

Mommy, I believe that was CHECK. AND. MATE.

For some reason, even after that VERY CONVINCING ARGUMENT, it took another two years before we got a pet.

Meanwhile, My Jacob continued to ask for: a dog, a cat, a guinea pig, a hamster, a goldfish, a bunny, a bird and a horse.  (My Jacob plays the long game.)   Basically, Jacob wanted anything that runs, swims, scurries or flies.  But more recently, he laid down some rules.  This past winter, he told Mommy that he wanted a pet that was “run aroundy” and ” can do tricks”.  (That’s right, Jacob.  Hold them to standards.  Otherwise, Mommy and Daddy will just phone this thing in.  And you’ll end up with a cricket.)

Despite all his helpful guidance, it has taken Mommy and Daddy a long time to deliver. During his long suffering years of waiting, My Jacob took matters into his own hands.  And adopted a number of caterpillars.  Usually Woolly Bear Caterpillars.  He would find them in our yard.  Make them homes.  (Habitats.)  And feed them an assortment of food.  (Random leaves.)  And the caterpillars loved it.  (Tried desperately to escape . . . so they could tell their friends about their adventures.)  Unfortunately, it didn’t always end well for the caterpillars.  Because Mommy put them back outside.  (Just. Heartless. Mommy.  How is a little creature like that possibly going to survive in the wild??)

Anyway, after years of persistence, My Jacob triumphed.  (Mommy and Daddy folded like a deck of cards.)  Enter: the pig.  Mommy and Daddy brought us to a place called the MSPCA.  It’s a shelter for animals that are in between opportunities. They have a lot of guinea pigs.  Incidentally, America, they also have A LOT of bunnies.  Here’s what The Emma knows about bunnies.  They are VERY CUTE.  And, apparently they were all potty trained by a roving gang of guinea pigs.  But back to my point.  We found our guinea pig. And (after hours of really boring grown up talk) brought her home.

Anyhoo, you might be asking: what did we name the furry little creature?  I won’t keep you in suspense any longer, America.  We kept the name the pig had at the shelter.  Caramel.  Well, Some of us call her Caramel.  Mommy prefers to call her Queen Caramel The Divalicious.  Because the pig seems shy and Mommy thinks this will boost her self-esteem.  (That’s just GREAT, Mommy.  Because I’m sure no guinea pig was ever shunned at the playground with a name like that.)  Daddy and Jacob just call her Caramel.  And I would too.  Except that The Emma cannot pronounce her R’s.

Once again, Mommy and Daddy: WAY TO THINK AHEAD.  (How do you people function?)

Caramel IS a little bit shy.  But she is coming around.  Which is good.  Because The Emma loves her.  (And The Emma needs a protege.)  Caramel, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.


My Jacob feeding Caramel