In which we advance our pet search and have some fun with idioms

As you know, we here at Caterpickles Central have an opening (or two) for a new pet. As it’s pretty much the first time in three decades that I haven’t had a feline roommate limiting my pet adoption options, we are taking our time and looking around a bit before choosing our new family member(s).

We started off with dogs. I’ve always wanted a nice big dog. A golden retriever or a collie. Some medium to large-sized dog with fur you can bury your fingers into and a joyful way of running through the park, dashing through the woods, and leaping up after frisbees (and it must be said, birds). Someone who is always ready to tag along with me on walks–especially on those days when I think it’s too cold or too rainy or just too awful to go out by myself.

A golden retriever named Tucker (aka Shala's dream dog). (Photo: Edward from Boston, MA)

A golden retriever named Tucker (aka Shala’s dream dog). (Photo: Edward from Boston, MA)

The Five-Year-Old, needless to say, loves dogs and was highly enthusiastic about the prospect of having a puppy of her own. But after months of interviewing every dog owner in sight about what it took to train their dog and doing quite a bit of supplementary reading about dog care, I was forced to admit a few weeks ago that I am not really in a good position to take care of a dog right now.

The Five-Year-Old was deeply disappointed. But as you know, she’s not really one to dwell on disappointment. She promptly suggested that we get a pet that she could take care of all by herself. Like a snail.

Step away from my boat, buddy. (Photo of a white-lipped snail by Mad Max via Wikipedia)

Step away from my boat, buddy. (Photo of a white-lipped snail by Mad Max via Wikipedia)

The Five-Year-Old, strapping herself in for yet another car ride: “I could do all of it, Mommyo. You wouldn’t have to do anything at all.”

Mommyo, decisively: “Having a snail for a pet does not float my boat.”

The Five-Year-Old, curiously: “Does it sink your boat?”

Related Links:

About Shala Howell

I spent two decades helping companies like Bell Labs, Juniper Networks, and a genetic testing company that was later acquired by CVS translate some of the world’s most complicated concepts into actionable, understandable English. Now I'm working on a much harder problem -- fostering children’s curiosity and engagement in the scientific, artistic, and linguistic world that surrounds them. The first book in my Caterpickles Parenting Series, What’s That, Mom?, focuses on how to use public art to nurture children’s curiosity in the world around them. My next book will focus on science, and how parents without a science degree can answer their curious child's questions without enrolling in a college level refresher course. In the meantime, you can find me blogging about life with a very curious Eleven-Year-Old at, chatting about books and the writing life at, and tweeting about books, writing, science, & things that make me smile at @shalahowell.
This entry was posted in Funny Stuff My Daughter Says, Linguistics and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to In which we advance our pet search and have some fun with idioms

  1. Pingback: If The Five-Year-Old throws you a party… | CATERPICKLES

  2. Pingback: More fun with idioms | CATERPICKLES

What are you thinking?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.