#1 So it was made apparent to me, by my husband, that our lives have been missing some chaos. A hobby farm, bee keeping, chickens, 2 cats, deaf dog, gardens, maple syrup side hustle, hunting seasons, 2 jobs, 1 wife in school, and 3 kids under 7 was just a touch dull.
Obviously, the answer was to fulfill some childhood dream of… owning a reptile. Seriously people, this dude has thrown some weird crap my way, but this one was out of left field. We were in the pet store and boom, reptile fantasies. I tried to compromise with pretty much anything with fur, but alas, it was futile.
My next best course of action was to attempt logic. I’m not going to even get into this one… if you’ve ever been in a long term relationship, you’ll understand why that failed miserably.
Second course of action it was, talk to the peppy pet store lizard lady. As punishment for making this a thing in the first place, I tasked my husband with wrangling all 3 kids by himself in a pet store. We might actually be even…
Anywho, the peppy pet store lizard lady was great. She toured me through the lizards and explained care needs, expenses, behaviors, everything. She made a recommendation of a bearded dragon. Peppy pet store lizard lady pulled a dragon critter out of its enclosure and made me hold it. It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t a bunny either.
Obviously, with the kids right there I was under serious pressure. I waffled with the idea for a few hours while my husband and kids excitedly planned for a new family member. After a family conference it was agreed that we would wait at least 1 week before before considering buying an animal. This way we could do all the research… and I mean all the research.
#2 Researching the crap out of a critter you are voluntarily bringing into your home is only fair for yourself and the critter. Learning that this creature survives on creepy crawlies and can shoot blood out of its eyes was equal parts nauseating and interesting. At one point I found myself wondering how one goes about removing lizard eye blood from a nice blouse. Seriously, some things you never think you need to think.
I made it a point that this lizard habitat would be exceptional for the critter (it’s not the lizard’s fault that God made it naturally give me the heebie-jeebies), very secure (I’ll be darned if it’s ever going to sneak up on me), and would absolutely not be an eye sore (if this thing was going to live in my house it was at the very least going to look good).
As the Amazon packages arrived, the reality of what I had become complicit to also began to sink in. I did everything I could to prepare myself for the pending occupancy of my pretty (but very empty) terrarium.
#3 Then we found her. My little family and I had been on the look out for the “perfect” critter to join our crew. We knew that as beginners we did not want to take on a bearded dragon that was too young and would require a higher level of care. Lucky for us (I didn’t feel super lucky at that moment) we found a young dragon that checked all the boxes… even my husband’s strange box that it have orange coloring.
We bought her (guess on the sex, have you ever tried to sex a lizard? Not easy my friends, not easy). On the drive home I held the tiny box and started to ask my kiddos what names they had come up with. Great names were yelled from the back seat of the truck,”Harry! Fluffy! Trixie! Vivian! Ducky!” My husband smiled and said, “Her name is Leeloo.” I gave him the all-knowing stare. No wonder he wanted an orange lizard. He’s a huge fan of the movie The Fifth Element, just search “Leeloo” and you’ll understand.
We get home and we put Leeloo in her new home. She seemed pretty happy but the offical lid had not arrived yet, so my husband went outside to rig something up. Until then, I was on Leeloo duty. She stood on a stone in her enclosure and stared at me. I talked to her in a soothing please don’t kill me type of voice. Then she stood on two feet and I thought *this is weird, I didn’t read anything about this online* AND SHE JUMPED OUT OF THE ENCLOSURE AND CLUNG ONTO MY SHIRT.
I’m a psychiatric nurse and I feel like my ability to keep myself together in unpredictable and stressful situations is pretty good. However, I had to internally coax myself into not losing my shit.
As I calmed down I noticed that Leeloo had in fact not killed me or injured me in any way. I took this as a positive step in our relationship. I sat down and followed what I had read and attempted to pet her. Leeloo thought this was fantastic. She started lifting her head and legs so I could scratch all of her. Pretty soon the heebie-jeebies had minimized to just heebies.
#4 As my personal reservations decreased I noticed the joy my kids were getting out of this situation. My ability to be open minded had created an opportunity for my family to have a whole new set of experiences and memories.
I’m not saying to throw caution to the wind and live a reckless existence where random lizards enter your home on a regular basis. I’m just saying, before you say “no” take a pause and think *what would happen if I said yes?*
#5 Plus, Leeloo takes a darn good selfie.