The Plot for Marshmallow’s Demise


I believe laughter cures a host of ills and problems. Life with a big family brings out the child in you. Think of a kindergarten class at recess, loud voices, busy bodies, and crazy stunts, and you can get a picture of our house. The way I survive is by laughing. If you don’t laugh every day, then you aren’t enjoying life. For me, it’s easy when you have so many little ones that surprise you at any moment.

To help the world laugh more I’ll be posting random experiences and comments from my family that has sent me ROFL.

Today’s post: The Plot for Marshmallow’s Demise.

My kids love animals. We stop to pet dogs, chase cats, and even stalk the baby bunny that lives in our neighborhood woods. The kids have these old squirrel traps that we inherited when we moved to New England. They use them to catch the bunny. So far, kids zero, bunny free from the child predators. I digress.

Marshmallow is our pet guinea pig. She came at the pleas, groveling, and soul selling of my youngest kids who’ve had no pet animal of their own. We’ve tried dogs, cats, gerbils, hermit crabs, various fish, a rabbit, and a turtle, but in the end, my wife or I get stuck with animal care, despite endless promises that the kids would rather have their own hearts ripped out before they would neglect said animals.

We also have one rule on pets, only one pet is allowed on the Johnson premises at a time. Queue a Saturday afternoon plea from my kids that their father to take them to the pet store. I wasn’t in the mood, but the youngest kids out number me to 4 to 1, so I caved.

On the way, I asked them why they wanted to go to the pet store knowing I wouldn’t buy them another. My middle schooler rolled her eyes and gave a face that pretty much said, “Duh dad, why are you even asking”.

It was my youngest that floored me this time. I will admit to having genius children. No, I’m not one of those bragging parents with bumper sticker testimonials that their kids are better at every thing. I have a Ph.D., so I think I know smarts when I see it and believe me when I say they make their old man look like the village idiot.

In answer to my question, my youngest said, “Dad, Marshmallow is going to die and we want to find a replacement.” As a parent what do you say to that? Either she understands that animals have expiration dates (hope so), or my Artemis Fowl-like daughter already had plans for Marshmallow’s demise. I can imagine her in a closed door meeting directing the other kids on the master plan to execute the guinea pig for its replacement.  At five years-old, she’s a forward thinker.

At the store, the kids found a brown Chinchilla. They oohed and aahed at its cuteness and asked if they could get it. I reminded them of the one pet rule and watched their shoulders drop. They named it Choco.

Sorry, Marshmallow, your days are numbered.


5 thoughts on “The Plot for Marshmallow’s Demise

  1. Wow! Well at least you won’t have to pretend that you took Marshmallow to a farm where he can eat alfalfa to his hearts delight (or whatever guinea pigs eat) when he passes away. LOL. You’ll bury that pet and move on.

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