Teaching My Baby To Read

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Lessons Learned from Pet Sitting

For the past week Bruce(7) and Jenna(3) have been pet sitting parakeets Captain and Sally, and goldfish Nemo and Nemo. This has been a fantastic learning experience for us all since *GASP* we are a family that does not have any pets. Yes, I’m an evil mother, but think about how much money we are saving on pet food.

The real reason we don’t have pets is because I am allergic to almost everything that breathes. As it turns out, Captain, Sally, Nemo and Nemo are all good pet choices for me because I’m not allergic to anything about them except for parakeet feathers.

The first few days of pet sitting Bruce was really excited about being responsible. These last few days however, have taken a bit more prodding on my part.

To further the learning experience have also been reading two books about parakeets and goldfish: Flutter and Float by Amanda Doering Tourville, and Pet Parakeets by Julia Barnes.

Flutter and Float is the most ridiculous book about pet care that I have ever read. I’m actually wondering if it was secretly funded by Pet Co. It suggests purchasing every piece of goldfish paraphernalia you could possibly find, including gravel vacuums and water thermometers. Then when your 17 cent goldfish gets sick, you are supposed to take it to the veterinarian! I don’t mean to sound heartless, but isn’t that what backyard burials are for?

Pet Parakeets was much more realistic. It is a comprehensive book for children explaining every aspect of parakeet care, and was really helpful for both of my children to read. It talks about identifying black spots around a bird’s throat to help estimate the age of the birds, and also educates on why it is important for birds to have social companions. Judging by how cute Captain and Sally are together, I can see why having bird friends is important.


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