You would think that my life is complicated enough. My three kids attend three different schools. After school there is horse-riding, boxing, scouts, homework club and guitar lessons to shoe-horn in our week. I have an autie kid who likes to twang our nerves to breaking point by playing chicken with traffic and dismembering electrical appliances. He is also an occasional drowner of fish (yes, you read that correctly).
Time management is something other people do.
It is quite nice if we find time to eat and wash occasionally.
But some people thrive on adversity. Those "some people" being my kids. I'd rather be burrowed under the duvet watching 30 Rock and drinking tea. Adversity is wildly over-rated. But my kids are an odd breed who believe that we should fling our doors open to the animal kingdom and invite them ALL to move in with us.
To date we have the following creatures co-habiting with us; Two dogs, one hamster, one budgie, six hens, one nervous goldfish and a cat. If not for the forceful, and frequent, use of the word "NO!" they would also have added sea turtles, a corn snake, geckos and many, many felines to our numbers.
Now, I grew up on a farm, where animals are meant to do something. So far, all our menagerie does is cost money and produce a frightening amount of poo. The hens lay eggs when they feel like it, but mostly they seem to pass the day trying to commit suicide (hens are particularly stupid) and painting their nails.
If nothing else, though, my kids are learning Darwinism first hand. A food chain has been clearly established, with the cat remaining indoors to avoid becoming a tasty doggie treat, while she terrorises the fish, the bird and the hamster by fixing them with a steely glare and whispering "soon you will be mine".
Although, in our home Survival of the Fittest has been amended toSurvival of the Luckiest, as Bob is prone to opening the bird cage and the budgie has (literally) been rescued from the jaws of death on a few occasions.
I suppose Darwin couldn't get everything right.
Having pets is a great way to teach our kids to be responsible, as they learn to care for other vulnerable creatures.
I wonder if I stuck a few feathers in my hair and started squawking (more than usual) , if they would groom, feed and cosset me? On the other hand I may be fed to the cat, or flushed down a toilet so maybe I'll stay as I am.