I'm over on DadCentric today, talking about a very, very important issue: the diabolically evil sales strategies employed by pet stores: did you know they use kittens to get to kids? Watching those salespeople pushing pets on children is very much like watching a drug dealer: "Hey kid, want to pet this puppy? The first five minutes are free..."
Here's how it starts:
On a recent trip to the mall, my daughter dragged me into a pet store so we could "look at the animals."
I know. Bad idea. Bad idea all over the place.
But she really wanted to go in. She was getting her nose prints on the store window. It was clear that this was going to happen. So before we crossed the threshold, I made sure she understood the big picture.
"We are not getting a pet," I told her.
"I know. Let's go in!"
"No, seriously. We are not leaving this store with any living creature. It's important that you come to terms with that."
"I know we're not getting anything, you told me a million times already!"
We spent a couple more minutes establishing our context before we went inside. She swore she just wanted to look at cats, and if we went in, she promised she wouldn't whine about wanting one. I also made her promise she'd stop leaving her dirty clothes on the bathroom floor all the time, and take care of me when I got old.
Something important to note here: it had been about nine months since I'd taken on the role of Single Dad. So I wanted to believe I was getting over the initial guilt, and feeling better about telling the child No again. I felt strong enough to resist The Pet Store Challenge.
And then we went in.
Go here to read the rest of the story.