I know I blogged about Alex wanting Mice this summer, but did I mention that she bought two? No? Well, she did. Daisy (the white and gray mouse) and Sunshine (the gray and white mouse). She also bought the a pink cage filled with pink bedding complete with pink mouse wheel, food dish and water bottle.
When I came in from walking Gryffindor last night Alex was on the couch crying. "Daisy is dead." You sure? "Yes." How sure? "Positive." Do you know what a dead mouse looks like? "Yes. There's on in my bedroom right now."
I don't know why I didn't really believe her at first. I guess I should have realized that a ten year old can tell the difference between a live mouse and a dead mouse, but as I walked into her room, I still held out hope that she was just sleeping. No such luck. Daisy was (is) quite dead. I felt stupid for suggesting that Alex could have possibly been mistaken. Right. What next? Try to persuade little crying girl to clean out the cage so I don't have to touch it? Heartless.
Me: Sorry I was stupid. You're right. She's dead.
A: Of course she is.
Me: Yes. Well, do you want to clean the cage?
A: I want you clean it and set Sunshine free.
Me: Why would you want to set Sunshine free?
A: Because I don't want to have to watch her die too.
Me: That's incredibly selfish. You know she'll die even faster if you set her free.
A: You set Snowball free.
M: Its not the same.
She's right. I did, in fact, free one of my pet mice (when I had pet mice). I think Alex was four or five. I had four mice at the time and this one, Snowball by name, was an insidious creature that kept escaping from the cage. None of my other mice had ever tried this stunt so the first time it happened I was convinced that it was fluke. Then finally, after the fifth escape and numerous attempts to escape proof the cage, I was fed up. I took Snowball into the backyard and let nature have its way with her.
Anyway, Alex was nice enough not to follow that with "so you killed your mouse, but I can't kill mine?" Instead she just sat there while I got on with the cleaning. With dead mouse thrown in the dumpster and alive mouse safely back in her cage. I let Alex stay up and watch the end of Project Runway before she finally went to bed.
This morning, as we were leaving the house, Alex said to me, "You know, I'm really glad you didn't let me set my mouse free." Really? "I was sad and not thinking clearly. I just needed some time."
God, she sounds forty sometimes.