My daughter and I volunteered at a pet expo yesterday. I volunteered in the Boxer Rescue booth. The kid chose to work in the reptile education area. My friend Cindy is heavily involved in the reptile world (and Pit Bull rescue as well). She gave A a tee shirt imprinted with the words "My snake is bigger than your snake" and sent her over to work with a local herpetology club.
For the next three and a half hours, my daughter stood behind a table with a snake wrapped around her neck. I walked over to check on her a few times (I was two aisles away in a massive expo center) and at times there was a crowd in front of my daughter that was three or four people deep. She was also standing behind a bin that had (I think) a tortoise in it. I say I think because I am not up on these things and I'm never sure of the difference between a tortoise and a turtle.
At one point, she asked me to go and buy her a drink. I stood in line for an eternity to buy her an overpriced Sprite. When I went back to the reptile area to give her the drink, I asked her what kind of snake she was holding. "A ball python," she answered.
Later in the day, she asked me if I could go and buy her a snack. She had money but did not want to leave the booth. She cautioned me not to buy her a cold snack (like ice cream) because the snake would not like it if her hands were cold. I got her a hot pretzel. This time, when I went to give it to her, I thought she was holding a different snake but I wasn't sure. "Is that one a ball python, too?" I asked.
She looked at me like I didn't have two brain cells rattling around in my head. "Um, it's a Bredli's Carpet Snake." This was accompanied by a slight eye-roll. Well, excuuuuuuuse me and my dumb self.
A few moments later, I watched as my daughter asked a largish man if he wanted to hold the snake. "Nooooo," he said and took a step backward. I am pretty sure her whole afternoon was like that.
At the end of the day I was so proud of my baby girl, mostly because she focused on one thing and stuck with it. She learned a lot and maybe taught others a thing or two as well. I know I am always saying that she has trouble focusing but I guess she CAN focus on certain things. The reptile people said she did a great job. The expo was scheduled to end at 5:00. At 4:30 I went back to the reptile education area and asked her if she'd like to end her shift so that she could walk around a little. A lot of the booths had games and stuff, so I figured maybe she'd like to win some worthless junk. She shook her head no and stayed in her appointed spot until the expo ended.
Color me proud. She's growing up. ::sniffle sniffle:::
p.s. Tell me the truth. I'm going to end up with a snake in my house someday, aren't I?