Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Here is some evidence to support the fact that I can totally hack it as a boy mom. This morning, while Garrett was pushing breakfast around his plate, I went out to water the garden. I decided to flip the sprinkler switch instead of watering it by hand. As I rounded the corner of the shed I saw a snake, coiled and catching some rays. I called the dog and put him in the house and quickly headed back to survey the reptile. When I first saw it laying there I did jump just a bit. Having lived in Ramona for most of my life, I just assume that all snakes are guilty of being rattlers until proven innocent. I wasn't sure what kind of snake it actually was and I didn't feel much like getting bit so I attempted to pick it up close to the head. Unfortunately, it was much faster than me and I ended up grabbing it by the tail end just before it darted under the shed. It never tried to bite me so I permitted it to come into my home and meet my son.

Garrett thought it was a hilarious riot. He continuously hissed and darted his tongue back and forth. I put the snake in the bathtub until I could think of something better to do with him. (Why do we refer to snakes as males?)

I called Troy to ask if we could keep him--further proof that I am a stellar mom of boy. Troy seemed less sold on the idea, "You'd need a ten gallon tank. Where would we put that?" I called my dad because I wanted to try to feed the snake for the purpose of educating my toddler and I could not figure out what kind of snake this was. It didn't particularly look like a garter snake but my experience with gopher snakes is that they are mean mean mean and this little guy was actually kind of friendly. I certainly didn't want to try to feed a fish/insect/frog eating snake a mouse and I didn't want to try to feed a rodent eating snake the aforementioned fish. My dad wasn't sure but he said that it would probably only need a 5 gallon tank--if I did decide to keep him. I put the snake in a plastic bin on the front porch and headed over to Petco.

After walking around Petco for a good twenty minutes I decided that tank, ground cover, heat lamp, light bulbs, heat rock, water dish (especially one big enough for a fish eating snake which I was pretty sure this was), food, etc was going to cost more than I wanted to spend. I used to joke that we were two cats over our pet quota. I now feel very badly about that statement since Evie has apparently gone to the great cattery in the sky. However, it doesn't change the fact that three pets can be a bit much, even if one of them is a reptile living in a cage. I decided that, perhaps, Garrett could have a snake when he was a little older. Maybe some kind of smallish boa that moves slowly. I informed my son that we would go home and release the snake and we could have an outside pet that we rarely, if ever, get a glimpse of. But we'll know he's there.

Me: Well, we should probably name the snake. You know, in case we see him in the yard.
Garrett: Nods
Me: What should we call him?
Garrett: Sssss
Me: Really? Are you sure? Maybe something else.
Garrett: (with authority) Mama!
Me: Then Sssss it is!

I don't really want my resident snake being referred to as "Mama" although my dad pointed out that then Garrett could tell people that Mama sleeps under the shed. Just before I released Sssss back into the wild, I decided to try to get a picture of Garrett with him.

I'm holding the snake and taking the picture. Garrett kind of poked him in the face and I think Sssss flicked Garrett with his tongue. Then Sssss started wildly waving his head and upper body all around in an attempt to get free. This freaked my son out and he ran halfway across the yard. Then I let Sssss go and he slithered along the side of the shed and straight underneath it. Garrett has been asking for Sssss ever since. I just inform him that he's napping. I did some research on the Internet and discovered that the reason it didn't look like a garter snake is because it is a juvinile and they are a different color.
So, you see, God totally knew what he was doing when he gave me a son. He totally knew that I would catch a snake with my bare hands and strongly consider keeping it. Even now I feel a slight sadness that I didn't splurge on all the reptile paraphernalia. So I ask, am I a good boy mom or what?


Here are a few pictures from our Dinosaur Museum Excursion on Friday. The first one is Troy and Garrett playing in this kiddie tunnel thingy.

Below is a hands on exhibit where you can build dams out of sand and redirect water pathways and play with toy dinosaurs. We put a frock on Garrett to keep him clean and dry but it didn't really matter because he wasn't quite sure about having wet sand on his hands so he pretty much watched. Troy and I, on the other hand, well, we can play just as well as the other five year olds.

Finally, here is Garrett hanging out on a dinosaur. We all had a good time and now if we ask Garrett what a dinosaur says he makes a very loud growling sound.


  1. You rock.

    I do agree with your dad, however, "Mama" would have been a funnier name than Ssss. Think of all the fun I could have had with that.


  2. You are a very brave mama. The only part of my hand that snake would have seen would have been my hand holding a shovel over it...ready to make it meet it's maker!! I don't' like snakes at all.....in fact when I had one in my kitchen (on the stove)I called 911. You feel blessed being the mother of a boy (doing that brave boyish thing), well just wait until he has a bunch of guy buddies over and they do gross things like......... (I won't say what's on my mind, since your blog has a "A" rating).

  3. Sounds like a fun couple of days!