My son asked:
"Daddy, can I get an alligator?"
"What's wrong with crocodiles? And also, where would the alligator live?"
"Because I like alligators. It could live up in our tree so it doesn't bite me."
I thought reflectively.
"But what would you DO with a pet alligator?"
He answered honestly. "I would like for it to eat Sissy, and Mommy, and you."
"Because it's a baby alligator and I would hold it and it would get big and it could sleep with me."
- "That didn't really answer my question. But okay. Umm...it would be a much quieter house with just you and...what would would you name your alligator?"
(Whispered conference with his older, idea-flowing older sister. Reconvene.)
"Frederick. I would name him Frederick."
I said not unkindly.
"I've thought about it, and I've decided: we are not getting an alligator. Sorry."
- "I can't really think of a good reason, but we are just not getting one right now."
(Beat. Wheels spin.)
"Can I get a crocodile or dinosaur?"
- "I'll think about it,"
I said honestly.