Moms | Teen Ink


February 14, 2008
By Anonymous

Moms: They can be a tad bit annoying at times, but even more when they think they know everything. Mine volunteered me for a job interview at the local Sonic. After telling her I was hired, she referred to it as “fantastic,” then called me “cute” the entire five-minute ride for my first day of work. Cute? No—bunnies are cute. What did I need a job for, anyway? I babysat almost once every week—sometimes twice—and made anywhere from one to two hundred dollars per month. At the time, I was being home schooled. During the day I would do my schoolwork, chores, and have free time to myself. I needed to focus on school—not a job.

Luckily, working helped me pay for Lola, my baby guinea pig—also known as a “pup”—who was practically everything to me at the time. Every other month I bathed her with guinea pig shampoo and conditioner, towel-dried her fur with her light blue hand towel, then I used a hair dryer to dry her fur more to prevent her from catching pneumonia. Besides the hygiene items, Lola had a large rodent cage, pine wood chips, Premium Guinea Pig food containing daily servings of vitamins, proteins, and fiber, a food bowl, a guinea pig brush, a pillow to either chew or lay on, and since she was potty trained: a restroom. Because I had bought her with my own money from babysitting and such, and I fought so much to have her, I had to pay for anything and everything she needed. The “family” guinea pig, Patches, was also my responsibility, which meant the money spent on Lola was doubled. On average, I was spending approximately one hundred dollars monthly.

In May, the expenses finally evened out. Another twenty dollars was spent, only this time, it was on a light brown and white long-haired guinea pig in which I named Hannah. Instead of them being doubled, the expenses were now tripled. Working at Sonic, as well as tending to the three guineas daily became a great hassle. It seemed as if I hadn’t any free time to myself—especially for schoolwork. As time passed by, it turned fragile: Lola was pregnant. My four year old brother, Christopher, had put Patches into her cage while my mom and I were in Mesquite. Pregnancy meant more money. I wanted to go shopping and by things for me, since I had spent so much on them already. Now, Lola needed vitamin C three times a day instead of just once or twice, and she needed to be watched as much as possible. Then again, Lola was my baby; I had raised her since she was only a few weeks old.

Time progressed. Summer began. June went by quickly. Lola grew into an eggplant shape. Her due date was getting closer. Unfortunately, I was on vacation from the last week of June to the second Sunday of July. Since I went with Jason and Amber, the people I babysat for, not only did I get a free vacation, but I earned three hundred dollars for babysitting. After my return home, I quit Sonic. I still had money, and I still had my babysitting job. Public school would be starting up again soon since Summer Break was over, and I was planning on going back. In early August, I gave my guinea pigs away to a lady who raises and breeds rodents to allow me to focus on school again.

Even though I miss them, when I look through pictures or think of when I took care of them, I think of how they’re in a much better place. Perhaps they were the purpose of my getting a job. Taking care of them made me realize that everything in life has a price, no matter what it is, even if it’s yours. Having a real job and working to earn my own money taught me responsibility, along with taking care of the guineas. For once, I stood on my own two feet, and, for once, I was living in reality.

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