When you become a parent, you child-proof your house, wanting to make sure your kid is kept from harm. And you make rules, hoping to keep them safe. But, our trip to Thailand made me realize, you can’t prepare for everything, nor can you even imagine all of the rules you’ll need for your children.
In Phuket, we hired a driver to show us around for the day. He took us to a small farm for an elephant ride.
Afterwards, the people who ran the place asked if we wanted to see their pets, and that’s when the monkey business really began. I mean literally, their pets were monkeys and after our ride, we went to see them. Feisty Spice, who has no fear, went right up to the monkey. Looking back, I suppose she thought he was a child, albeit a strange looking one, because she held his hand, gave him high-fives, and talked to him just like he was a friend.
So, when I looked down and saw her eating something, I was alarmed. What did she have in her mouth? It was white and crunchy. I asked her what it was, but she couldn’t tell me. She didn’t like it, though, and started spitting it out. After helping her, I ran around panicked, asking everyone if they had given her something to eat. Nope, no one had given her anything. This was weird; she is over the stage where she puts everything in her mouth. What was it?
Well, when I finally pieced together the whole story, I was totally grossed out, hoping she wasn’t going to get sick.
The Little Guy found a small white shell on the ground and gave it to the monkey.
Then, the monkey put it into his mouth, slobbering it up. After that, the monkey gave it to Feisty who thought that since the monkey had eaten it, that it was okay. Ugh! So she was crunching down on a shell that had just been in a monkey’s mouth. What kind of monkey diseases could she get???!!!!
The rest of the day, I kept thinking about it, trying to figure the possible incubation period for various monkey diseases. (As if I have any idea about monkey diseases!) Everyday afterward, I looked for a rash, fever, or anything else that would indicate she’d been infected by some unknown but horrific disease, but after a few days passed and she didn’t come down with anything, I relaxed a little. When we got home, I took her to the doctor who said she was okay. Thank goodness!
I know that many parents have a rule about accepting food from a stranger, and I’m sure I’ll adopt that rule, too. But, who would have thought I’d need a rule about monkeys? Well, now I realize that I do. So here it is: Never eat anything a monkey gives you.