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Tuesday 7 January 2014

Our house guest Gecky

Over the last two weeks the girls have been on Winter break from school and preschool.
During this time Ava had a little friend from school come and stay with us. No, it wasn't one of her classmates, it was her class pet. Gecky the gecko (super original name!) has been staying with us for the past two weeks and the girls have absolutely loved having a little animal friend to play with and look after. Sure, we have fish (and snails) in an aquarium, but you can't really cuddle a fish. Or make a Lego house for it!

Here's a look at the last fortnight with Gecky...

Ava enjoyed holding Gecky as much as possible. Lola was a little scared of her to begin with but once she got over her fear (which happened within a day or two) she was keen to try and hold her too. Of course, being a three year old, Lola was a little grabby and not as gentle as Ava so we had to be very careful when she held Gecky.

Our first day with Gecky

Lola's grabby little hand

The girls had fun making Lego Duplo houses, forts and mazes for Gecky. I'm not sure if lizards like bright colours (or if they even see colours for that matter) but Gecky seemed instantly attracted to the Lego each and every time we put her near it. She certainly liked to hide in the little houses that the girls made and seemed to like going through the windows. She also spent plenty of time weaving her way through the Lego mazes. Lola wasn't too impressed whenever Gecky "cheated" at the maze and climbed over the top though!

Hello Lego friends

I don't think your fat tail will make it through the giraffe's legs Gecky!

Hanging out on top of a Lego fort

Green light - Go Gecky!


Gecky makes her way through the maze

Cheating at the maze

Cheating again!

While Gecky was with us she shed her skin. When we first picked her up from school she had old skin on one foot that hadn't come off on its own. I soaked her feet in warm water for a little while and it came right off - in a perfect little lizard foot shape! I'd never seen a lizard's shed skin before so it had never occurred to me that it would come off in the shape of the body part. Growing up in country Australia I'd seen plenty of shed snake skins which we always in a snake shape but snakes are a pretty simple shape. I'd just never thought that the skin from a lizard would come off in the shape of more complex body parts.
Just like a lizard glove...

...or maybe a sock!

If I was amazed by Gecky's foot skin, imagine my surprise when a week and a half later she shed her entire skin and it came off in the shape of a lizard! Not just a foot, not just a tail, but a whole lizard! Well, it actually came off in two parts but together they made a whole lizard. I may have also helped her a little with the shedding. Not sure if I was supposed to or not but she seemed much more lively when it came off. How amazing does the skin from her front half look? A little creepy, yes, but amazing none the less.

The back half of Gecky's skin shed in the morning

By early evening the whole front half of Gecky was white and loose

Lola thought that Gecky looked like a ghost

As the skin lifted Gecky started to resemble a frilled neck lizard!

How amazing is this piece of shed skin?

Gecky seemed to enjoy being held, which was great as we all enjoyed holding her. She really like scampering up to my shoulder and hiding in my hair when I held her. I guess she was camouflaged there quite well. When Ava held her Gecky liked to lick her glasses and give her little kisses on the lips. I have no idea why she did this to Ava and no-one else. She never licked my glasses but would repeatedly do it to Ava. If Ava laid on the ground Gecky would race over to her, lick at her glasses and lips, then scurry to hide underneath Ava's chin. This always resulted in much laughing from Ava.

Gecky makes her way to Ava's face

Ava laughs after kisses from Gecky

Now that Winter break is over Gecky has gone back to Ava's classroom. After pet-sitting Gecky for two weeks take a guess at what Ava has at the top of her birthday wish list... That's right, a gecko! We all miss having a pet that we can interact with (as I mentioned before, fish aren't all that exciting) so we're looking into getting Ava a gecko for her birthday next month. Our local vivarium store (which just happens to be the largest in the country!) is out of African fat-tailed geckos like Gecky but we're on the waiting list for a hatchling. Alternatively they do have leopard gecko hatchlings at the moment so if Ava decides that she'd prefer one of those you just might be seeing a new spotty little friend on Little Hiccups.

But first we need to convince Ava to come up with a new name idea for her potential new pet... Gecksticle might not be the best!


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