Insanity in Numbers: Dealing with a Large Neo-Family
You love your pets - each and every one of them. We all told ourselves, "One is enough," but then, while pound-surfing, we fell in love again. And a new pet came out. And you found a perfectly named, gorgeous pet up for adoption. And a superb untaken name. And--
Before you know it, all five accounts are nearly full. It doesn't matter. They're your pets, all beautiful and perfectly customized and with awesome characters. It doesn't matter, that is, until you start hearing things like this (for argument's and length's sake, I'm assuming you're a girl. If this severely offends you, shut your eyes and imagine it says "Dad"):
"MOM! Wuzzied stole my brush! I had to save for that!"
"I did not steal her stupid brush! Why would I want a brush?"
"Mom, the new baby puked on the floor again."
"MOM! My hat got sat on by SOMEONE and now it's all rumply."
"Mom. Momomomom. MOMMY. Look. Look what I drew. Look at it. LOOK LOOK LOOK LOOK."
And, of course, "Mom! I was in Neopia Central and there were a big Skeith and it was like, wanna put your moneyz here, and I was like, no, and it was like, goodbye madam, and I was like, what's that s'posed to mean, and he was like --"
Sooner or later, you're going to get a little cracked. This is what duct tape and this article is for. Well, actually, the article isn't for your pets' mouths, but it helps with the sanity thing anyway. There is a way! You, with the help of this article, will need to establish your pets' base personalities and then use that to adhere to their various needs.
The Victim: This pet often believes others are at fault for their problems. Blaming others is a constant happening, for everything from their failed test to their lost brush to the weather. These pets can be hard to deal with at first, but with a bit of coaxing can be one of the highlights of your family. I would suggest getting him or her a copy of Finding Illusen, a rare kind of book that's worth it. Go through the book with them, pointing out good ways to find Illusen. Since it's a write-your-own adventure book, the two of you will have lots of fun finding her together and solving the pets' problem. If you can't afford it, I would also suggest getting a cheap housekeeper for his or her room only, so at least things aren't being "stolen" anymore.
The Tattletale: This pet tells on everyone, ratting out those who did something bad and jabbering about things that happened for you to clean. Unhelpful in the actual cleaning and a frustration to other pets, this problem-neopet is actually an easy one to solve. First, always include him or her in the things he or she expects you to clean. But don't discourage her from telling you who threw up where - give her a little incentive like a candy or 100 neopoints for helping out. Soon everyone will be clamoring to help, but beware those who create problems in order to clean them and get the reward. As for the tattling, I like to use a technique invented by myself. It requires cooperation from your other pets, but generally they're willing to help. Start a "Tattle Time" in which everyone sits together and gets to tell on one other person. Get your other pets to look out for your tattler's misdeeds. Once he or she finds out how much trouble she'll be in, the pet will clamor for an end to "Tattle Time". Remind them that this is the only time one can tattle. If she or he doesn't agree, repeat. If she or he does, however, problem solved. Refuse to listen to any other tattling. If it's serious, someone else will tell you.
The Customization Crazy: This pet, usually a she, is crazy about clothes. It's draining your bank account and she can't even wear them all at once! Not only that, but she's usually hyper-protective of the clothes, not letting anyone else use them. This fix, however, should make everyone happy. My first suggestion is that you start giving your pets allowances. This not only teaches them responsibility and neopoint-management, but also sets a limit for your clothes-loving pet, so your savings don't plummet when that awesome new hat comes out. However, if you have 15+ pets, this could be the thing making the severe dent in your savings. So my second idea for you is to send them to the games room! Key Quest, for example, has unlimited plays (though, admittedly, a limited number of key-ins) so your pets can earn to their hearts content. It's a win-win.
The Attention-Lover: We all have that one pet who can't get enough of him- or herself. Always begging to be looked at and admired, this pet's little habits get old fast, especially when you're trying to clean something else up. This solution may require some neopoints, but it's worth it. I recommend mirrors. Fill the offending pet's room with dozens and dozens of mirrors for admiration, then set a limit on "Look". Each pet gets three non-emergency (the younger pets may need help on deciding what qualifies as an "emergency") "looks". Be sure to let your pets know you love them, though. Never forget to tuck them in and kiss them goodnight. A neglected pet is always worse than a problematic one.
The Blabber-Mouth: A pet that talks forever on uninteresting things can be irritating, but before implementing these strategies, look into his or her friends. If she or he has a lot, follow the upcoming plan. If not, get help! Maybe the book Learn Social Skills will aid them, as well as Confident Kyrii. If she does have friends, and is simply the type who wants to talk because s/he likes hearing his or her own voice, invest in a tape recorder. That way your pet can go to his or her room and record to her heart's content! And who knows? Maybe there's a future of a radio announcer there!
The One That's Never There: Some people have a pet that's never at home, off on strange adventures and coming home at weird times. I can only suggest a dinner-hour requirement - ask that this pet is home for dinner (set a time) and if not, think up some consequences, such as being grounded. It's tough, but don't we want to see our lovely pets some of the time?
Naturally these aren't all the pet personality types, but with a little creativity you can come up with your own fixes. Now go! Go give your perfect, awesome, sweet, adorable, much-loved pets a hug. Because despite all their frustrating traits, they're your pets. Have fun with them.
And if anyone's seen Wuzzied, please let me know.
Yay, my first time in the Times! I hope this guide was amusing and useful.