We have a visitor for the next two weeks. Our friend down the street graciously agreed to pet sit our Beta fish named Alpha while we were on vacation and we happily agreed to pet sit their Gecko named Gilbert. She told me it wasn’t an equal trade but I assured her I was game. “There are quite a few steps and one of them involves live crickets,” she says to me. I pretended to be unfazed. It is highly unlikely we will ever own a reptile so why not have a close encounter for a few weeks. Plus the kids will love it.

They were brave to entrust me since I knew nothing about geckos until my first meet and greet at 8:30pm – turns out geckos are nocturnal. The next thing I learned is that geckos eat live crickets. So taking care of a gecko involves taking care of a small army of jumpy insects that need to be coated in a white powder before dropping them into the habitat. I was determined to be brave and nonchalant about the whole endeavor (after all I have two boys) and Gilbert’s owner made it look so easy.

Our first night with Gilbert, I opened the bin of jumpy crickets and attempted to scoop out a few for their “shake and bake”. These crickets knew I was an amateur and took full advantage. As soon as I had captured one another would jump out of the box. It was pretty hilarious. My oldest son started to add to the excitement by tickling my ankles which turned me into a jumpy cricket. It got a little crazy but we were able to get Gilbert four coated crickets. I’ve lost count of how many escaped in the office. Tomorrow night we’ll move this cricket operation outside.

Thankfully Gilbert’s fifth grade owner left me very detailed instructions about how to care for his gecko. I have referred to them frequently checking on instructions for temperature and humidity levels among other things.


I check on him all the time but it isn’t until close to 10:00pm that I see his little face start to peer out of his tiny wooden home. The other night my husband checked on him before going to bed. “Hey check out your gecko, he’s on top of his habitat,” he says. I nearly had a heart attack. “How did he get out!”, I panicked. “No, no.” he says to me, “He’s on top of his little house in the tank.” Thank heaven. While I am getting pretty good with the crickets I’m not sure I ready to handle a gecko. Truthfully I don’t mind taking care of Gilbert at all, in fact I am enjoying it. But I am petrified that he will meet the maker on my watch. Please don’t die! I feel a tremendous sense of responsibility for this little gecko and his owner.

Here he is peeking out of his home. Do you think he knows I’m writing about him?