He was thrilled. He thinks she's beautiful. He named her Tiki. But he stills calls her a "him." It is sort of difficult to call a bearded dragon a "her."
However, despite his lizard love, he is, I think, having some angst about the whole thing. The angst seems to stem from the fact that, because his hands are little, the lizard feels a bit unstable in his hands and gets a little flighty and freaked out. Also, the caretaking is not too complicated, but there is enough going on that the boy needs a bit of help. I think he's struggling with the fact that he needs help. He wants to be the one who knows exactly what to do. He wants the lizard to feel most comfortable with him. Since these things aren't happening, he sometimes shuts down a bit, in relationship to the lizard, and goes outside to look for tiny bugs that he can manage completely on his own.
But we're trying not to quiz him too much about what's bothering him and why he doesn't want to hold the lizard more. Because he's also the type of kid who wants to please people, so he wouldn't want anyone to think he doesn't love the lizard because he would be worried that we'd feel bad since we wanted him to love it.
Ah, the joys of having a smart, perfectionistic, sensitive kid. Or perhaps I'm just projecting?
Luckily, we all like the lizard, so we're just rolling with it, hoping that as he gets more familiar and confident with the lizard routine, he'll feel better.
Interesting details: The dragon eats a lot of crickets, and it loves dandelions, bok choy, carrot tops, and nasturtium flowers. It remains uninterested in chard. On my next trip to the store, I'll get some kale to see how she likes it. Also, when the lizard gets sleepy, it's like a puppy. It's eyes get a little blinky; then, it crawls off of its basking rock into a hidey corner, lays its chin down, closes it eyes, and crashes out for the entire night.
I'll post pictures soon.