I would like to start off by asking why children ages 7 to 10 years old want to have small rodents as pets? I am quite certain that 88% of elementary school's population either wants one or has one or a gaggle.
One day in December, my daughter announced that she would just love one. I already was a loser in this battle since she and her father agreed that they would be the greatest hamster owners of all time and I wouldn't have to worry about taking care of it at all.
So you know how that goes. I still laugh at this classic line; you don't have to worry I will take care of this pet. I believe it is mandatory statement in life on the check list. God's like, 'yup, got that one down, on to the next one which happens at a sleepover....Mom, I promise we will go to sleep when you say it's time.
So Bailey came home. Cause why? Cause I'm a sucker.
Oh and Bailey is a dwarf hamsters, and this 2 inch rodent was picked because they don't bite...uh huh.
What I didn't know about hamsters previous to owning one was that they are up all.night.long. It's really awesome. And what they do is run on their wheel, all.night.long. So here's what. When wheel and cage came home it was tooted that said wheel is just wonderful. It's plastic and doesn't squeak like its metal counter parts. Instead it gets to sound like a hallow barrel rolling down a hill, all.night.long. Really great invention.
So Bailey was danced around with. Bailey was placed on everyone's head, and 'isn't it so cute, Bailey just ran up my pant leg.' I assured said person that it would not be cute if Bailey did in fact bite and bit her who-ha.
Said child had library one day at school.This child only brings home non fiction animal books. Books about poodles, and parrots, and rabbits. My mother's comment was, 'oh she just loves books about animals.' I really didn't have the heart to tell her that Kendall could really care less about library but has to check out a book. So girl walks in and walks to the same spot she always does, grabs a book, and her job is done. I know this because, 'I Love Shi Tsus!,' has come home like 5 times already. Girl does not love Shi Tsus that much.
I will go off a little bit here and tell all you that I read to this child and still do religiously. When she was an infant I was reading to her as she came out of the womb. Presently, she is required to read or be read to 15 minutes daily, at some points this is like pure punishment. So in the study that children who are read to daily develop a healthy hobby of reading is so not true as of yet for my lab rat. It kind of breaks my heart a little bit. I am all like, 'We can read chapter books together!!! Let's go read Little House on the Prairie!!' Girl is all like talking to herself about her loose teeth within five minutes, then attempting to find lost book mark so that it is ready, because, 'two chapters is good for tonight.' I tell her she has no idea what she is missing out on, apparently this does not matter. I can only hope that Ramona the Pest at some point becomes so very entertaining, otherwise I have failed her.
But on this particular library day girl is ecstatic. In her 'go to' spot she picked out a winner. A book about hamsters, perfectly entitled, 'I Love Hamsters.' Riveting.
So we read it after dinner that night. As the sentence is coming out of my mouth I am regretting it, but that night my brain must not have been functioning on all cylinders because I couldn't ad lib fast enough and stop myself. 'Hamsters do well in pairs. They enjoy the company and warmth of another Hamster, and have proven to become what might be the human equivalent of lonely on their own.'
Immediately. 'Oh no, poor Bailey, she must be so very lonely.' I tried to assure both the oldest boy and Kendall that I was certain that dwarf hamsters are different and they like to be alone. Yeah, well see what happens as your children grow is they catch onto your little deterrents. 'Well Mommy, I think the book would say that, like say that hamsters are lonely when the only one in a cage, except for the dwarf hamster, and it doesn't, Mommy.' So Bailey was cried and apologized to on a nightly basis.
'We are so sorry Bailey that you are all alone in that big cage.' I could not take the weeping or the delaying of bed time. And here's my f-d up brain, what's one more? So they had to do chores for two weeks. These kids wiped freaking toilet seats.
So another female hamster was brought home. Star Fire. Cause Why? Cause I'm a sucker. The requirement I had was that this thing must have a who-ha. I went as far as to tell them that if a male was brought home and babies were made that the male then eats the babies. I have no idea if this is true or not. Maybe I heard it somwhere, or totally made it up...that happens a lot when raising children. However, it is now a fact in my house.
Here's what everyone, but me, forgot. We have a two year old child. It does not matter where you put the cage of hamsters. This child scales walls. On a good day he will come downstairs no fewer then two times with a hamster in his hand telling us, 'ook, ook, Bawee loves me, awwww...' as he squeezes it, stretches it, rubs it on his face,and has the thing crawling all over his arms. And here is the kicker. Occasionally, two year old will not mention that he has freed a hamster. And he will take it to playroom. He then must get totally involved in trucks and then all of a sudden remembers he had a hamster twenty minutes ago. He will then come find me and say, 'uhh Ma-yee, Bawee is lost.' So then I have to spend an hour looking for a neutral colored three inch hamster in a 500 square foot pile of toys. Really rad. As this is going on I have girl standing in the midst of this, who mind you is a future oscar winning actress, weeping like it is the end of the world.'If anything, anything happens to Bailey or Star Fire, I will just die. I want pink roses at my funeral, I won't be able to live another day without them. Jacob, I just cannot believe you are so careless. Mommy, this is devastating!'
Stanley however hates these things. He tries so very hard to behave when they are out and flying around on the children's arms as I instruct him to be a good boy. He shakes with anxiety sure that the kids are going to get their eyeballs eaten out. Of course we find this incredibly entertaining.
What!?!?! Your family doesn't totally hang out in Power Ranger costumes while torturing animals?
Lillian on the other hand could really care less, she just wants to know why her food bowl is empty and where she can sleep the day away.
Hamsters live two years on average.
I have now invested two years of my life to cleaning hamster turds out of a cage.
Because as you know, if you are a mom, it doesn't matter what they say or promise, the animals are yours whether you wanted them or not. It's part of our contract.
And Star Fire completely bit my nose the other night while attempting to read a chapter book with the girl. Totally want a refund.