03 September 2007


I am a total glutton for punishment. I mean really.

I was hanging out with my mom Saturday, doing a spot of lunch, a bit of shopping. With my children in tow, of course. She needed to stop by the pet store for turtle food, which is a stop my son adores, but never gets to do with me because Miss C will typically get a few hives there due to her dog and cat allergy. Yes, even without touching the animals.

So, I struck a deal. Miss C was almost out for the count in her car seat, and I was craving a decaf latte (yes, straight up, no sweeteners, no flavorings--they're best this way); Starbucks shares a small parking lot with the pet store. How terribly convenient. So, I waited in a long line (this location is older and lacks the lovely drive-thru feature) for my latte and a pumpkin loaf while my mother and son patiently waited their turn to have an indulgent stop in the pet store. I sat sipping my lovely drink, eating generous pinches of my dessert and chatting with a friend on my cell while they took their time and Miss C slept on. Ideal, really. I was quite content and enjoying myself thoroughly.

Then, as I hung up the phone, I glanced in my side view mirror and saw my son and mother arriving. They were approaching my door, not the one for my son to get in. So, I rolled down the window. Big eyes peered up at me, so incredibly full of hope and expectation that fear began at my toes and worked it's way up. "Please, can I have a hampster???" Uh. . .uh. . .Apparently he'd just seen one giving birth and fell in love with the whole hampster world. Oh Boy.

"Well, I don't know if this is a good time for it..." I began. Now, my mom had already warned him the answer might be "No", but the tears spilled over and the frustration set in. I explained I couldn't make that decision without talking to Daddy. I explained that we didn't know if Miss C would have an allergy. We discussed the fact that they don't live long lives and it will die at an unkown time. We talked about the fact that he would be responsible for it, not me. And that if it's not fed and cared for it will die sooner not later.

Oh, and he wanted a girl "So it will have babies." Uh. . .

Turn my head and die laughing while my mom gloats that it's finally struck me what he's been specifying. So, I had to explain that babies need daddies, just like him, Miss C and the new baby we're having...there's a daddy. So, having a girl hampster doesn't mean we'll have babies.

We at long last settled on getting a book to learn more about hampsters and their care. Right. My mother did let me know that apparently there was one for adoption (read: free, but she was offering to foot the bill anyway so that wasn't exactly the issue at hand), and the lady in the store had mentioned it which was probably encouraging my son's desire for a new bet now.

The trotted off to find a book and become informed on the hampster up for adoption.

I called my husband to make a joint decision. He thought it was fine. I kinda did, too. Little B has been very willingly feeding the birds anytime he's reminded for a copule months now. He enjoys it and loves that it's part of his job (that started at his request). Granted, he doesn't typically remember on his own, but does not complain when it's brought up. I'm impressed, and just fill in when I forget to have him do it. He's also greatly improved with keeping his room tidier, and we've been very pleased.

My mother and son arrive back at the van beaming--remember, they were supposed to find a BOOK about hampsters. My mother about burst as she told me the hampster for adoption was so friendly, so sweet, so cuddly. . .and practically perfect for a first pet. By this time, Miss C was awake and I reluctantly loaded her into the stroller a pet store adventure (and yes, she came out with the requisite 2 or 3 hives).

First, we checked out the hampster and it was everything my mom said and more. I let the lady know we'd take it--a female hampster no less!--but kept Little B on his toes about my indecisiveness for a few minutes longer. Cruel mother, I am. As we perused the hampster aisle I explained our reasons for allowing him to have a pet hampster (all the aformentioned responsibility stuff). He was so beside himself!! We got it all. . ."ham-trac" (the traditional ball with a track for it to race on!), cage, food, bedding, etc. Now, we've had to set rules for having a grown-up around when the hampster is handled since he was easily about to get carried away with the in and out stuff.

And, he has announced to a room full of people that his new hampster, "Peanut" will be having babies. . . hhhmmm. . .

Welcome to the family, Peanut.


Karen said...

Awww, so fun!

Our hamster Hammy sends his best wishes to Peanut.

Carbon said...

We had Hammy the hamster growing up too! We loved the hamster ball. Watching him carouse the main floor was great and my cat was expecially interested in that!

Congrats on peanut!