5 Reasons I Need A Hamster Like A Hole In My Head
My big boys are trying to rope me into getting them a hamster by being so inventive in building their own hamster house. For the love of Pete, I need a hamster in my house like I need a hole in my head. We already have three boys (if I stopped there, that would be enough), a dog, and two chickens.
But. Do you know what I need less than a hamster or a hole in my head? That would be one of my children going off to college that is still sucking his thumb. We've tried the thumb guards, the incentives, the asking him, "Would you rather have a car or braces? It's going to be kind of embarrassing when you go to pick up a girl for a date on your scooter." I'm a little embarrassed to say, I even looked up people with really bad overbites on the computer and showed him the pictures. Nothing has worked. I think he's just been secretly holding out for something really good to give it up. That something really good is apparently a hamster. Crap.
I know. I know. I hear you saying, "Oh, just let them get a hamster. It will teach them responsibility and animal husbandry and such. They'll take really good care of it."
Well, here are 5 reasons I need a hamster like a hole in my head.
1. It will escape and die in my kids’ closet. I had at least three hamsters, my favorite being "Willy" whom we nicknamed Houdini because we could not keep him in his cage. My brother had a dwarf hamster, Red Hot Chili Pepper. I'm not making that up. (It was the nineties.) Red Hot Chili Pepper also escaped frequently and one time WE NEVER FOUND HIM. THIS is the current state of the big boys' closet. If this hamster gets out, he will die in this closet.
2. It will die eventually. Speaking of dying, even if he doesn't die in this closet, he WILL DIE eventually. Ugh. Then, the kids we will be so sad and we will have to bury it in the backyard with one of our chickens, Amy (#1). Someday, we are actually going to move to a house with enough bedrooms for everyone and the kids have already requested that we DIG UP Amy #1 so we can bury her in the new backyard. THAT will make a wonderful impression on our new neighbors. "Hi. Don't mind us. We're just moving in next door (with our pet cemetery)."
You see, the boys tend to get VERY attached to animals. About a month ago, the boys were all worked up about wanting a pet turtle. They didn't have any money, so they decided they were going to catch a pet turtle. Not figuring they would actually ever catch a red eared slider from our neighborhood duck pond, I dutifully trudged up to the pond with the boys and their turtle catching contraptions for a week.
Then, the unimaginable happened. They actually caught a little baby red eared slider. Crap. Another opportunity for me to be the bad guy, again. I reluctantly agreed to let the boys bring the turtle home and observe it until the next morning, but then we had to TAKE IT BACK. "His mommy will be sad and looking for him."
So, the boys named him "Rocky," they observed him, they Googled what turtles eat, where they live, etc. It was a wonderful learning experience. The next morning, when we plodded back to the park to set him free, we had another wonderful learning experience... about the food chain. We all eased down to the edge of the pond. Big Kid slowly released him into the water. Rocky took off. He was swimming with all of his little turtle might.
The feelings of satisfaction that Rocky was back where he needed to be were quickly extinguished when he as about six feet away and a duck attacked him. Rocky, the turtle that we had for 14 HOURS still holds a place of honor in the boys' room.
3. Sometimes, pets are mean. I had a host of small pets when I was growing up. (Bless my parents’ hearts.) "Poke-a-nose" the hedgehog was also a really good pet until she wasn't. One weekend, we brought my science teacher's male hedgehog over for a visit (if you know what I mean). We didn't SEE anything happen. However, some time later, while we were out of town and a friend was watching her for me, (surprise, surprise), she gave birth to three little hedge hoglets.