My child wants a hamster.
I would say that this isn’t an issue I would normally write about, but who am I kidding? I’ve written about such fascinating topics like dishpan hands and math homework, so what’s keeping me from the glamour of a composition about hamsters?
It’s only when I pause to examine my subject matter, that I discover excitement on a whole new level.
(That also happens when we watch Full House reruns every night before Luke goes to bed.) (I may have just hit a new low, people.)
Anyway, the hamster.
Luke wrote this letter as a persuasive writing assignment in class earlier this month:
The reason I’m wasting internet space on this hamster saga, is because I feel like I need to explain the Copious Amount of Animals Luke listed in his sales pitch.
I live in this house on a daily basis, you guys. But seeing it spelled out in a 9 year old’s handwriting flipped a light switch: WE HAVE FOUR ANIMALS. Which seems a bit much for someone who IS NOT crazy about animals.
You will never see pictures on my Facebook wall of animals; and I cannot fathom that we would ever include them in our church directory photos. (But that’s just me.)
I mean, sure, dogs are okay…a little bit. And kittens are good. But for crying out loud, I might as well be living on a farm! Except that might be better because it seems like farm animals mostly stay outside or something. How in the world did we get to this place? That’s what I want to know.
Larry is quick to remind me that our animal farm situation is a direct result of my impulsivity. Surely that isn’t totally true.
But really, it sort of is.
One Saturday morning when Luke was 2 years old, Luke and I went to PetSmart while Larry was golfing. I recall thinking how clever I was for thinking of such a perfect Mommy & Me field trip. (Where was Facebook back then, so I could document that awesomeness?) (As if.)
The local shelter was set up in the store that day, and when I spotted the cutest black and white puppy ever, I thought of all the reasons why having a dog would be marvelous. So I called Larry, and he didn’t really have time to bring logic to the situation, because he was on the 14th hole and it was his turn to putt. (Which is why I always waited for Saturday mornings to propose any sort of major purchases.) (Which is also probably why Larry quit golfing.)
Larry’s favorite part of this particular 14th hole conversation is how I told him Ranger’s expected adult weight was 40 pounds. He likes to remind me of that scene when Ranger tips the scale between 85-90 pounds at his annual check-ups. In my defense, you wouldn’t expect a Great Dane mix to tip the scales to the left of 50, right?
(I mean, how was I to know?)
And the cats…
Don’t even ask why I ever wanted a cat. Because “want” and “cat” are diametrically opposed in my mind these days. I do remember they [were] really cute, and that we got two because why would we just get one, when we could get two? An argument that might be a good idea for fish, but should never ever be used for animals that live outside of a bowl.
Nonetheless, adorableness overcame rational thinking before I could make a t-chart about pros and cons. Okay, to be honest, I have never analyzed a decision using any kind of chart. That would be Larry’s job; and perhaps, in this situation, my emotional pleas wore his nerves down to nubs before he could access a spreadsheet.
It wouldn’t be so bad if they were anything like the stereotypical, solitude-loving cat who doesn’t like people. We couldn’t be so fortunate. Because not only are these felines twice as large as your typical lap dog, they follow me EVERYWHERE. They clearly don’t pick up on social clues, since they haven’t gotten the memo that I am not a fan.
Last but not least, there’s Ruby, our Jack Russell
Terror Terrier. On Christmas Eve, 2009, I had the excellent idea that it would so cool to get Luke a puppy for Christmas. I’m pretty sure I had seen a commercial where a kid got a puppy, and it was so sweet because the puppy had a cute bow and all that.
(Which explains why buying a Lexus always seems like a good idea around Christmas time.) (It’s totally the bow.)
So I spent the better half of Christmas Eve morning (because I never wait until the last minute), researching our options until I found a Jack Russell breeder about an hour north of our house. Lauren and Kathryn (my stepdaughters), and I drove through a torrential downpour that evening to pick up Luke’s brand new puppy. (We even stopped at Walgreens on the way home for a bow.)
Upon further reflection, Larry is right. I basically built this zoo from the ground up.
But a hamster? I’m thinking Luke might have a shot if he puts a bow on it.
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