Meet the Hamsters "Partly Cloudy" and "Cookie Dough".
When I was pregnant with Halle a few years ago, I was running out of steam at the end of the summer before the kids went back to school. The kids had grown "bored" of jumping on the trampoline, riding their bikes, swimming and such.
I didn't have any energy to entertain them.
I decided to purchase a distraction for the kids and myself. I went to the pet store and started to take a look around. I spied the hamsters and recalled how much fun I had playing with them when I was young. It was perfect! The kids would be able to hold them, keep them in their rooms and most of all
give me some peace and quiet.
I bought a fun big cage for the spoiled rascally critters and drove them home to a loving, accepting home full of hugs and kisses to be had. I envisioned the girls snuggling them, feeding them, and spending hours outside watching them frolic in the grass. I was so proud of myself for being so resourceful!
And then it happened. You know when life hits you square in the race and you realized that your perceptions don't line up *at all* with reality? Ya, it happens to me all the time. I watercolor the world with the beautiful and ideal circumstances that should be mine. Some say it is easier to just not expect anything but I don't agree. I am an optimist, almost to a fault.
The hamsters were immediately put through the worst kind of hell I am sure they could ever imagine! We will call it Hamster Hell for the purposes of this story and can I tell you that I pray to be worthy enough not to be reincarnated and visit hamster hell? It is my new motivation to get my life in order.
Brighton and Ella played bumper cars with two remote control trucks they had. Cookie Dough "drove" one and Partly Cloudy "drove" another.
They would squat down deep in the drivers seat trying not to fly out. It was probably more like demolition derby because the hamsters obviously hadn't had any driving lessons. Unfortunately for them, they didn't have seat belts either. Kind of like in the 80's when nobody wore them. I didn't figure that out until I was an adult and wondered how all five kids fit in the back seat made for three. Nobody actually used the old heavy belts. We folded the seats down and played games when we went on longer drives. There weren't videos, so we actually used cards and Walkmans to listen to music.
One day I found the kids in the garage with an 8 foot long tube tipping it back and forth. I questioned what fun game they had come up with and realized that the little buggers were too scared to come out, so they just sat in the middle! I tried to put it in their words, "Kids, how would YOU feel if someone stuck you in a tube and tipped you back and forth with nothing to hold on to?!" The just giggled and said, "OK mom!"
But the frosting hadn't been put on the cake until I walked in the bathroom one day and saw Ella filling up the sink with water. Poor Cookie Dough was swimming doggy paddling as fast as he could to stay afloat!
"ELLA!!!!" I screamed, "Hamsters can't swim!!"
She said in her sweet little voice, "Oh, O.K. mommy." as I rushed over to unplug the drain as certain, almost immediate death flashed before Cookie Dough's eyes. Yes, poor Cookie had almost become dough.I swear I could see a bead of sweat coming down Cookie Dough's forehead.
Eventually the hamsters were banished the garage because I couldn't handle the smell.
One day Partly Cloudy got out of the cage. I still don't know how. We couldn't find him anywhere! The kids were horrified. What would they spend their time doing if there was nobody around to torture? Their summer was looking bleak.
We had a little funeral to ease the pain. I explained that he was in heaven and would be happy there because he could fly. How else do you explain death to an innocent child? I did my best complete with song and prayer.
Thankfully, Ella was elated and slept well that night.
The next morning I awoke and went about my daily routine. "Laundry and dishes" I thought. "Does it EVER end?"
Ella trotted up to me with big eyes and a grin. I was so happy she was able to move on and find something else to fill her time.
"Mommy, I want to show you something!"
She brought me outside and proceeded to dig in the dirt. A treasure hunt? I didn't know what to expect and I was filled with anticipation.
Remember the term Hamster Hell? You thought that journey was over, but oh no, it was just beginning! I was so confused because we hadn't found the one that was lost yet.
"Mommy, you know how my hamster's friend died and he is happy flying? Well they both wanted to be together so I just threw it off the trampoline to show it how to fly and then buried it so they could be together FOREVER."
Flashes from the old movie "Pet Cemetery" went through my mind and not because of the hamster. It was because of the psycho little kid that was brought back to life. My kid was twisted for sure. How did I raise such a twisted little girl? She was so proud of her accomplishment I could barely breath.
The little guy's eyes were still open.
I almost barfed.
I didn't want to damage her innocent view of events so I gave her a hug and said,
"OK, honey but next time let's wait until it dies on it's own."
Over the next few days she kept digging it up because she missed him.
I let her know that probably wasn't a great idea and eventually had to throw it away where she couldn't find it because I didn't want her to get sick.
A few weeks later, the other hamster that was lost in the garage came walking out from under the shelf! It looked horrible. I tried to give it water, which according to Jon was the worst thing after it had probably eaten De-con.
I tried, Ella tried, but we now are known to every hamster that has scuttled on the earth as "Hamster Hell" and believe me there are better more obedient hamsters out there because of us. No, hamsters weren't meant to live at Pink Moss, they just weren't.
That following Sunday Ella went to nursery at church. She came into Sacrament meeting with this note pinned to her dress ...
When Jon and I have a bad day, we still laugh about this!