“Stupid hamster, stupid 3:30 AM, stupid cage, stupid me for letting stupid child get stupid rodent,” runs through my head. Well, ‘stupid’ wasn’t the word I was thinking, but in an effort to be less Jack Kerouac and more Anne of Green Gables, that’s the word I’m publishing. New Year’s resolution and all, you know.
Last night, or rather, very early this morning, I found myself chasing the dwarf hamster all over the room where it has, conveniently, found every niche and can run to a new hiding spot faster than my sleep-deprived brain can process. Of course, the 4 year old, who never really sleeps but rather hovers in limbo for a couple of hours each night, is wide awake, has assessed the situation accurately and with glee, and has loudly informed the had-been-sound-asleep-even-with-the-light-on 7 year old. Well, since we’re all awake in here, why not get the husband? After all, I’m sure he’s to blame somehow. He might as well get out of that warm bed and chase the vermin, too. So I send the hamster-owner to fetch the man with a warning, “QUIETLY!” The baby really does not need to be invited to this little party.
Waking Hal was a good choice. He calmly cupped his hands and then sat and waited while the hamster ran around, frequently returning to sniff said-man’s hands. I’m too impatient, too angry, too flustered to catch hamsters. Hal, on the other hand, is a model of forbearance, which pays off with rodents and legal work. Go figure.
By 3:45 we had caged Nutmeg (why do people name these things after food?) and climbed back into bed. And I laid awake counting and recounting the maximum number of hours I could sleep. Which was a slowly declining number. You know that panicked feeling, that “hurry, hurry, hurry and sleep” feeling? Right.
We have no idea how Nutmeg cum Houdini escaped. The cage was shut tight, and it had been in its wheel when we went to bed. I know because, in addition to checking every window and door, I now check cages.
Maybe we will get a cat after all.