Sunday, August 15, 2010

Hamster Wars

For months now Austin has been begging us for a pet.  He doesn't consider Jasmine the Wiener Dog a pet.  She doesn't count.  So last week, when a friend who is heading off to complete her Master's Degree asked if anyone would please take her hamster JuJuBe, I talked it over with Nichole and we agreed we could try. But we hadn't yet figured out where we would keep the little guy.

Kaitlin immediately upon learning he was coming home with us volunteered to care for him and keep him in her room.  Fine with me as I was certain those duties would become mine once the boys realized it was more work and less fun.  Fine with me but not with Austin.  Austin immediately posted a fit when we told him that JuJu would be in Kailtin's room.  For those who have not witnessed one of Austin's fits, they can be quite frightening.  He screams, cusses, kicks, hits, bites and throws anything that is near him.  We calmly explained that Kaitlin's room is the safest place where Jasmine would not get him, but Austin had viable answers.  Viable answers meant we couldn't reason him out of it and we simply had to say "no."  He did however like the plan that he was Kaitlin's helper and backup for when she was gone from home.

The fit raged on and into the "Mommy-Mobile" as we headed home from the family dinner.  Each time we would get him calmed, someone would mention it  and the fit would rage another 10 minutes.  Finally, just minutes from home Austin calmed and we figured it was settled.  That is of course until we let the boys hold JuJu for a moment.  Each boy had a chance to hold him.  He bit Isaac.  Kaitlin took him from Isaac and he pooped in her hand.  Her reaction is an odd mix of "eww gross" and "that's so cool, I've never been pooped on by an animal."  Yeah, that Kaitlin is a strange one.  She fits in well here at the House of Insanity.

OH JOY! IT'S BEDTIME!  But not without another minor fit from Austin.  "It's gonna be a long, long, time before I can have him in my room!"  It is Austin's wish for Kaitlin to "go back" to her real mom, so he can have JuJuBe to himself.  Once that was all smoothed over, Austin's attitude changed.  He had just realized that the hamster bites.  "But he'll bit me!"  Now instead of cajoling I had to switch hats and start consoling.  I was finally able to convince him the hamster likes him.  After all it was Isaac who got bit, not Austin.

  What's left is for us to expand his habitat and learn how to care and train him.  Hmmm whose job is that going to be?  Fortunately we have some advice and instruction from his owner.  Perhaps if this works and Austin finds a safe constructive channel for his attention we just might become little critter keepers.  For now, as the melatonin takes its course and the boys sack out for the night the war is over.

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