Hamster #3: how did we get here?


My name is Kelly.

And I question every life decision, every single night, at exactly 912pm – aka 72 mins past my already pushing it self imposed bedtime for an abrupt 440am alarm that I can only snooze 3 times……

Hey! Work starts at 5am. Its a long and tiring journey from our inherited sleep number bed, down the stairs where I almost stumble as I am quickly realizing that I once again, forgot to go to the bathroom before embarking on my long journey to the office.

Once I find the umph to stand up from this nice, cold, porcelain recliner, I walk back thru the laundry room to the kitchen. But first, I take a sideways glance at my 5ft 6in tall pile of dirty laundry that has been my arch nemesis for a few weeks.

Oh. Fine. Moving on.

Ppsssttt between you and me – the long walk back up the stairs to my office is the most treacherous point in my 5am trek across realities.

Hi. My name is Kelly. And I dont know how we got here…..

My 8yr old told me last year, like in September maybe (let’s be real. Last year was 42 years ago…), that she wanted….no neeeeddddeeedddd a Guinea Pig.

So like any good parent, I told her that she had to earn a Guinea Pig by having a good school year.

I really wanted, no – needed – her to have a good year.

Man. We were so naive back in those days. The future was merely a joyous mystery…..

Long plot building side story short: I figured she would forget. One day she made a Guinea Pig movie theater out of cardboard….. damnit she remembered. Covid hit. Life up until that moment ceased to exist. I wanted to spoil the girls. We actually quit digital learning mid May. Technically she had a great school year up until March 13th……

Daddy and Mommy have a decision to make.

Guinea Pig?

Or Hamster?

Research was done. Boundaries were drawn. Battles were full of B track lyrics.

Preparation for the kid who relies on being prepared – commenced.

90% of conversations for a few days started with the guise of “if you get a hamster, which you definitely aren’t getting, but if you did, then you would need to be responsible and blah blah blah….”


“Kids that have pets, do such things as clean their room….”

Heh. Just kidding. That one didn’t work and did not end up factoring in to our final decision.

Decision was finally made: hamster

Date of grand reveal: Morning of her birthday

Materials: did you know that it is best to acclimate a hamster to its new cage for a few days before playing with it?

Well shit.

New date of grand reveal: same, but that means we then had to go purchase all supplies that night, after making the decision.

Long plot building side story short: Husband calls on his way home from work. I hand responsibility of the girls off to another adult on The Compound. “Why mama? “Huh…..Mama and daddy have to run some errands…..” my anxious sweat spits outs. “Ok!” And off they ran.

Long plot building side story short part 2: petco – limited supplies, not selling any animals during COVID…..

Ok fine. Regroup.

Petsmart – sold out of hamsters but was able to obtain supplies. Oh and learned that for the cage, we need dwarf hamsters………bc they tiny.

Petsmart #2 – only 2 left, limited supplies. Remember that we like to shop around to get the best deal. Leave and head to petsmart #3

Petsmart #3 – I don’t remember why we didn’t buy them there actually. Oh wait. There was a giant line that was a mile long bc ya know – Covid – May edition.

Petsmart #2 (and also #4) – hamsters acquired. Forgot that I was supposed to be meeting a concrete worker to get an estimate for the pool landing……….whoops. but Hamsters acquired.

Didn’t even make it to the car when we scrapped the original plan to house them in my office for a few days to acclimate so they would be ready to play bright and early Birthday morning……

Back home we went. 2 stupid parents. No. We are 2 loving parents that happened to stupidly spoil our chitlins.

Got home. Snuck them in the house. And then SURPRISE!

“Go get the cages out of the back of the car girls!!!!” “Yayayayayayayayayaya….” they screamed gleefully as they race eachother out the door.

Yeah….we did this backwards. And immediately regretted our decision.

Yet again.

We have all seen the funny memes and heard the funny jokes about how to interpret IKEA instructions.

But have you ever seen a grown man cry while putting together a hamster cage?

No? Me either. But my husband did lay down the curse words and gave those instructions a talking to…..

It didn’t help that one of the cages we bought was somehow bent in the unopened box. And no amount of liquid courage smuggled by a Pirate during the prohibition, would make that cage work

Phone calls were made. No returns. Because of COVID. Haggled for the already put together floor model and won. But had to wait till after work…the next day.

Ugh fine. At least we were smart enough to purchase those clear plastic small animal cage thingies at petsmart #3. No…#2.

Both hamsters have a home for the night.

Crisis averted again. We are good!

Next crisis coming up? Which kid gets which hamster.

Oh….that was surprisingly easy actually.

And without skipping a beat, Mama and Dada became the proud grandparents of Snowflake – the feisty hamster

and Unicorn – the spin-y hamster.

Long plot building side story short: hamsters were obtained on May something-thst. It is now 600 weeks later on Young Septmber Eve.

2 weeks ago. Nope. 1 week ago – something caught my eye off to the side of the living room. “Heh,” I remarked to my husband, “I forgot we had hamsters…”

And then I started thinking about it.

And I haven’t thought about hamsters in at least 3 weeks.

“Are they even still alive????” I cautiously question my husband because I reeeaaaallllyyyy don’t want to know the answer……

“Yeah…” he hesitantly spilled. “Yes!” He exclaimed as he recovered from his fall into quick gloom.

“YEP!” One of the girls chimes in as she was clearly NOT eavesdropping.

And then confidently, without skipping a beat, she continues to proudly say that they “make sure they have food and water and Unicorn drives me nuts because she just spins and spins and apins and its so loud but she is so super duper cute and omg we are in love….”

Ok so they didn’t say all of those exact words, but you can infer my intention…..

Huh. Maybe my kids aren’t the lazy, couch-surfing, snack stealing, 24hr partiers, youtube addicts that we thought we had raised……

Heh. Just kidding. Our kids are totally all of those.

I mean hello……this is March 192nd, 2020

Where nothing makes sense

Even the creator of the Old English language, somehow time traveled, called an audible, and updated their meaning of “wiko”….

(ppssstttt – that is “week” to us Current English speakers)

Pre covid – today is in the middle of Week 36

Post Covid – today is in the middle of year 2020 (+/-) 36 lightyears

Oh….that isn’t a real thing?

Well 2020 isn’t real either so psh jokes on you!

Not even a single chuckle? Chortle? What about a silent toot? Fine. You’re not here for my vivid jokes. Whatever….

I am sitting on my porch, listening to the crickets sing and the neighborhood rival cat gangs screech it out.

It is 857pm. Oh good. A few more minutes until my nightly rewind of everything that has brought me to this moment.

A moment that I laugh and realize I seriously don’t get why this is my life.

One where at some crazy hour in the morning while I am working, a kid comes quickly with sadness heavy eyes, and the ensuing conversation would throw another monkey wrench in to this insanity I call life.

“UNICORNS GONE MAMA. Unicorns missing,” her tears forming as her speech confirms her fears.

“Huh….?” I sleepily question as I quickly realize the answer once the question mark slides off my tongue.


8yr old named her hamster Unicorn.

We have 6 cats.


Long story quick hits: there is no way unicorn is around, or alive. No way. Dammit. We have to get a new hamster.

“Well….thats why they can’t play with them without us”. I can hear the outsiders already.

“Well, no. They didn’t. They wouldn’t. I know E refilled the water yesterday. Maybe she accidentally missed a latch. It’s not her fault. Yada yada yadda….” I told the outsiders over the ensuing hours.

The girls have been keeping them alive. Of course I would defend them…..

Man. 2020 is going by so painfully quick that between when I took my mighty place on the Hill of Defense – to when the truth came to light – now feels like at least a year elapsed.

At one point, my husband joked that maybe we should just get guinea pigs now.

I laughed so hard a coworker I work with remotely asked what was so funny.

It took me a while to formulate a good comeback. But I gotta say. The reply was worth the wait.


Fast forward to the end, bc I dont want to bore you about the details on how I convinced our 8yr old that to earn a new hamster – I had to brush all her curly knots out.

Jokes on her, bc she was totally going to get a new hamster regardless.

I mean come on. I am a loving parent. A sucker of a stupidly spoiling loving parent.

And that is how we now are on hamster #3, who is currently without a name bc the 8yr old is “thinking about it.”

But it doesnt end there.

Are you ready for this jaw dropping bombshell of a plot twist that you couldn’t see because it was at the end of a Hairpin snake of a curve, as a Avalanch Marches towards you, on a downwards Slope of a hill, headed straight Towards the place where the sunsets and Everything Rests in the darkness?

Oh no.

That analogy wasn’t the grand finale. Jeeze! That paragraph isn’t even hamster related….

Yeah. It didn’t make sense and hurt to write too. Sorry for making you endure that pain. But sharing is caring….

As my 8yr old hopped on the couch with me to bond, while I was beginning the painful task of unknotting her hair, she opens up to me.

“Hey mama, B lost her”

“Wai wha?????????”

“At night. She had unicorn on her couch”


“And unicorn went in that hole there”

Thankfully she was pointing to the rip in the couch and not the uncovered air vent that was recently (AND ACCIDENTALLY!!!!!!! SCOUTS HONOR) uncovered right before Unicorn went missing……..

“OH ok! Maybe daddy can lift the couch when he gets home.” Side note – he lifted the couch. Spoiler alert- No hamster.

Fast forward to when B has come downstairs, not expecting to be interrogated.

“So uh E said you played with unicorn”

“Nuh uh”

This kid can lie with the best of them but has all sorts of poker tells.

“Did you come downstairs last night?”


“Uh huh” the 8yr old chimed in slyly

“No. I. Did. Not!”

“Did you open the cage?”


“Did you sneak down here while the rest of us were sleeping?”


And I don’t remember the line that was the final thread to unravel it all. But she folded like napkins in the wind.


While I have been defending my girls for all of 6hrs, fighting to the tooth and nail to make sure they are not judged harshly for their adhd induced quirks….

While I have been super proud that my girls somehow managed to keep the hamsters alive after I completely forgot we were grandparents…..

While I….yeah I’m done.

Turns out, the girls, or maybe just B, have been taking the hamsters out of their cages.

By themselves

And not only that, but also unsupervised.

While my butt is comfy and safe and secure in bed, guarded by 4 fluffy dogs that aren’t allowed to be in the same room as the 6 cats roaming the streets in our house…..

Sorry. Had to go crawl in to bed and plug my phone in because I write too much. Stupid phone batteries not reading my mind.

There were unruly children awake downstairs, allowing 2 hamsters to roam freely……..

Oh my God.

Was that Unicorn?

Oh. Nope. Just the calming sounds of my personal possessed floor fan………..

Or was it?

955pm. I am overdue for my nightly date with a pillow and the cult classic “all life decisions thus far”.

oh and look! There is a new title tonight!

All life decisions thus far

Feat. Snowflake and Unicorn

Special guest apperance by TBD

Theme song written by “Unicorn in the Walls”

Based on a true story

I am not getting any sleep tonight, am I?

One thought on “Hamster #3: how did we get here?

  1. Meghan says:

    So we had one of the 14 mice babies out in the house for a month. We were constantly trying to catch it, but it was too fast. It would scurry all through the wood frame of our couch too. One day I was looking for the fire stick remote, and went to pick up the sock in the corner… nope! It was the dead white mouse πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

    I’m super impressed with how much research you do on every tiny decision you guys make. Your family and your girls are fortunate to have you making those decisions β€οΈπŸ§‘πŸ’›πŸ’šπŸ’™πŸ’œ


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