This morning before breakfast, Bean put Gus’s cage on the floor of his bedroom. This isn’t that uncommon. The kids usually put his cage on the floor so they can play with him better. But before Bean went downstairs to breakfast, he forgot to put the baby gate up on his bedroom door. So, about fifteen minutes later, I go upstairs to Bean’s bedroom for something or other and guess what I find…
Gus’s cage has been completely dismantled. The top cagey-part is on one side of the room and the bottom plastic part is on the other side of the room. And in between there is a total mess. Shredded wood chips all over. Food bowl upturned, water bottle leaking out, Gus’s toy house and wheel overturned… And standing over it all, is Big Molly. And notably absent from the mess, is Gus.
I completely lost it. I kicked Molly out of the room and frantically yelled for Chris to come help, which, of course, brought both kids running, too. We were all a mess and began a giant hamster hunt throughout Bean’s room, but we had no luck. We spent the next 20 minutes turning over everything we could find in the upstairs, looking for Gus. But nothing.
Finally, it was time for Chris to take the kids to school, so they left and I kept searching by sitting really still in Bean and Gracie’s rooms, waiting to hear him moving. No luck.
I was now already late for work, so I shut all the room doors upstairs to keep him confined to wherever he might have hidden and then put the baby gate up to keep the dogs downstairs today while we were all away.
I got to work (late) and quickly set my classroom and lesson up for teaching today. The first period bell had just rung when my classroom phone rang. It was Bean’s teacher.
“Hi, Mrs. Brown,” she said. “I’m so sorry to interrupt your classes, but Michael is really upset about his hamster. Would you mind talking to him for a minute?”
So, right there, with my middle schoolers (who are God’s nosiest creatures) listening in, I had a total fake, upbeat conversation with Bean about how silly Gus was being and how I was sure he was just going to sit around watching TV and eating peanuts all day long while we were gone. I assured him that we would find him when we got home, but that until then, he would just live it up.
“You know Gus,” I said in an exaggerated voice. “He’s probably found some Sour Patch Kids under your bed and just doesn’t want to share them!”
He finally perked up and stopped sniffling and even laughed a little bit, so I got off the phone and started my class. Not before all of my students wanted to know what was going on with my hamster.
About 20 minutes later, Gracie’s teacher sent me an email. “Mrs. Brown,” she wrote. “Gracie says her hamster is missing and she seems very upset. Do you know if Gus has been found yet? Or do you have something I can tell her?” So, I figured, what the hell? I’d already wasted 15 minutes of class time, what’s another 5 minutes more? And I called Gracie’s classroom and talked to her until she settled down a bit.
FINALLY, I was able to start teaching.
And about 10 minutes later, Chris texted me a picture of Gus. He found him underneath Gracie’s bed, buried between her mattress and the trundle. I quickly emailed the picture to both the kids’ teachers and said a silent prayer of gratitude for small mercies (and small rodents).
Chris is working tech this week, so it was just me and the kids this afternoon. We went to Gracie’s tennis lesson after school and then went out to get a bit to eat before heading home.
And, dang it, if I didn’t forget that I have lost my debit card somewhere this past weekend. But, of course, I didn’t remember that until after we had eaten AND ordered dessert (I felt like we deserved it after today!). So, the check comes and I am sitting there with NO WAY TO PAY. I texted Chris, who called me and gave me his card number, and I paid manually. So embarrassing.
(Also, you’ll notice the passive aggressive text I sent -“Please send it to me.”- when Chris started to give me a hard time about giving me his credit card numbers while I’m standing there in front of the waitstaff without a payment method. If I could have reached through the phone and smacked him upside the head, I would have. #reallife)
We got home and the kids jumped in the showers while I tried to clean up the crime scene in Bean’s room and remade Gus’s cage up with fresh sawdust shavings, food, and water.
I made the kids go to bed early tonight because…