Parenthood makes us say and do things we never thought we would, and last night was no exception.
Without going into too much detail, my son’s new hamster, Lavender, was clearly dehydrating. My son absolutely adores this twitchy-nosed fuzzball, so despite terrible after-work traffic, I rushed the rodent back to the pet store.
"Come on, Lavender," I said in my head. "Scamper away from the light, little buddy."
So I’m talking to a hamster now? Hell, yes. I would pray to the Patron Saint of Rodents, if I knew of one. After all, my kid is weeping.
The ironic part is that I’ve never been much of a critter person myself. I might have had a gerbil or two as a kid, but I’m not one to fill my space with furry things. I prefer plants and people.
But this, like most aspects of parenting, has little to do with me.
It turns out, the hamster has "wet tail diarrhea," a condition I’m told is serious but potentially treatable. Unfortunately, Lavender has to undergo two weeks of antibiotics, and there’s no guarantee she’ll pull through.
It just might be little Lav's time to visit the sprawling Habitrail in the sky. But I really hope not.
While I’m quietly and proactively researching ways to talk about death with little kids, my son is X-ing off the days on our family calendar until Lavender comes home. The sight of this is quite possibly the most heartbreaking part of it all.