We got a new hamster on Saturday. His name is Reggie.
Well, actually FIRST we got a new hamster on Thursday, which Ben named Reggie. But then it bit Ben. So we RETURNED that hamster and got another...whom Ben also named Reggie.
I realize that returning a hamster for being pissed off that you poked at it while it was sleeping is unfair. I, myself, consider drawing blood when somebody wakes me from my lovely slumber.
I also realize that in doing so, I am basically teaching my son that the responsibility of pet ownership is one that CAN be taken lightly. Not was I was aiming for. But I couldn't help but feel that Ben and the hamster got off to a bad start - what with the biting and all - and that it might affect Ben's ability to bond with the rodent (and vice versa). So I thought it was best to start over fresh with another hamster. And in our defense, that hamster did have 'crazy eyes.'
I won't lie, I am not entirely sure Ben is up to the task of pet ownership. There is something about the energy Ben gives off that just make animals mad. And it's weird too, because he's the sweetest boy you've ever meet. He's been pecked by a turkey, butted by a goat in the petting zoo, and hit in the face by a dog. That's right...the dog hit him...in the face...resulting in 25 stitches. (It's a long story...)
I think they instinctively sense that he's really clumsy and it makes them nervous. Very nervous. They rebel, they butt, they kick, they peck, they jump and they bite. The guinea pigs hear him clomping down the hall and flee into the safety of their plastic igloo. He's kinda like Damian in "The Omen" during the monkey house scene - only without all the evil. They just sense his energy and go into defense mode.
I can relate - I go into defense mode too when I'm with him. I am ALWAYS warning him to watch out for doorways that suddenly jump out, I fly out of his way when he runs by and I have to put my hand on his head when I kiss him goodnight because he's likely to pop up and knock out my tooth. It's beyond his control.
But he really wanted the hamster. REALLY, REEEEAAAAALLLLY wanted a hamster and he has waited patiently for over a year (I thought it would pass...oh well). So I gave in for his 9th birthday.
So now we have a hamster, named Reggie.
Good luck, Reggie.