Midnight At Our House
Our daughter has entered a phase that apparently most children enter at some point in their lives--she wants a pet, preferably a dog. Merciless reminders come to us day after day and night after night. Some days she says she'd settle for a cat. One day, she became so desperate, she said that she'd be interested in getting a frog. (Although, in her defense, I saw the frog she wanted, and it was very small and kind of cute, for a frog.) She even takes on the pet persona of the requested animal du jour, sometimes asking to be walked, drinking water from a bowl on the ground (her request, not ours) and barking in the hallways.
So, we recently tried a little experiment.
Jade's kindergarten class was home to "Princess Holly Angelina," a snarly, little gerbil that had been named by the kids and had actually been lost in the corridors and radiators of the school for almost a year before being found by the janitor and being returned to the classroom. Following her miraculous resurrection, she returned to the daily torment of school children drumming on her gerbil house, sticking stubby fingers through the bars of her cage, and pressing little faces against the plastic.
An offer had been made to the class to take Princess Holly home on the weekends to take care of her. So I made arrangements for our daughter to bring her home and have a "pet for the weekend." Friday afternoon was when the Princess was scheduled to grace us with her presence, but when I dropped my daughter off at school that morning, her teacher told us that, sadly, Princess Holly Angelina had gone to gerbil heaven Thursday night.
My daughter was sad--not so much for the loss of Princess Holly, but rather her lost chance to have a pet of her own, if only for a short time. But good news followed soon after. Evidently, the science teacher informed my daughter's teacher that he had a hamster who'd had babies not too long ago, and he offered a new one to the class.
My daughter and her class welcomed "Midnight." Midnight had a different temperament and allowed the kids to pet it and even hold it. No one really knew if Midnight was a boy or girl hamster, but they were okay not knowing because Midnight was a good sport through it all.Continued on the next page