Friday, August 5, 2011

Operation Hamster

My nephew's Birthday is coming up at the end of August.  This is the nephew who isn't particularly concerned with presents.  (Last Christmas he ignored his fancy X-box chair and remote control R2-D2 to play with the chocolate gold coins that were in his stocking.)  He is, in other words, exactly the opposite of his brother and of how my sister and I were as kids.  He's pretty pleased about whatever you give him and he sooo does not care if he doesn't get what he asked for.  The kid could play with a rock for hours.  I once handed him a broom and he happily swept away until we made him stop for dinner.

Despite all this, the other day, my little sister Crystal Pistol sent an email to my mom and I containing Jayce's Birthday Wish List. She started doing this when the boys were little and I have to say that it does make gift buying very easy.  Any way I can avoid thinking is fine by me, although we do go off book sometimes just to mess with my family and assert our individuality.  (These rogue gifts are usually of the noisemaking variety.)   Jayce's list immediately started cracking me up because I could imagine him coming up with it.  I'm sure there was a lot of shrugging and a fair amount of him raising one finger and saying, "I know!  I've got a great idea!"  followed by a request for a live kangaroo or something.  To my sister's credit, she always writes down exactly what they say.  We once received a Wish List from Logan where he asked for a real rocket ship that could fly and The Universe.  (We got him a globe.)

I scanned the list, writing down good bets like Alien Conquest Legos and a soccer ball with a net.  Other items gave me pause, like "Snorkel goggles."  I'm wondering where the kid is going to snorkel in Central Texas?  Is he planning on busting them out at the local aquarium?  Maybe he just wants them to wear around the house to look cool, which is actually a pretty good reason.  But, my favorite thing on the list, hands down was just this one word:  Hamster.

I quickly emailed my sister back:  "HAMSTER?!!!!  SERIOUSLY?!!!  WTF?"  She confirmed it was serious.  This made me laugh really hard for a number of reasons.  One, because I could imagine myself buying a hamster, sticking it in a box, poking holes in it and sending it off First Class Mail to Texas.  Two, because, a hamster?!  Jayce is like a mini Dr. Doolittle.  He loves loves loves animals.  Him with a hamster would be too much cuteness for the universe to handle and we'd be in danger of implosion.  The hamster would be in danger of smothering.  And, finally, seeing, "Hamster" on the list was crazy to me because of my mother.

I wanted a hamster REALLY BAD as a kid.  I had two cocker spaniels and a tank full of fish.  Because I was allergic to kitties, I had a fake cat that kinda sorta looked real if you were seven and you didn't look too closely.  Fluffy sat on my bed not moving and looking pretty, just like a real cat.  One of my friends told me about her hamster named Gilligan who liked to chew things and could roll around their house in a little orange ball.  I thought it would be a great idea for me to have one too, then I'd have an awesome collection of animals.  I'm not sure what I would have named it.  Probably Vanity Smurf or something.  Anyway, my mom said "No way," and that was the end of that discussion.

Because there is something crazy that happens to your brain when you become a grandparent, I believe if that kid wants a hamster, my mother will buy him a hamster.  I don't really think it's my mom's fault.  Peeps be crazy when their kids have kids, you know?  I truly believe that when my mom saw "The Universe" on Logan's list, she started trying to figure out how she could procure that for him.  He wants it!  He should have it!  It should be his!  You should see them work her at Toys R Us.  They're smooth little operators with an armload of toys that they will absolutely die without.  And my mother, their Nana, cannot let her grandkids suffer a horrible death by toy craving!

I'm not sure why she didn't want me to have a hamster but when she inevitably hands Jayce a box with holes in it and a hamster tube city or something, I am going to give her hell.  I'm going to make fun of her and tell her that I cried myself to sleep at night because I wanted a hamster and I DIDN'T GET ONE AND OH MY GOODNESS DO YOU REALIZE THE PSYCHOLOGICAL DAMAGE IT INFLICTED?!!!  Which, of course, is a total lie.  I haven't thought about a hamster since then and probably would have ended up letting  it out so my fake cat could chase it and it would have inevitably clogged a drain or pooped in the pantry.  I probably would have thrown it down my sister's shirt while she was curling her bangs before school or tried to dress it up in Barbie clothes.  So, I definitely did not cry myself to sleep over a stupid little adorable furry rodent.  But, still.  Still!  She needs to be made fun of at least a little bit.

I'll let you know how it goes.

P.S. Don't anybody dare buy me a hamster!  I'm serious.  I'll cut you.

*photo by turquoise field.