Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas Rodents

My niece Amaya wants a gerbil. No, wait. She doesn't just want one, she is obsessed with having one, in that strange, manic ways only 8-year old girls can be. Oh, and don't say she wants a hamster, or a guinea pig -- that will only get you a withering look that implies you have no idea about the superiority or gerbils in the rodent world.

Amaya's obsession began on Tuesday, when she wandered into a classroom at Ryan's school and found it had several cages containing various vermin. I told Ryan about it, but he insists it does not mean the
school needs to be fumigated, and is, in fact, the best way to teach sixth graders exponential math. Amaya instantly fell in love with the gerbils, and decided there would be nothing better than having one of her own. Since that time any adult that has come in contact with her has heard about nothing else.

It was the first thing she mentioned to me when she got into the car after school yesterday. After telling me that school was fine and that she had learned"nothing" (quite disturbing considering the tuition cost), she asked if I had ten dollars. I said yes, and she informed me that money would be best spent on a gerbil. I told her I didn't need a gerbil, because Ryan and I were having chicken for dinner. That is when she announced her plan. "The gerbil would be for me, " she said, "it would live in my room in a cage that Mr. Waters said I could have. I would feed it, and clean it's cage, and it could sit on my shoulder and climb on my head. Oh, and don't worry about the poop. gerbils have dry poop, but hamsters have wet poop." I was really glad she clarified the poop part.

The inside of Amaya's head.

Because I really like Amaya's Mom, and don't want her plotting my death, I told Amaya I didn't think it would be a good idea to go get a gerbil. She instantly went to plan B -- wanting to call her Mom every five minutes to discuss the gerbil situation. I managed to stave her off, but there was no stopping the gerbil assault when Andrea arrived to pick Amaya up. Then there was no stopping it. After five minutes I had heard the word "gerbil" at least 30 times, and the word "responsible" at least ten. Finally, Andrea sent Amaya off to change her clothes -- and then she gave me the scoop. "I keep telling her she has to ask Santa," Andrea said, "but she keeps insisting that Santa can't bring it because it's livestock." She hung her head, defeated by an 8-year old genius.

There is no doubt in my mind that Amaya will be getting a gerbil. She might even be getting three. After all, she has her Mom, her Dad, and me. Oh, and Santa, of course. However, he might mess up and get her a hamster. After all, it's a busy time of year, and this is a last minute request. I wouldn't want to be him after Amaya opens it though. He will totally be on her shit list.


Dunc said...

Amaya is one determined little, I mean, future Mensa.

Amanda said...

So I can blame Amaya for the sudden interest in gerbils at our house? Luke sprung that request on me on Wednesday night, after I picked him up from your house. Unlike Amaya, Luke is truly a believer that Santa can bring ANYTHING - so he is expecting a gerbil to be happily circling the tree on Christmas day.

Andrea! said...

Sorry Amanda! Luke can come over anytime to visit Amaya's soon to be new pet. I'm dragging my sister to Petco today to pick out a home...

Lorrie Veasey said...

Go to and read The Hamster Story. It will put you off little creatures that run on wheels For-evah!