Funeral: Take Three


So I have another funeral to plan.  And it is a pretty busy week to be planning a funeral.  Not to mention the heat; which impacts not only my ability to dig the hole without sweating my ass off, but also how long the hamster can last without going nasty.  We have not had much luck on the hamster front, three hamsters gone in less than 6 months.  We are down to one now, which was a replacement for one of the original deceased and I am done.  My youngest child keeps asking how soon she will get a new pet and I have told her she has to share the newest hamster with her sister.  I have been given her list of grievances and reminded how unfair it is, and frankly I don’t give a damn.

Her first complaint is that, “Sissy got a new hamster when hers died”.  That’s true, however she still had her first hamster and I was thinking how much easier my life would be if I didn’t have to listen to that complaint every day.  Now I am thrown into this vicious circle of replacing hamsters every time one dies and I have realized I cannot continue with that.  It makes much more sense to just have one (also less work for me) and deal with that one’s death when it comes by offering a trip to Baskin Robbins or a new book from Borders.

She was very attached to that hamster and the hamster was extremely tolerant of her.  My five year old is the equivalent of George from ‘Of Mice and Men’ with small animals and the fact that she hadn’t squeezed or petted it to death is a miracle.  I would find her wandering around the house and she would say, “Look Mommy” and pull the hamster out of some tiny pocket in her pants.  The poor thing all matted down and eyes bugging out.  Occasionally the hamster would have enough and bite her and you would have thought that she had been stabbed.  At one point she said to me, “My hamster would never have bitten me, she must have thought I was you”.  Whatever you need to tell yourself to get by, however I don’t put the hamster in a choke hold or walk around with her on my shoulder like a parrot where it fears for its life, so I am pretty SURE she meant to bite YOU!

For now, she has figured out how to use the hamster’s death to her advantage.  This is a child that named the hamster after herself, so no surprise she is going to turn this into a situation all about her.  For the past 36 hours every time I respond with a ‘No’ to one of her thousands of requests, she gets all teary eyed and says, “Well you know I miss Jr. so much”.  Last night as she is running around my bedroom, irritating her sister and laughing, I announce it is bedtime and she breaks out the act again, “I really need to sleep with you I just know I am going to have nightmares about Jr. dying”.

Life’s lessons can be harsh, I have learned that my child can take any situation and manipulate it to her advantage.  She has learned that nothing lasts forever and that she can use it to her advantage.  Somehow I feel like she wins either way.

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