Sunday, August 29, 2010


I'd like to thank everyone for the prayers, positive thoughts, encouraging words, and expressed concern for Calypso.  It's been a long week.  After a couple days in the hospital on stronger antibiotics via IV she began to improve and the infection was brought under control.  She is now home and continuing to recover from that. However, the whole episode seems to have reactivated the mono she had at the beginning of the summer.  It has all left her feeling about as vigorous and robust as a piece of wilted lettuce.  Monday is the first day of her senior a building which is under demolition construction.  It is sure to be chaos for everyone in that building.

God bless her, she so badly wants to do well this year and wanted to work hard at a job to earn money to finance her own after school goals.  I've been so proud of how she got her act together in the last half of the previous school year and how much initiative she showed in getting the two jobs she held this summer and in doing them well. I feel awful for her in this whole set back (now that the fear in the lack of answers we were getting earlier in the week has abated).  She's going to need to listen to her body though when she gets tired and let herself heal.  So continued prayers and good thoughts for her as she recovers would still be appreciated.

Last Monday at work I was getting understandably hysterical phone calls from Calypso before we figured out what was going on.  During her hospitalization I got another set of hysterical phone calls from my other two kids.  Just a couple days before Calypso became ill Diana had acquired a hamster...a hamster we shall call Houdini for her amazing ability to escape her cage or her ball...a hamster we would later come to discover was also pregnant.

On the day of the hysterical calls it seems she the outdoors.  After realizing the rat Houdini had left the building Diana looked in the cage and discovered 7 babies.  Call #1 was the "What should I do?" call.  I said to put the cage on the patio and hope Houdini heard/smelled/was lured back by her babies.  That worked.  Panicked call #2 was the "What do we do next because the Internet says disturbed hamster mothers get upset and eat their babies?" call.  I have a child in the hospital and I still have some questions about her well being and what comes next for her.  To say I was less than concerned about 7 hamster offspring would be a fair assessment.  Diana was flipping out in the background about the violent deaths these things would face with their mother.  Isaac was tapping away on the computer trying to search out what to do for the mother and babies.  In the distance I could hear what I thought was the pained shrieking of neonate hamsters being eaten.

I suggested they take the whole lot of them back to the pet store and ask for advice.  They did and were advised to hand nurse the hamsters or find another nursing hamster.  This was reported to me during hysterical phone call #3 as Diana continued to panic over the potential for the babies being eaten and how she didn't want to take the bloodthirsty Houdini with her to school.  Having reached the end of my tolerance for these shenanigans I listed the facts for my unglued child.
  1. I did not purchase Houdini as a pet, not did I sanction her acquisition.  this was a unilateral decision on Diana's part.
  2. I was not assuming any responsibility for said hamster.
  3. Diana has been a hunter since age 12 and has reached her hands into the steaming carcass of a large white tail deer buck to eviscerate it after having ended its life.
  4. Seven newborn hamsters each roughly the size of my thumbnail seem far less problematic.
  5. Did I mention I will have no part of caring for these things?
  6. The circle of life/survival of the fittest comes into action here.  Put the babies with their mother and she will either nurse them or eat them, either way the problem is solved.
  7. Just in case there is any question, these creatures are your responsibility NOT mine.  They will be returning to school with you.
Diana was less than  happy about the prospect of caring for eight hamsters in a dorm room.  "Yes, my dear, and what have we learned in this experience?"

Yes, between hospitalizations and rapidly multiplying hamsters (and I haven't even mentioned the football practice schedule and Isaac's continuing issues with his knee or various contributions of insanity from Mr. Lime because those are posts all by themselves) it would seem my life is a three ring circus.  I'm just not entirely sure if I am the ring master or merely a bewildered onlooker.

EDIT: (Monday 6:25 am in response to Hilary) The babies have survived thus far.  When my mother came to visit she wanted to see them so I took her into the room where they are being kept.  I dared to make eye contact with the new mother who looked pleadingly at me. Bad idea.  Must not be beguiled by those beady eyes....


Craig said...

The oldest trick in the filial book - take an obligation onto yourself, and then when it becomes troublesome, try to pawn it off on Mom. . .

Which you handled masterfully, if I may say so. . .

Glad Calypso is on the mend. Altho "listen[ing] to her body when she gets tired and let[ting] herself heal" will no doubt be easier said than done. . .

Cocotte said...

And this is why I refuse to own a pet. But glad Calypso seems to be on the upswing.

Palm Springs Savant said...

I never liked hamsters. I always preferred parakeets for kids. Then later, there is nothing like a dog to me!

Hope you are keeping your sanity through it all.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lime, you have a life, a fulfilled rich life, full of work and kids and hamsters and loved ones it is no wonder that you do not have to stress over posting. I on the other hand have no life... at least nothing to compare with sick kids and eight hamster pups? Kits? hammies?

Plus you have great hair...leave us not forget that.

Kat said...

I'm exhausted just reading that. Good grief. And all while you were at WORK too? Cripes!

secret agent woman said...

Glad Calypso is on the mend.

When I let my kids get gerbils, we bought 4 brothers. No chance of babies. So that when the four die (we're down to 1) I'm finished.

furiousBall said...

happy to hear Calypso is on her road to recovery.

if the hamsters act up, i recommend this new product i just decided to make, the hamsterapult.

Logophile said...

I take back my earlier advice,
if you really feel the need, go ahead, who would blame you?

(M)ary said...

i am so glad Calypso is home from the hospital. i have been thinking of you all these past few days. sending good thoughts.

G-Man said...

No Tight Rope walking for you Trini!

hahahaha...word verification is Prone

elle dubya said... i've not commented in forever but still have been reading (yeah. i'm lame.) - but i just had to tell ya, i'm forever going to stop moaning and groaning about how crazy hectic my life gets at times. you deserve immediate sainthood. ((hug))

Hilary said...

Probably a bit of both. Glad to hear that she's on the mend. So do the wee hamsters still exist?

moondustwriter said...

Being a mom is always a strain. I hope things let up a bit my dear.
Had similar situation - one in hospital one in ER a few weeks latter almost needing to be hospitalized.
How much stress is too much.
Hampsters in the dorm Oi Vey

you are doing an awesome job

Cricket said...

Sorry you're going through one of "those times" but glad to hear it's improving some. Found this on line and thought it might seat your nudes:

Jamaican Hamster Curry

1lb/500g diced hamster, 2 teaspoons curry powder, a stock cube dissolved in half a pint/300ml water, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon turmeric (can be left out) and oil for browning the hamster.

Brown the diced hamster in oil; add everything else, cover and cook very gently over a very low heat until the hamster is tender; this can take up to 1 hour. Serve with rice, or with 'peas and rice', a Caribbean favourite. Total preparation time about 75 minutes.

Peas and rice: 1 cup dried peas (or beans if you prefer), 1 big cup of rice (washed so it doesn't get sticky), salt and pepper, a stock cube dissolved in around half a pint/300ml of water.

Boil the dried peas strongly for 10 minutes; leave for an hour. Drain nearly all the water. Cook until soft (keep checking this bit). Add salt and pepper. Cook rice in the stock, drain and mix with the peas (gently so you don't mush it all into a hideous green mess; unless you are a sick deviant and like that sort of thing).

More recipes to be found here:


Beach Bum said...

You are excellent under stress and I am seriously thinking about making you a write-in canidate for US president in 2012.

Suldog said...

Prayers said (for you, Calypso, and the rest of your own, but not for the hamsters. Not that I don't care about them, but I do believe you had it right when you supposed Houdini would take care of the situation, one way or the other.)

Cricket said...

Hi again -

Glad you liked the recipe. Let me know how it turns out ;-)

I had a hamster once. A vicious little thing who subsisted on pellets and bits of finger until he made a final escape, never to return.

I imagine he met one of the neighborhood felines, who quite likely prepared him Tartare.

First day of school is tomorrow, here. We'll see how that goes.

S said...

LOL I know you dont like pets so much! LOL LOL
One time we put our girl and boy hammy in a cage for 10 minutes, a few weeks later, we had 22 babies~ 22 from one mom!!!!
We sold em to the pet store, you could do that too~ you wont get more than 1 or 2 bucks for em, but they will be gone.
Our mom ham didnt eat her babies even after we took her out of the cage to play etc...

Ok but I am glad your girl is out of the hospital, you are not even gonna tell us whats wrong?
Tomorrow my child visits a teen counselor, if that tells you where we are at with the teenager experience...I have raised me a real live wire...argh!

Anonymous said...

Being the dancer you are...have you done the Happy Hamster Dance for all the newbies???

Mama Zen said...

Don't look at the hamster. Must not look at the hamster!

~Tim said...

Be a clown.

Jocelyn said...

I cannot believe you managed to make this hilarious. First off: stop looking into the beady eyes; remain detached, Mother to the World.

More importantly, I'm glad Calypso is responding to treatment...could you feel my thoughts and positive vibes from 5,000 miles away? Oy.

You are so killer awesome.

Jocelyn said...

I cannot believe you managed to make this hilarious. First off: stop looking into the beady eyes; remain detached, Mother to the World.

More importantly, I'm glad Calypso is responding to treatment...could you feel my thoughts and positive vibes from 5,000 miles away? Oy.

You are so killer awesome.

DianeCA said...

I hope that Calypso will allow herself to fully recover now!! I know her senior year and goals are important but really in the big picture...she has a long life to achieve things. Hope she takes her time to get well.

I really would like to see you do the happy hamster dance hehehe....darling little rodent hehehe.

VE said... sure get your handfuls of stuff...if everything wasn't in turmoil, wouldn't you be bored?