Picture it. Early Saturday morning. Me, still in pajamas, shuffling into my daughter’s room where she was happily playing on the floor with her hamster, Herve. I sat down beside her to join in the fun.
HER: Wanna hold him?
ME: Sure. (reaching out my hand)
HER: Here you go. (turning her hands sideways by mine to dump him as if he were a pork chop)
ME: Okay. (scrambling to take him as he began climbing into my pajama sleeve at the wrist)
HER: It’s okay, Mama. He does that with me all the time. Just put your hand in your shirt at the top of your sleeve to catch him.
ME: (reluctantly, my biggest concern being my own spastic flailing resulting in Herve’s demise) It tickles. (giggling)
HER: He’s almost to the top. Now, reach your hand up there to get him.
ME: (smiling compliantly, the happy moment interrupted by my very sharp but controlled squeal of pain) $#^&%#!!!
HER: What’s the matter, Mama? Where are you going?
ME: (rushing out to the bathroom) Be right back.
After pulling myself together, here’s how the text thread with Dave went.
Seriously, he’s always such a good little dude. I couldn’t figure out what happened until …
HER: Mama, what happened? Why did you run out of the room?
ME: Um, well … (recounting the whole embarrassing story )
HER: (attempting to show pity AND stifle a laugh at the same time, rather unsuccessfully) Poor Mama. (patting my head then turning to the hamster) BAD Herve. Why did you bite Mama on the boob? I mean, I know you were starving but …
ME: (interrupting her) Wait. What do you mean?
HER: Oh, he was STARVING all morning. I didn’t feed him when I first took him out and he was going crazy looking for food in my carpet right before you came in.
ME: Viv … why didn’t you tell me?
HER: (shrugging shoulders) IDK. (which is textspeak for I don’t know) And when I put him back in his cage, he went nuts in his food bowl.
ME: Okay. I think I know what happened.
His small animal sweet potato yogurt treats from PETCO look a lot like butterscotch chips. Meaning they are flesh-colored. And sort of … well, conular in shape. Do you see where I’m going here?
His treats look like nipples!!!
Needless to say, I’m (A) not doing the hamster up the sleeve trick anymore without a bra on and (B) switching to another brand of treats right away. Perhaps the apricot yogurt BALLS. (Don’t tell Dave.)
In the meantime, if you see me today guarding my right side … or maybe even clutching my right boob … you’ll know why. It’ll be our little … secret.