The Hamster Thing

When children reach a certain age, parents oftentimes feel the need to (or the horror of ) having to explain the “birds and the bees.”  It’s so uncomfortable that some parents forgo an explanation altogether and just let them learn however comes naturally (or first).  Some are taught through elaborate classes put on in church environments (like the wonderful “Created By God” program- I highly recommend) or they may let the back of the bus nerdowells teach (I do not recommend). However the message makes it through, parents can rest assured children have the most literal and imaginative comments. Some of those are such that they bear repeating here….

When our first child, a daughter, had her first speck of interest on the reproductive radar, it was due to a pet (naturally).  She had a fat, female, long- haired hamster named Cinnamon. We decided to let her get another. It was a boy named Speedy because he was super quick. That was quite prophetic, we hadn’t yet realized.  We knew they had to be separated less we acquire a brood of them. However, nature and nagging got the best of us and we allowed the two to “meet.”  They met and met and met. Our precious, innocent child kept asking, “Why does Speedy keep climbing on top of Cinnamon’s back?” At first we weren’t sure what to say. Then the lights went on and we realized she was asking what we eventually needed to enlighten her about anyway.  “Well, sweetie, that is how a baby is made, I told her. They are making a baby hamster.” From then on, in our home, reproduction begat the title, “The Hamster Thing.”  Another dawning occurred and she asked,  “If that is how a baby hamster is made, does it mean a baby is made by daddy climbing on top of your back?” Her simple question deserved a simple answer so I told her yes, she was correct.  Within one minute of contemplation and a flash of understanding crossing her face, she abruptly asked, “If you had babies in your tummy twice, does that mean Daddy climbed on your back two times?” She caught me ill equipped and off guard. (How on earth do they do that?) I was panicked for the politically correct and enlightened response and not sure of what to say I said, “Uhm. No, honey, sometimes mommies and daddies have to practice.” Seemingly satisfied with that answer, she was off.  Little did we know our cohabiting of hamsters would result in 15 babies, some of which the mama would end up eating, but that is a different story with a whole different problematic explanation.

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