Monday, October 29, 2012


Sophie's class at daycare has a pet hamster affectionately and imaginatively named Hammy. The kids take turn to care of it on weekends and this past weekend was Sophie's turn. It happened to be a long weekend so we got to spend an extra day with Hammy so that was nice :)

Trying to be as gentle as she can
Being so gentle with Hammy

I have to admit that Jude and I were initially a little trepidatious that something might happen to Hammy while in our care. I can't even keep a cactus alive so you can imagine our anxiety at a real life scampering creature that has actual needs. But Sophie was a most committed caregiver and made sure Hammy got its seeds, fresh water, and change of shower sand every morning.

Taking her responsibility to feed Hammy very seriously
Taking her responsibility very seriously

She was very very gentle with it and would find every opportunity to run by its cage and give us an update of what Hammy's up to (which usually wasn't very much in the day- it's a more "run around his wheel at 12 in the morning kind of hamster...)- "Look Mama, his eyes are open!"; "Hammy is burrowing under the sawdust!"; "I think Hammy's stinky. He's giving himself a bath."; "Dada, Hammy's running in his gym!"

And laughing at its antics
Laughing at Hammy's antics

There were also many quiet moments when Sophie was content to just sit and watch Hammy, whether it was doing anything or not. I wondered what was going through that little brain of hers as she contemplated this living creature so much smaller than she is.

She spent a lot of time just watching Hammy
Just watching...

She was sad to bring Hammy back to school today, but at least she'll still get to see it everyday. It was a wonderful experience for all of us, particularly for Sophie who did such a great job.

Loving Hammy
Such a good caregiver

Even though Hammy was by no means a demanding animal to care for, Sophie still learned about what it means to take care of a pet, that it's not all fun and cuddles and that it has needs that must be met first. We talked about how different Hammy is from us (he doesn't shower with water, doesn't drink from a cup, and only eats seeds), but also how alike many living creatures are (we both need water and food, and have the same desire to be clean).

Also, we now we know we can ostensibly own a pet and not run the risk of accidentally "misplacing" it... ;)

More pictures here.

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