Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Peanut, the newest member of our family. He's a very cute little gray and white gerbil.

Savannah got him for her birthday last week. It was a very exciting day. We returned to our house on a Thursday night, after buying Peanut and all of the equipment he requires, only to realize that we were all starving. I had a manic mommy moment when I realized I had to cook a quick dinner, assemble a gerbil cage that was entirely too complicated, and put out 2 dogs that had been cooped up all day and had vomited all over the hallway they are penned up in. Oh, Joy!

I chose to tackle the insanely complicated gerbil cage assembly first, figuring that once the gerbil was safely housed in his actual cage I would feel better about cooking food nearby. He was patiently awaiting his new home while hunkering down in a small cardboard pet box. Maybe patiently is the wrong word since he was frantically scratching at the box and I was certain he was about to gnaw his way to freedom at any moment. I was quite certain that Savannah's birthday would not end happily if her new gerbil ended up on a glue trap in the basement.

45 minutes later, I could not figure out how to get one of the last two pieces on the cage. There was this small piece that just wouldn't fit in it's place. So I forced it. And broke it. Dang! Peanut now lives in a home that is partially held together by duct tape. Much like everything else in our house. Savannah wasn't pleased about my breaking the cage, but so far Peanut hasn't escaped and the duct tape is holding strong.

Savannah then set to loading up the cage with bedding, filling the food bowl and water bottle, and placing the chewing sticks. Finally Peanut has his home.

I was then able to cook dinner and feed our hungry bellies. And clean up a very nasty hallway. Two activities that go great together.

Savannah spent the rest of the night playing with her gerbil. She had her hand in that cage for a couple of hours petting Peanut. She was desperate to hold him. We had been warned that the gerbil hadn't been handled much yet and was very young. So, biting was likely.

"Mom, Peanut's bites don't even hurt!" Savannah came running to tell me. "He just nibbles a little bit.
Great, I thought. But, he hasn't really bitten her if she thinks it doesn't hurt. A short while later, she came to me with blood dripping down her hand. "MOM!!! Peanut bit me." He had bitten her and he bit her hard. We washed off her hand and had to sit on the couch for a little while because the sight of "so much" of her own blood made her nauseous. "He is NOT coming to show and tell." She told me.

By the time bedtime had rolled around Peanut had been mostly forgiven and allowed to move into Savannah's room. He has been living in there happily now for almost a week. We still have not successfully picked him up and are using a special rubberized glove to try to pet him with (for finger protection). He has amused us all by running like a lunatic in his exercise wheel. Unfortunately his favorite time to exercise is around 3am. This has forced Savannah to abandon her own room a couple of nights because of the huge racket he was making.
All in all, Peanut has been an exciting addition to our family. Savannah has been reading to him every day after school this week. He's the perfect captive audience.
I'm still determined to get a good picture of him. So far he's been incredibly camera shy.

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