So yesterday was April Fool’s Day, which, if you’re a parent, consists of being told all sorts of nonsense by your kids, followed by the chant, “April Fool’s Day!” about 408, 937 times.
(Like I don’t spend enough time being foolish, attempting to keep order in a house of 8 people…)
Yesterday was also Saturday, which means that The Captain was at work. So the day began as most Saturdays do, with cereal crunching underfoot & a sink already filled with dishes, despite being emptied only 11 HOURS EARLIER.
As I was filling the dishwasher, #6 disappeared into the basement, alone. Now in the past, #6 being alone anywhere in the house was a cause for concern, because it meant that either someone’s “stuff” was either being stolen, or taken, or possibly both.
But… since #6 just turned 4 recently, he appeared to have mended his crooked ways.
Note that I said “appeared”.
Living in the basement are our three gerbils -I guess I should say “living in a CAGE in the basement”, which you probably figured, but since I’ve mentioned in the past that they’re escaped their confines before, one can never assume anything in my house, you know?
I bet you’ve already sensed where this is going.
(I should have too, but in my defense, this was pre-caffeination. I can’t be held responsible for my behavior prior to coffee consumption.)
I was distracted by the kitchen chaos, when #6 shrieked, “Mommy…. come here!”
I bet you’ve already sense where this is STILL going.
But I didn’t.
In fairness, #6 utters this same sentence, with the same urgency, several times a day. And I’ve been caught before- rushing into a room, only to find the “come here!” was so I could see… a Matchbox car. Or a wet sock.
I said “just a MINUTE!”, which is my parental go-to phrase.
Need a drink? Just a minute.
Want a snack? Just a minute.
Someone’s pinching you? Just a minute. (And you probably pinched first anyway.)
So #3 repeated #6’s request: “Mom! Come here! The gerbil!”
(Disclaimer: This is the same #3 that was nailing me with “April Fools!” all.damn.morning. So in my distraction, I wasn’t buying.)
My brilliant retort?
“If you tell me a gerbil’s dead, it better be dead, & not an April Fool’s prank!”*
*this is what veteran parenting does to you, people.
Another shriek, from #3, which I knew was SERIOUS. So I flew downstairs, to find one of our three gerbils… stuck. In a… cage..?
You know Imaginext toys? Well, one of #6’s toys had a small jail cell. And in the three minutes #6 was alone, he apparently decided that our gerbil needed arresting -public urination is my guess- so he managed somehow to unlock the cage, & tried to pop the toy over the gerbil.
The gerbil, like most rodents (and perps on Cops), decided the best course of action was to flee from the terrifying toddler tyrant, & he had attempted to slip out of his tiny Imaginext cell.
Note the word “attempted”.
The poor gerbil’s body was wedged halfway in the cell, jammed tightly. STUCK.
#6 was wailing in guilt, #3 had horrified tears, & the sounds brought forth #s 4 & 5, who took one look in the cage and began sobbing as well.
“He’s gonna diiiiieeeee! You killllllllllledddd himmmmmm!”
So four crying kids, one writhing gerbil, and not the faintest clue WHAT.TO.DO.
Do you ever have those moments when you reflect on the vast responsibilities that accompany adulthood? The stressful burdens such as mortgage payments, dental bills, child rearing, budgeting, etc.
Not once…. not once EVER did I consider the idea that rescuing a trapped gerbil while comforting several sobbing children would be on my “adulting” agenda, right above “Buy bananas. Schedule orthodontist appointment”.
Those moments when you’re looking for the adult in charge, but you realize with horror, YOU’RE the adult in charge.
Image Courtesy of www.someecards.com
I tried clipping the plastic with kitchen shears- no luck.
I tried gently pushing him out- no dice, either.
I even tried rubbing the gerbil down a bit with vegetable oil… because I figured that both butter and/or olive oil would smell delicious to poor gerbil’s bunkmates, so that even if he survived the caging, he might not survive being targeted for dinner.
(All this thinking occurred in sync with the horrified screams of the children upstairs, by the way.)
Nothing worked. And I began to panic inside, so afraid that the poor tiny gerbil would die right in front of me, & there’d be nothing I could do to save it.
So I prayed. Out loud.
Not a nice, sweet prayer. More of a yelping, “GOD HELP ME! I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DOOO. WHAT DO I DOOOO?”
Well, God must have (correctly) realized that I wasn’t up for this task, because the next thing I know, the gerbil mysteriously managed to pop right out on his own.
Alive. Greasy, but alive.
So the gerbil was spared, the children were delighted, #6 was appropriately guilt-stricken and remorseful, & I finally had time to drink my coffee.
Bottom Line: On April Fool’s Day, or any other day, there’s always something foolish happening here.© Copyright 2017 Six Pack Mom, All rights Reserved. Written For: Six Pack Mom