So, last week, Monday to be exact, I was dropping Madeline off at school when her super awesome teacher whom we all adore to the point of wishing we could take her home as that one really sentimental preschool keepsake, and whom LOVES Madeline to death, mentioned to me that they didn't have anyone to take the class pet home for the holidays: PAUSE. Puppy dog eyes. Head tilt. Irresistible Smile. And I am pretty sure the thank you was almost out of her lips before I even said, "Well, we'll take Buddy, why not?" Who could turn down a request like that anyway? Plus, it's only a little gerbil, how hard could that be?
"Oh great! Can you take him on Wednesday instead of Friday since it will be really hectic on the last day before break, you know, the preschool program and party and all...."
"Certainly, what's another couple days...."
So, we have added to our holidays, Buddy the gerbil. The very noisy-late-at-night Gerbil....(not as noisy as a train outside our window or anything crazy like that!), but he's awake and likes to spend his free time chewing up things (noisy) and running on his gerbil wheel (really noisy.) The wheel cracks us up though. The first time we heard it, Kurt comes in and asked, "Are you making coffee?"
"Nope," I said and then we both hushed to listen to the gerbil who sounded like percolating coffee. This is especially fun late at night when I awake to the sounds of what we now just call the percolating gerbil. (It's a little different if you hear it from down in the basement; then it sounds more like something out of a submarine and I must admit, it's a little creepy.)
But, we love him nonetheless. Almost enough to make me want to run out and get our own pair of them....almost. And the one who most loves Buddy is Liam.
You see, we are instructed to let Buddy have up to 30 minutes a day outside his cage, but it must be inside his big ball so that he can run and move about without getting lost (or stepped on in the pursuit). Now, if you have seen the movie Bolt, it is EXACTLY LIKE THAT! It is hysterical. And Liam, God bless him, has all of a sudden developed EXTREMELY accurate soccer skills for a kid who was still unable to walk less than a month ago. That poor Buddy. We are doing our best to keep the little hands and feet off of the rolling Buddy but you know how that goes....I think I overheard him squeaking: "Run, run, as fast as you can, you can't catch me I'm the Gingerbread Man!" right before he shot across the floor by one heck of a left kick....
On another note, I had one of those proud parent moments today. We were driving along and Madeline was bubbling over with contagious enthusiasm:
"I just LOVE Christmas!" she announced. "It is the very best day of my whole life! Santa comes and we get lots of presents and..."
"Madeline!" Aidan scolded. "That is NOT what Christmas is about! Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Jesus and all that Jesus did for us. It's not about the presents and the...."
I about wrecked the car! 'YEEEEES! And Wow! And, poor Madeline her parade just got rained on but woo hoo anyway, points for me'! I was thinking as my ears drifted back to the ongoing conversation.
"Well, your spirit doesn't actually touch your bones once you die. When you are alive, your spirit touches all your bones but not once you are dead, then you are just a spirit, no bones," Aidan was explaining. "And your blood is blue inside your body, and sometimes green, but not red. It's only red out of your body."
Um, weren't we just talking about Christmas? How'd we get to bones and green blood?
Who knows, but at least one of my kids understands there is more to Christmas than the gifts and packages, cookies and candy and trees and lights and.....somehow, the manger on our mantel has not gone unnoticed and that makes up for the 'easiest chocolate fudge recipe ever' that didn't at all set for me (not even in the freezer!) and has to be eaten with a spoon (it's still pretty tasty I'll admit!) and it makes up for the failed ornaments I tried to sew my friends because apparently you need to own more than just two pins to keep things straight (who knew?) and well, it just makes this season all the merrier.
That and the percolating gerbil. I'm just hoping we don't find out about gerbil spirits drifting away from gerbil bones or the color of gerbil blood on our watch! But, that will probably depend on who wins the soccer game. Go Percolator!